Master Of Puppets, was their third album, released after their move to major label Elektra Records in 1986, in spite of not containing any singles it was the breakthrough to US rock radio airplay that they'd been looking for.
It’s hard, fast, rock with substance that doesn’t require the listener to wear eye-liner or big fire-hazard hair to enjoy. It also features more serious themes (albeit expressed in a particularly aggressive and direct way) and more complex arrangements than similar acts of the same era.
And, praise the Lord, they’re not singing about hotels, or lost summers, or convertibles, or goblins or lipstick and eye-liner and especially, absolutely, definitely not GIRLS.
The lazy, “thrash” the tag doesn’t do the album justice. This is probably among the slowest thrash you'll ever hear, what it is is a very heavy, joyously aggressive record, packed with melody, that feels genuinely inclusive, and is superbly written and performed. Hetfield’s a master of establishing; maintaining and manipulating musical tension and mood, creating songs that really suck you in. This is hard rock as high drama (without the opera).
At this stage in their careers Metallica weren't even doing songs (unless they were covers). They were telling stories; every song is an event, parables of almost biblical proportions that you ignore at your peril. They also happen to rock really hard. Manipulation, deadly sea-monsters, mental breakdown, teenage conscription and subsequent transformation into cannon fodder, corrupt authority, scientology and, err, being a puppet (well there has to be some light relief) – all fine subjects for this band.
After listening to "The Thing That Should Not Be" you'll be sure that you’ve just survived a shark attack and convinced you smell a bit salty. “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” will make you question your sanity, “Disposable Heroes” will convince you to quit the army (even if you're not a member)...that's the power of the stories on this album.
Roll up and enjoy Metallica, before they became slightly introverted and then went soft altogether. --Eamonn Stack
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The album has only eights songs but still clocks up nearly an hour. The songs on the album are long but seem to go really quicky. If I ever need to pass ten minutes I'll just listen to Orion and thats eight minutes gone in what feels like three or four.
This album was Cliff Burton's last album due to his unfortunate premature death whilst on tour in 1986. By this time Metallica had tried to move away from being knowing purely as a speed thrash band but many of the songs on this album still have that feel.
On many albums you have your favourite songs and you have the songs that you skip. On this record there is not one song that you don't want to listen to and so many times you find yourself just putting on the album to listen to one song but then listening to the whole album through.
If you are a metal fan this is a must have album!
Track By Track
1. Battery (Hetfield/Ulrich); Before the release of the black "Metallica" album it was the opener to Metallica's concerts and was the first hit out of three more off of the "Master of Puppets" album. It is still a fixed part of Metallica's live show. The song "Battery" is an indirect tribute to the "Old Waldorf Club" in San Francisco on Battery street.
2. Master Of Puppets (Hetfield/Ulrich/Burton/Hammett); The solo of "Master of Puppets" reached the 51st place in the "100 Best Solos Ever Reader's Choice" in the september 1998 issue of Guitar World.Read more ›
The album has 8 untimely classic tracks and there is not 1 poor track in sight. The albums title track, 'Master of Puppets', is the main standout track here, amazing riffs, solo's, well written lyrics and a beautiful harmony break in the middle of the song.
The main formula in the title track is present in the other tracks on this epic album. The album has a hidden concept to it in nearly all tracks which is of a drug addict, read the lyrics and you'll see what I mean.
Other notably brilliant tracks include the monumental ballad '(Welcome Home) Sanitarium', the rifftastic trash fueled album closer 'Damage Inc.' and the beautifully orchestrated and classic instrumental 'Orion'.
This is the best album Metallica have made in their career (spanning 20 years) and one of the best albums of all time.
If you don't have this yet you are missing one very special album. Go buy it...now!
The album opens with the incredible "Battery" which starts with a beautiful spanish guitar part which fits seamlessly with the thrash that follows. The title track is probably the best song on the album, with an amazing sensitive slow part in the middle which shows that Metallica can do more than play guitar at 300mph... "The thing that should not be" has a great evil feel to it and Kirks solo is just amazing. "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" is the slowest song on the album but still doesn't lack thrashy parts and is a great song. "Disposable Heroes" and "Leper Messiah" are both pure thrash metal and great songs to play very loud and just go mad. "Orion" is a very skillful instrumental which shows how musical Metallica are. The second part of the song has a bassline playing and then 3 guitars all playing different harmonys, it sounds amazing.
The last song "Damage inc." is the fastest song on the album but is still amazingly skillful.
JUST GO AND BUY THIS ALBUM RIGHT NOW!!!!!!