8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2001
Metallica are without doubt one of the greatest heavy metal bands ever.Despite the line-ups changing slightly over the years,they remain as good as ever.Master of puppets displays the core essence of the band at the time many consider to be their peak.Also it was the final album with their incredibly talented bassist Cliff Burton who sadly died soon after in a coach crash.
The album explores some very interesting and insightful content into various topics.The songs are heavier than may initially be expected (especially if the listener was introduced to the band by the more recent albums) but all show a great deal of talent and thought.
Hetfield's rythmn guitar is perfect to sustain the music at all times and forms a solid bedrock during the exceptional solo performances by Hammett.The aforementioned lead guitarist certainly lives up to the claim by some that he is the one of the greatest metal guitarists ever (alongside Diamond Darrell of Pantera).Cliff's performance on the bass is extremely good, noticeable especially during the lead into the second half of the instrumental track Orion.Lars displays controlled and inventive drumming throughout the album, keeping the music well in time and joining the different parts.
The songs themselves are nothing short of spectacular, both musically and lyrically.The furious and frantic pace of Battery leads into the album as well as can be done.The title track that follows has been dubbed by many to be one of the finest songs by the band and this claim is hard to dispute.Despite being more han eight minutes long it does not become repetetive or dull.The lyrical content is very meaningful showing the power of drug addiction and its hold on people.The third track brings a darker and moodier feel into the music with its slow heavy pace and powerful lyrics.Sanitarium is a very different song to ehat may be expected as it is the closest song on the album to a ballad.Its subject of insanity flows out of the lyrics and comes almost as a plea for help from the inmates who just want to be understood.Disposable Heroes follows on and is perhaps the heaviest song to b found on the album.Personally this song appealed the least to me at first but soon grew on me.Leper Messiah brings a deep powerful musical feel to balance out the rapid,heavy pace of the previous track.The seventh track,Orion,is the only instrumental.The talent displayed by this track is monumental and it is one of the finest tracks ever produced in the history of metallica.The final track of the album starts on a slow pace but soon explodes into the expected speed and power.
At the end of the album the listener feels both drained and infused.The sheer energy seems to suck you in then spit you out after nearly an hour of music.However the sheer quality of the music leaves the listener feeling empowered.To give this album less than five stars would be denying the amazing talent and ability of the four men who created some of the greatest music the world has known.If you are a real heavy metal fan (not a nu-metal trendy) then this album is an essential purchase.
72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2004
Released in 1986 Master Of Puppets is one of (if not the) best Metallica albums ever. It reached a chart position of 29 but that would have been much higher if the band were as well known then as they are today. Although Metallica had a ever growing fan base at that time it was this record which really got them on the world wide scale that they are today.
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.
Since its release it has almost always been a fixed part of Metallica's live show. Metallica plays two versions of "Master of Puppets" live. One version ends before the slow and soften part of the song - and the other one is the complete version as it was released on the same entitled album.
It is about the drug (especially heroin) addiction and its consequences.
3. The Thing That Should Not Be (Hetfield/Ulrich/Hammett); It's another song which has been inspired by a story of H.P. Lovecraft. The song is based upon the short story "Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P. Lovecraft which has been written in 1936. "Shadow Over Innsmouth" was Lovecraft's sole story which has been released as a book when he was alive. His further short stories only appeared in his lifetime in a magazine called "Weird Tales".
Since it's release till the "Poor Re-Touring Me '98" tour it has often been a fixed part of Metallica's live shows.
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (Hetfield/Ulrich/Hammett); The song writing was inspired by the movie which is based on the same entitled book "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
Hetfield: The idea for that song came from the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". "Fade to Black" worked well, and we wanted to have another slow, clean picking type of song, this time with a chorus. I had trouble singing that chorus. It's really high, and when I went singing it in the studio, I remember Flemming [Rassmussen] looking at me like, "You're kidding." I said "Shit, I don't know if I can do this!" So I ended up singing it lower than I intended, but we put a higher harmony on it and it worked pretty well.
5. Disposable Heroes (Hetfield/Ulrich/Hammett); The first time the song was performed live was on September 14, 1985. Which is also the only time the song was played live with Cliff. Afterwards it was performed sporadically throughout the "Justice" tours. The most notably thing is that it was a set part of the "'94 Summer Shit" tour.
The lyrics basically suggest that the whole drafting procedure within the military is as bad as the war itself.
The song is pointing out that war is glorified, but in the reality it is the simple hell - where aren't any winners.
6. Leper Messiah (Hetfield/Ulrich); Because of the instrumental style of the song it has also become one of Cliff's trademark songs for many fans.
It is about so called messiahs who make a good profit on other people's faith.
"Send me money, send me green"
"Heaven you will meet"
"Make a contribution"
"And you'll get a better seat"
7. Orion (Hetfield/Ulrich/Burton); Metallica learned more about playing with harmony and to use different styles during a song. "Orion" with its changings from speed to slowly parts is probably the best example for their new improved technique of song writing and is one of my favourite tracks ever.
To Metallica the middle part of the song sounded a kind of spacey and starry so they named the song after the star constellation Orion.
The song "Orion" was the music Metallica had chosen for Cliff's funeral on October 7th, 1986. Services were held in his hometown of Castro Valley. He was cremated, and his ashes were spread at the Maxwell Ranch.
8. Damage, Inc (Hetfield/Ulrich/Burton/Hammett); A live version of the song was included on a B-side of the Australian "Die, Die My Darling" single release. It is about senseless violence and destruction.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2001
Metallica are, in my opinion, the single best band in the whole universe. Master of Puppets is by far their best album. People have said this before me but i'd like to say it again: Anyone that listens to so called "nu-metal" bands and goes around thinking they listen to heavy metal need to go out and buy Master of Puppets so they can see what heavy music actually is.
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!!!!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2007
This is undoubtedly not only the greatest Metallica album, but also one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, from the raw brutality of Damage Inc to the slowly building Welcome Home (Sanitarium), which provided the template for their breakthrough single One, this album just oozes class. There are no standout tracks on this album because they all standout, everyone is an instant classic. Powerful lyrics sung with passion and screaming guitars all underpinned by the sadly missed Cliff Burtons solid basslines. This album has it all and any self respecting metal fan should have this album in their collection.
Unfortunately this was the peak of Metallica's rise to the top, musically at least, and apart from a small handful of decent songs (One, Enter Sandman) it went downhill from here, culminating in the embarrassment of the Napster debacle and the absolute dross that was St Anger. Buy this album and revel in a band at the top of their game.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2002
surely metallicas best album yet.this album encapsulates what the best metallica sound was,powerful,heavy,complex,clever and ear drum destroyingly good.the opening track battery harps back to their kill 'em all days(no bad thing)with a 300mph riff and memorable chorus.the title track is easily one of their best songs ever,JUST LISTEN TO IT.but the great thing about this song is that all the songs r classics,there is no filler but no good songs on it,just brilliant ones.Damage INC will blow your head off,Sanitarium will make you think,Orion just fills you with an epic feeling,disposable heroes will getting you jumping round the room shouting the chorus.Man,it is just an amazing album,forget the tiresome and uninventive Reign In Blood by Slayer THIS is the definitive thrash album.Lets just hope metallica ditch the stadium rock crap and give us another master of puppets.R.I.P Cliff.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
there is hardly any point talking about metallica as they are today,this is metallica as i loved them and few bands have ever made an album of such importance in the scheme of metal as this,this sold millions of copies and its easy to see why,perfection is seldom attainable,it is here,the riffs are legendary and most bands have tried to copy these but they just fail,the songs are sublime,simple in many ways ,flawless all the same,the melodies can tear your spine to shreds so be careful of that fact,this is master of puppets and this is the one metallica album you must own,this is metal
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2004
"The Master of Puppets", Metallica's third worldwide famous album is by far their best and most heavy work they have in their collection of twelve albums. The fact that this is the best, is because of the anger and fury and raw sound that has come out of each track has benn un-explainable. Also to mention the guitar of Kirk Hamitt's solo's, probably make this one of their most talented album's.
The first track on the album, 'Battery' is one of Metallica's best known song's, and with the heavy-soft mellowsound of the acoustic guitar at the start of the song to the roaring guitar work of Jmaes Hetfield and Kirk Hamitt, who's to argue that this isn't one of their best song's
'Master of Puppets', the second track on the album is without a doubt the best track on the album and personally one of Metallica's greatest song's ever, even though it is not known as hugely as to the likes of 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', 'Enter Sandman', and 'Unforgiven 2'. The reason why it is the best track on the album is because of the blistering guitar work of James and Kirkto the pounding drums of Lars Ulrich. And also the anger in James Hetfield's vocals makes you not want to screw with these guys, but make you cause as much destruction as you can possibly wish!
'The Thing That Should Not Be' is also one of the best track's on the album, just because of the sheer fury and anger that makes you want to stand up in front of everybody and simply just shove them down to the ground, and I think the guitar work would also help you tom do that.
'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)'is probably considered to be one of Metallica's best song's, but unfortunately I would'nt think so, because the song seems to just go on and on without ever stopping. But I can't say it is a terrible song, because the solo by Kirk Hamitt does give it credit of it being a good song.
The fifth track on the album, 'Disposable Heroes' may not be the best track on the album, it certainly makes you know why Metallica are one of the greatest rock-metal acts ever, because of the on going riff's and speed of the track, it would make you want to play like these guys definately.
'Leper Messiah', is quite frankly the reason why old grannys and parents probably listen to classical music all of the time, because the vocals on this track would give your gran a heart-attack one second into this song, because it is so brute and, and the fact that the vocalist likes to talk about death I would probably understand.
Track seven on the album, 'Orion(instrumental)' shows you the true talents of Kirk Hammit with his guitar solo, which would show the world why he is one of the best guitar players of all time, with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Adrian Smith, and Jimmy Page.
Finally, the final track on the album, 'Damage.Inc' slows you down at the beginning of the track with the slow and mellow guitar work of Jmes Hetfirld. Until Kirk pithes in and the whole sound of this track makes you feel like you are going to war with the anger in James's vocals and the raging guitar work with the blistering sound of former bassist Cliff Burton, and the hammering of Lars Ulrich's drum kit. This song would probably make your head explode after hearing it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2007
Metallica were an extremely ambitious band, and with "Master of Puppets" they matched their ambitions with their ability. Where "Kill 'Em All" was fairly immature even while technically superb, only approaching their later classics with "The Four Horsemen", "Ride The Lighning" was a great leap forward marred by an inconsistency (the title track is never mentioned as anyone's favourite). Here, Metallica, as never again, got everything right. The massiveness of the sound was allied to a cunning melodicism; the lyrics were incisive, thoughtful and burning with anger; the production was the best they'd ever had; the themes of power and powerlessness suited them ideally; and the variety of music meant that even their longer songs never became boring.
Far from it - right from the off this is an album that is both completely immediate and lastingly engrossing. The pounding sonic assault of "Battery" opens things up nicely, with an awesome solo from Kirk Hamnet. The title track takes things to a different level altogether. It's a multi-sectioned epic, on an anti-drugs theme, and the power and huge scale of Metallica's sound perfectly convey the sense of some massive oppressive force - hence why it's sung from the perspective OF the addiction, not the addict ("Now I occupy / Now I watch you die"), as they would later repeat with "Sad But True". Each section leads beautifully onto the next, the whole thing is played with mind-blowing precision and power. A highlight of all rock music.
"The Thing That Should Not Be" takes its lyric from HP Lovecraft, himself a master at suggesting huge forces and powers which mankind can only guess at, so he and Metallica are well matched. This songs is simpler but no less effective, especially the intense grinding sound at the end.
"Sanitarium" takes a different approach, with a gentle opening leading to a powerful ending, as the powerless inmates of the sanitarium plot revolt. The progression from one section to the other is handled beautifully - and would in time lead to "One".
"Disposable Heroes" opens side two with a thoughtful thasher about the mindlessness that leads young men off to war in pursuit of ideals but ending up in situations they barely understand - "Looking back I realise nothing have I done / Left to die with my only friend, alone I clench my gun". "Leper Messiah" takes a timely pop at televangelists with a bitterly articulate lyric - "Make a contribtution and you can get a better seat".
The brilliant instrumental "Orion" follows, and shows an almost prog-rock influence, showing that Metallica weren't just thrashers, they could play soulful rock too. Again, it's a multi-section song, and what's always fantastic about "Master of Puppets" is that each new section feels like the logical path; there's never the feeling of chucking on another bit for the sake of it, as perhaps happens in the song "And Justice For All". This is succeeded by the blasting "Damage Inc" as though to bookend the album with quick-fire thrashers to please their old-school fans and have the more varied songs within.
This album has got the lot. Skill, artistry, imagination, execution - a milestone of rock music. If you even like the sound of an electric guitar you should get this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2002
Limp-Bizkit? Korn? Maybe you thinkLinkin Park are the heaviest thing around. No, no, no and no! From the first second of this album you know that this is going to be a ride you will never forget. Like a good roller-coaster it is going to be one you will go back for again and again. Battery opens with a lovely classic spanish guitar part, just as Fight Fire With Fire did on Ride The Lightning. This one beat's it. Just as you reach the one minute mark it seem's like James, Lar's, Cliff and Kirk have just taken a run up and kicked you right between the legs and shouted "Wake up!" This isn't just a fast furious song with nowhere to go but one that in Hetfields word's "is just for fun for the fan's and us". The riff's are so amazingly catchy but still remaining heavy and you have a killer chorus. This was the song i heard that made me buy Master Of Puppets. The second track being the title track has no time wasting begining. It just jump's at you like a lion in for the kill! The riff's sound so easy yet are difficult at the speed they are played. The verse riff chugg's away like a demented demon trying to break down the door. And the guitar solo? Well there's a mid section in this song that doesn't seem to fit in a good way. Just as you think how much longer is this soft section going to go on for they hit you with a great starter upper! As the album goes on you become more and more engrossed. From track to track you discover something new on each song. And not just on the first time you listen but every time. I would have to admit that i could not possibly choose a favourite track. Each track out does the other but yet they are all equal. A track I think you will find yourself going back to is Welcome Home (Sanitarium). This is such an intelligent song with a mean time change. Orion is an instrumental which alot of people thikn is boring. How wrong they are. All you need do is listen to the very begining and you will find it interesting, you may not wish to listen to it as it is an instrumental but curiosity will get the better of you. Once you have sat through the 8 minutes and 12 second's of Orion you will hit the repeat button. DON'T! Go straight to Dmage Inc the next and last track. This song is everything that makes metal good. Fast with a slower section, great lyric's, good drumming, a brilliant bass line and a mean ass attitude. You will be mesmorised. Once you have listened to Damage Inc you will be in turmoil deciding which track to listen to again. You will just decide (like i did) to listen to the whole album again. I know this review may not seem great but trust me buy the album. You will not regret it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2003
This IS (megadeath fan boys aside) the single best collection of music i have ever heard. The intro track Battery, a tribute to an old place the band used to visit on Battery Street. The song teases you into a world of harmony and joy, which is shattered by a thumping drum beat and then a great display of technical guitar by both Hammett and Hetfield.
The next track and the title track to the album Master of puppets is arguably the best metal song ever written, with a solo fast and technical enough to challenge any. The interlude to this song being on the greatest classical solo in rock history.
The next track carrys on the strength of the album being fast technical and more vintage Tallica.
Then comes welcome home (sanitarium), this song slows the pace down and brings the listener into thoughts of thier own personal hell, soundtracked perfectly by harmonious guitar solos.
The next 3 songs finish the album perfectly covering subjects like War,Religion and violence.
Another highlight of this album (as if you needed ne more) is the track Orion, and underestimated song that has now become a tribute to the bassist Cliff Burton whos untimely death hit the band hard, they played this song at his funeral and to this day its beauty endures.