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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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.
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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.
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on 26 August 2006
- memorable riffs ( battery, master of puppets,disposable heroes, damage inc.) nuff said.
- thought provoking lyrics
- amazing leads (kirk is at the top of his game here)
- hetfields fiery vocal delivery, seriously, i have never heard him sing this passionately. An inspired performance and he hits those notes high.
- orion. cliffs masterpeice. A testament to the ingenuity of the legend R.I.P, man.
- crisp and clear production.
- lars's drumming isnt that bad here, he manages to keep the beat going and holds it together nicely.
- if u dont like this album, u dont like metal. simple as that.
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on 6 June 2002
PERFECT! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! There are not flaws to this masterpiece what so ever. The material is ambitious and complex but Metallica never over-do it. Kicking off with the speedy thrash of "Battery" that just obliterates anyone who would try to imitate, then there's the multi-sectioned title track that just never gets old no matter how many times you listen to it. After that, is the slow but startlingly heavy "The Thing That Should Not Be". The fourth track,"Welcome Home" is reminiscent of "Fade To Black" (but of corse, this album is based on the blueprint of Ride The Lightning, so that would explain it). "Disposable Heroes" is my favorite song on the album and possibly my favorite heavy metal song of all time. It's a bit like the title track, but a lot faster. "Leper Messiah" begins with a mid-tempo rhythm (not skimping on any of the aggression of course) and speeds up to a nice guitar solo. "Orion" is Master Of Puppets' version of "The Call Of Kthulu". The difference being that "Orion" puts it to shame. The album then climaxes with the lightning fast "Damage Inc." that would leave the likes of Slayer or Megadeth in tears. The songs flow so coherently, and yet there is a lot of variation. This album isn't as ambitious as its follow up, ...And Justice For All, but much more enjoyable thanks to its immaculate production giving it the thick and muscular sound that such great songs deserve. This is without a doubt the best heavy metal album of all time.
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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.
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on 8 March 2002
This Album is possibly the best collection of musical masterpieces the world has ever seen!!
Metallica's old stuff has always been the best, Master Of Puppets is the best, beats kill 'em all, Lightening and Justice, simply because theres no such thing as a bad song on this album!!
1) Battery - gr8 opening riff, speeds up and thrashes your head off!! words are great and the solo is great!
2)Master of Puppets - The best song ever written by Metallica (followed closly by One and Enter Sandman). This song has it all, fast sections, slow sections, a solo by Jaymz and a solo by Kirk, brilliant words and about 4 great riffs, all bundled up in a 8 1/2 minute package of thrash metal mayhem!!
3) The Thing That Should not Be - This song is different than the rest, its somewhat slower and the chorus is out of time, but hey? its still brilliant!!
4) Sanitarium - This is yet another great song, the words are very effective, i think its about a mental instiution or something. All i know is that its brilliant!! like the rest...
5) Disposable Heros - JESUS! this is the heaviest song on the album i think, got great lyrics all about war and soldiers, got a brilliant opening riff and a catchy chorus.
6) Leper Messiah - Ill be honest, i don't listen to this one, not sure why....i just...don't
7)Orion - Orion is a 8:12 instrumental. Its a trememdous song with about 3 guitar solos AND a Bass solo, what more could you ask for??
8) Damage Inc. - Now this is cool. 5 minutes of absolute madness!! fast, thrash metal. The name is enough to describe it, DAMAGE!!
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So anyway, theres only 8 songs, but none of them are below 5 minutes long and they are all absolutly brilliant. Encapsulates the power and anger metallica used to have. By far the very best Heavy Metal album EVER made!!!
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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.
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on 29 October 2002
This is an album any self respecting heavy metal fan should own! One of the best albums made in history and the last Metallica opus with possibly the best bassist ever to grace the earth, Cliff Burton (r.i.p).
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!
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on 17 May 2013
This is a lovely album! Stormin' good stuff! Nice and heavy with great licks and lyrics. I think it was tragic bassist Cliff Burton's last record with Metallica - though I could be wrong, not being a massive Metallica fan. I hadn't heard 'Master Of Puppets' in many years and I'm glad I purchased it for a bargain price (£3.50 inc P&P). I'm starting to think I prefer it over '...And Justice For All...' (my previous favourite and the only other Metallica album I own). Actually I think they're both great albums from a transitional period in the bands career. Check that s*** out!
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on 13 October 2003
This album is quite simply stunning. It is easily Metallica's best album, and the most imaginative thrash album you will find.

Opener Battery has an acoustic start that builds to a brilliant guitar riff, with Lars pounding away on drums.
Master of Puppets is my personal favourite song on the album, I cannot find a way to fault it. The riff is so catchy and somehow sounds new after 17 years. A fantastic solos compliments Burton's great bass.
After those 2 classics the guys turn the tempo down on The Thing That Should Not Be. It is still a brilliant song with a cool trademark Hammett solo.
Sanitarium starts slowly, with Hetfield singing in the position of an inmate in a mental institution. Another flawless song.
Disposable Heroes is another fantastic song, a masterpiece mixing speed, melody and power brilliantly. Another song where Hetfied sings from the perspective of someone else. This time it is of a soldier.
My least favourite song follows, Leper Messiah is still an amazing track with a great riff. Something seems to be missing, but I would not skip it.
Orion is the most beautiful instrumental I have ever listened to, surpassing Ktulu. Brilliant in every way. A superb bass solo in the middle of the song. 8 minutes of absolute genius. Metallica really show their musical versatility on this song.
Closing song Damage Inc. is probably the fastest song on the album, with Lars' pulsating drums blending with the guitar almost effortlessly.
If you do not own this album already, you MUST buy it now. You will not be disappointed!
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