Anthrax's Ian: Metallica's 'Orion' Still Blows My Mind. Seriously, Did They Find Bottle of Beethoven Pills?!

"You have to remember that this was 1986 and they were breaking new ground."

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Anthrax's Ian: Metallica's 'Orion' Still Blows My Mind. Seriously, Did They Find Bottle of Beethoven Pills?!

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian sang praises of Metallica's 1986 classic "Master of Puppets" - especially its instrumental track "Orion" - saying (via Noisey):

"You have to remember that this was 1986 and they were breaking new ground.

"When I listen to a song like 'Master' or 'Sanitarium' now with 30 years of experience, it's easy to see what they did. But in 1986 it was E=MC2.

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"It was unfathomable. And I haven't even gotten to their masterpiece 'Orion' yet.

"Seriously, did they find a bottle of Beethoven pills?! How did they have the maturity to write an 8-and-a-half-minute instrumental that works?!

"'Orion' is moving, it's cohesive and exciting, and it is dynamic. My ears never even had a chance to get bored because Metallica made me wonder what was coming next."

"Orion" is often considered as one of Cliff Burton's most notable contributions to Metallica catalog. It was written by Cliff, James and Lars.

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42 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Seriously, did they find a bottle of Beethoven pills?"
    No they found Cliff
    Ian is right!!  master of puppets definitely not overrated. I have over listened to that album, that is all.
    Orion is definitely a favorite. Went to Metallica's Orion Festival in 2012 and they had the nerve to not play Orion either night. I ended up stabbing some homeless people that night.
    dude.. not funny
    In the early 2000's it was funny.
    seeing the replies, i assume this is a reference they didn't get. i don't get it either, so i get where they were coming from. give em a friggen break.
    I'm not even a metalhead anymore and that song is the greatest tits I have ever seen. 
     "My ears never even had a chance to get bored because Metallica made me wonder what was coming next."  Until they killed this buzz with Bob Rock and the Motley Crue transformation of 91'
    Mountain Trash
    I have made this same argument. 
    Notice how many kids love Bob Rock on this msg board.  Absolutely nuts.  They werent there in 91 when this album came out and the old school had had enough.  
    i know it's going to get me nothing but down-votes and death-threats from the "moral" and "enlightened" folk of UG, but "Orion" is perhaps the most boring instrumental i've ever heard. after 3 minutes of interesting, it turns into elevator music. yes, it's Cliff Burton and we should worship the ground he walked upon like he's Ronnie James Dio (according to all of you Burtonians, ie. the posers who dare call themselves "fans" of Metallica yet only like the three albums Burton was on), but it's still boring! just another reason why i can't stand master of puppets. most overrated Metallica album ever
    I disagree. Orion is a masterpiece and it has never bored me. And are you seriously calling metallica fans posers just because they like Cliff Burton? That is one of the dumbest things I ever heard. Most posers of bands probably can't even name a single member.
    This post is retarded. It's fine if you don't like Orion but then you had to go out your way to label people posers for only liking the first three records. It's their choice and you can't do anything about it. 
    i have a strong feeling this is bait but i feel the need to respond because i really wouldn't be surprised if someone actually thinks this. as someone who actually likes every metallica album to a some degree or another (lulu doesn't count, idc what anyone says) anyone who actively dislikes master is much more a poser than anyone who only likes the first 3-5 albums.
    I can see your point, to be honest. My fav instrumental though is the call of ktulu... 
    fair enough for having a different opinion man...I prefer roderigo e gabriella's accoustic version of Orion for example. Furthermore I kind of agree with you about the general stance towards 'Puppets. I've always preferred the Black Album (gasp shock horror, put ur pitch forks away). To me it had a much more crushing/heavier tone, Master always sounded a bit too nasally for me; not to mention in my mind the black album has aged far better than MoP has 
    I find the slow middle section a lot more interesting than the intro riffing. But I don't think Metallica has that great instrumentals in general. I find them pretty repetitive and IMO they don't progress enough. The feeling I get from most of their instrumentals is that they are just songs that lack vocals. To me it's exactly those slow melodic middle parts that justify the lack of vocals - they are usually the only parts of the instrumentals that actually work really well (besides guitar solos).
    You know, it's interesting that you call them "repetitive", as I find myself thinking that that's the reason Metallica's instrumentals have so much impact. They don't go wildly in many different directions to the point where you lose the central construct of the song. Now, more technical instrumentals can still be exciting. But there's something to be said about something that sticks in your head because it's a constant, flowing piece.  But that's how I hear it. Someone else will hear something totally different. That's the beauty of it all.
     You mean the band that put out some of the greatest riffs in metal during the 80's and still holds well today? Also what do you mean that their songs doesn't progress enough? The reason why those three records (Lightning, Puppets and Justice) was still regarded as classics today is because of the songwriting and how well structured the songs was even for Thrash songs where a lot of Thrash bands just put songs but nothing but thrash, thrash, thrash, Metallica's songwriting and structures are more distinct. Songs such as Ride The Lightning, Fade to Black, Trapped Under Ice, Call of Ktulu, Master of Puppets, Disposable Heroes, Orion and a whole lot of fucking tracks in Justice proves that their songs has good progression even though they're really not a prog band. 
    Yes, and I never said otherwise. But my point was that their instrument tracks are pretty repetitive for instrumentals. For example Call of Ktulu repeats the same two sections over and over again without really much new happening. Same with To Live Is to Die. Those pieces have their moments, but I think they have too little happening in them to justify the length. I don't think Orion is a bad piece of music. I just think their vocal tracks are where they are at their best.
    don't you just love it when rockstars/popstars/metlaheads compare some work to classical music when in that context it would be simplistic af because even intermediate classical pieces feature more compositional complexity than 99% of "popular" music. The only two songs I found that I could maybe see on the same compositional level of classical music are Close to the Edge by Yes and Fracture by King Crimson, and even CTTE has a problem that it is using a compositional form (sonata form) that at the point in time was 100 to 150 years old Disclaimer: I enjoy both for what they are and in their context, just don't embarrass yourself by saying smth is as complex as *insert random entry level classical piece that first came to mind to the person giving the interview*
    Could you be more pretentious? He wasn't comparing it for complexity, he was comparing them for how they sound and the fact that most classical music was instrumental (which is why he points out that Metallica in their early 20s made an incredible 8 minute instrumental piece). Don't embarrass yourself by talking about an article when you have your facts wrong. I'm impressed that you've heard 100% of all music, since you can list out a statistic based on your opinion on complexity regarding all music of all time. Very impressed.
     lol it's not like he was saying that the song is as complex as many classical pieces(which is complex because of how many instruments needed to play and to be harmonized) it's just that slow instrumental melody of Orion would probably something that would come from a classical piece instead of a rock/metal band.