Kill 'Em All review by Metallica

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  • Released: Jul 25, 1983
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (343 votes)
Metallica: Kill 'Em All

Sound — 9
The album that started a legacy still (somewhat) alive today. This is Metallica's debut album which featured the classic line-up which (and I'm sure many will agree with me) was also the most kick-ass line-up: Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton(RIP) and James Hetfield. Growing up I unfortunatly did not have this one and I didnt aquire it until I was about 14 or 15 (I'm 20 now), and once I popped it into my stereo, I developed a newfound love for Metallica's sound and overall skills in the world of thrash metal. Although a bit muddy, Metallica's sound on this album could have been much worse. Aside from the slight muddiness this album was awesome with some absolutely killer solos by kirk, and james seems to scream the most on this album compared to others. Awesome starting album. On a different note, Kirk Hammett did not join Metallica until after this album was written as Megadeths evental lead guitarist/singer Dave Mustaine is credited with a few of the songs, and Cliff wasn't the original bassist either, they had a guy named Ron Mcgovney playing bass, but I'm pretty sure he didn`t contribute to "Kill 'Em All" and that was back while they were still paying thier dues out in small clubs.

Lyrics — 10
Considering it's their debut, the lyrics on "Kill 'Em All" were pretty good. A younger, more aggressive and angry James Hetfield screames a lot of his lyrics out on this one. As I usually like to do, I'm going to give a song-by-song breakdown of what I believe the song may be about and what I find kick-ass (or horrible) about it (by the way they're not in the exact same order as the album). 01. Hit The Lights - sort of fades into this song. I'm not sure what its about but I thought it was just killer and the soloing through-out by Hammett is amazing especially the last one to end the song. 02. The Four Horsemen - a classic tune and riff. Longest song on the album at over 7 minutes in length. Talks about the apocalypse. 03. Metal Militia - great tune to headbang to with killer riffs and drumming. Another I wasn't sure on for the meaning. 04. Whiplash - almost sounds the same as "Militia", but its a cool song nonetheless. Talks about Metallica ruling the heavy metal world and all its ups and downs. 05. Phantom Lord - not sure what its about (possibly the name of a band James was in before Metallica) but it's got a cool intro and a pretty cool solo. 06. Pulling Teeth - bass and drums are all this song is with Lars (or Cliff) at the beginning saying "bass solo, take one". Killer track and its a shame that cliff only did this kind of song once, I would have liked to hear him and Lars jam more like that. 07. Seek And Destroy - every Metallica fan knows this riff to either hear it or play it as its one of Metallica's coolest intro riffs. Talkes about mass destruction, fighting and just overall kicking ass. Fav song on this album by far. 08. No Remorse - 2nd longest song on this album. Reallly great solo to start this one off. 2nd fav as well. I'm not sure but I think this song was titled after a Motorhead album. 09. Motorbreath - cool but a little short compared to other Metallica classics. Another song talking about life on the road as a heavy metal band. Good songs throughout, short but one of thier sweetest albums by far.

Overall Impression — 10
This was a great debut. As a band, they had it bang on from the beginning and well this is technically thier beginning (I've heard their demo with Dave Mustaine and Ron Mcgovney, thier bassist before Cliff). Well done, albiet a bit muddy on the overall sound, but hey it's thrash metal from 1983, 3 years before I was a twinkle in my old mans eye, so I really can't (and won't) hold that against this work of early heavy metal art. Before "Kill 'Em All" was brought forth, lead guitarist Hammett took guitar lessons from the living legend Joe Satriani and it seemed to have helped in bringing forth this awesome but kinda short Metallica album. Good work on this one.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I hate that, in the middle of a review for Kill 'em All someone says that its way better than St Anger or any other Metallica wannabe grunge/nu-metal. What the hell!
    great album, but i think "...and justice for all" is the best, followed by "master of puppets".....or maybe the other way around...either way, both great albums, and so is this. metallica kicks ass \m/
    Metallica HAS remastered the first five albums, what you want is a remix and remaster, like what Dave Mustaine did with Megadeth's Capitol catalog.