Sound — 7
This album is truly the start of thrash metal. There are heavy, speedy guitar riffs, powerful drum beats and ominous bass. This was a giant leap forward in the metal genre and this album (among other Metallica classics) has paved the way for many of todays metal bands such as Trivium and Slipknot. The tone is almost exactly the same for almost every track and even though the songs are high in quality you may find yourself thinking that they sound repetitive. There are ten tracks on this album and the only one that is noticeably different is the bass solo "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth". There are some exceptions in the songs were Metallica does throw some different sounds in. This only happens in the guitar solos however (which left me air-guitaring my heart out). In the whole album, I found that the songs that I couldn't wait to be over with were the longest and the better ones didn't last long enough.
Lyrics — 5
The lyrics are nothing to write home about. They give off a very angry impression, but not in the way that St. Anger sounds. It's indescribable the way they are written. It's as though the band members just sat around and completely exhausted their ideas on the first few songs that they wrote. However, no Metallica fan became a Metallica fan for the lyrics so this probably isn't a new concept to anyone. Nothing is sung but nor is anything screamed in a death metal sense. Sometimes you have to listen to the track several times before you truly know what Hetfield is trying to say ("Metal Militia" comes to mind). The lyrics in this album come no where near masterpieces such as "... And Justice For All" or songs like "Nothing Else Matters". If lyrics are a big part of your preferences then this may not be the album for you.
Overall Impression — 8
There is no doubt that Metallica has had a maaaaaaajor influence on todays metal music scene. Although this is Metallica's first album and a milestone in music, it isn't for everybody. If you're a fan of "Death Magnetic" or the black album (which I refuse to cal "Metallica") then this isn't the album for you. If you enjoy "Master of Puppets" then run out and pick this up as soon as possible if you don't already have it. There are songs that every fan should enjoy however. Such as "Seek and Destroy" or the bass solo "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth". The Lyrics are sometimes below pare but not to the point that it effects your listening experience. What really bites me is the repetition. You WILL be skipping tracks to get to your favorite songs, no matter what you start of thinking. I love the solos and the thoughts that come to mind when you realize that your listening to a piece of history. If I lost this album I probably wouldn't buy it again, but that's not to say that it's not worth buying at all. I can't stress enough how amazing some of these songs are. The only problem is that you're probably better of downloading select tracks from itunes. Bottom line: if you consider yourself to be a Metallica fan, you owe it to yourself to pick up this album and at least give it a try.