Sound — 10
Hetfeild's aggressive rhythm style is complimented perfectly by Burtons thundering bass and Hammett's intricate lead work. Ulrich's drumming also never fails to impress. You have to admire the technicality and intricacy of the album. Thick and muscular, and the material varies enough in texture and tempo to hold interest through all its twists and turns. The songs fit and come together magnificently.
Lyrics — 10
Dealing with the overall theme of manipulation, being used and the fear and powerlessness that comes along with it, the lyrics are astonishingly deep and meaningful. Hetfeild's delivery is flawless, his menacing voice becoming part of the song rather than taking over
Overall Impression — 10
Listening To the beautiful opening acoustic guitar harmony of Battery, you start to wonder if it's the right CD you're listening to, then the distortion kicks in and you know you're in for a wild ride. Thrash at its finest, the song charges on at break neck speed breaking through the boundaries and is arguably one of the best pure thrash songs ever written. Battery finally breaks down into the title track, Master Of Puppets. A song about drug addiction and how it controls your life, its, for a lack of words, breath taking. Opening with the most unforgettable power chords in metal history the song races on at breakneck speed, only slowing down for the clean bridge section that has become somewhat of a Metallica trademark. What follows is the shear menace of The thing that should not be. Following in the same vein as The Call of the Ktulu, it's a song about the mythical sea monsters featured in the works of writer H.P. Lovecraft. The next song Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (about an institutionalized metal hospital patient), from the unforgettable melodic solo's through out, the use of the quite/loud dynamic, to how the song gets progressively heavier, is akin to Fade To Black in more ways than one. After the fury of Disposable Heroes (a war song from the perspective of a soldier), and the dementia of Leper Messiah (dealing with the subject of televangelists who use people's guilt to con them out their money), the album finally comes to the beautiful instrumental, Orion. Incorporating the late Cliff Burtons lead bass style though out, it is considered one of Cliff's finest and most personal works. Being the song chosen by the band to be played at his funeral, listening to this masterpiece is bittersweet. The end album begins ends as it began with the tear-down-walls-holy-shit-this-songs-fast thrash of Damage, Inc. I'd have to say the claim that this is one of the best albums on the face of the earth is justified. Extremely well rounded, every single song is epic (not a single one runs below the 5 minute mark) and is each a masterpiece unto itself. If you like metal (even a teensy weensy bit) or if you just like good music, buy this album. You won't regret it.