Sound — 9
Well, let's see, why am I reviewing this totally vulgar display of awesomeness, this feast of speed metal mayhem? Okay, if you hadn't guessed already, I find this CD, Metallica's Master Of Puppets, one of the best CDs I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. Overall, the CD touches every base. On the 'breathtaking speed' side, there's Battery, Damage Inc., the title track, and Disposable Heroes, the first two starting out with an acoustic introduction. Both songs rage with speed, power, great drumming, thanks to Lars Ulrich. It is an innovative sound, crossing hardcore thrash with something slightly more mainstream. Orion, the instrumental, is a good tune, a stage classic, a memento to bass master (RIP) Cliff Burton, who died in a tour bus crash just months after the release. The other songs (The Thing That Should Not Be, Leper Messiah, and Welcome Home (Sanitarium)) are slower, but still packed with anger and aggression, still sounding better than their post-1991 sound even at the same tempos. There is no weak point (at all) on this CD. It's straight-up awesomeness! The only complaint I have about the album's sound is that guitars could have been more distorted for an even heavier sound, but it was the 1980s, so it's cool. Lars' drumming is good. But not Dave Lombardo (of Slayer) good.
Lyrics — 9
Oh, God. James Hetfield must be one hell of a multi-tasker. Writing lyrics about insanity, death, and destruction, then playing amazing rhythm guitar tracks while singing said lyrics takes a special kind of talent. Hetfield's vocals are arguably the best of the thrash pack's, over Slayer's shouting, Anthrax's half-shouted, half-sung (high sung), and Megadeth's growly, slightly whiny vocals. Hetfield has an unmistakable growl here that spouts out lyrics with a vengeance. He adds little tidbits here and there that make the songs even more effective. Group-shouted vocals in Battery also help. The lyrics themselves are clean (aside from Damage, Inc.) so those with nosy parents are well-off, and though not as, say, interesting, as those of Slayer or Megadeth, they are well-written and powerful.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this CD is a definite buy for any metalhead. It ranks up in my top three beside Slayer's masterful Reign In Blood and Led Zeppelin's immortal IV. I overall, can't say I hate anything here (surprising for one as critical as myself). Master of Puppets, Battery, and Damage Inc. and superb masterpieces that rock harder than ever before in Metallica's lifetime (and, ironically, ever since). Sadly, this CD (after a friend borrowed it), broke when I was carrying it in my pocket and someone kicked the same pocket. I cried when I looked at it afterwards. So yes, it's that good. Buy it now, it's probably not just the best Metallica, thrash, or metal album, but the best thing to come out of the '80s, like, ever.