Sound — 10
At some point in their career, a band may take a step in a new direction. This was Metallica's big change, and I'm very glad they took it. I'm not saying they're first four albums were bad or simply "not good", not at all. Anyways, the music on this record is quite different than that of their previous releases. The songs are shorter, they use the wah pedal a lot more, and the guitar riffs are easier to play. These are definitely riffs people will hear 10, 20, 30 years from now and think, "That's Metallica!" when they hear them. James and Kirk are guitar gods.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are also very different. They are no longer the fiercely anti-war, CNN type things that appeared on Kill'em, Lightning, Puppets, and Justice. James Hetfield decided to dig a little deeper and find other things to write about. This time, the lyrics focus more on life, fear, love (Nothing Else Matters), and other such things.
Overall Impression — 10
This is not only one of my favorite Metallica albums, it is one of my favorite albums period. This is definitely one of the most impressive albums ever made. The best songs are, obviously, Enter Sandman, Sad But True, The Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam, Nothing Else Matters, and The God That Failed is also a badass song. This album is absolutely flawless. Get this album. Get it, get it, get it, get it. No Metallica collection should ever be complete without it.