Sound — 9
A very good album in and of itself, "Metallica," better known as "The Black Album," is probably the second, maybe third, best album Metallica has put out ("Master Of Puppets" at #1 and "...And Justice For All" coming in at a close second). I was very pleased with the band's thrashy harmonies and wonderful bass parts. This was not my first Metallica album, although it sounded like it should have been. Although it does have probably the most overrated songs on it, i.e. "Enter Sandman," it impacted a whole generation of young metalheads and shredders. Now, I'd definitely have to give props to Kirk Hammet, his solos are very well thought out, even if they were a little laid-back this time around. James does a wonderful job playing rhythm and singing, in my opinion, and I will not deny that I do enjoy his vocal talents. Although, I could do without the little yelps that he lets out at every chorus or bridge, mind you. And although this album does not feature the Cliff Burton's marvelous bass work, Newstead does a pretty good job of picking up the slack, even if everything after this kinda slowed down a bit. But this album is definitely a must-have for Metallica fans, although I'm probably sure all of us do have it in our collection right now.
Lyrics — 8
I enjoyed the lyrics on this album a little more than some of the other albums. The songs were a bit slower, which opened the door for some ballads and more complex lyrics. "Nothing Else Matters," for example, although the most covered songs by little garage bands, has very intricate lyrics with a somber, slow overtone to it. And "The Unforgiven" is a very interesting ballad, since the verses start off hard and heavy, leading into the chorus, which is a very soft one. I fell in love with these songs first off, and I still believe that they are probably the best on the album, but that's coming from the guy who's songs all sound like suicidal love songs. Another song that stood out to me was "Of Wolf And Man." Although it seems to describe a sort of were-wolf/wolf-man sort of creature, it is a very catchy song that seems to be very different for Metallica. And of course songs like "Sad But True" and "The Struggle Within" were reminiscent of older albums with very generic lyrics. And as I said earlier, James is a very good singer. Not the best mind you, but a good one, nonetheless.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is a very good album if you want to hear thrash metal at a much more deeper level. The lyrics were definitely the stand-out feature of the album, although the riffs were just as catchy. But as I did say before, a very overrated album, but still a classic. I really had mixed feelings about this album, since it was slower and more mellow, and I did have a little animosity towards Newstead when I bought this album, but I loved how creative the songs were and how Hammet and Hetfield manage to pull off these stunning harmonies in every single song. So, if I ever lost this album, I'd consider buying it again, but I might just download six or seven of the songs that really hit me hard. I love the album, I'm just a little confused is all.