Sound — 9
As expected of any Metallica album, the sound is well produced and plenty heavy, it may not be as thrashy master of puppets or the other early metallica albums, but this doesn't mean this album is rubbish, quite the opposite, there are many good riffs on this album, from the over-played "Enter Sandman" and sinister "Sad But True" to songs like "Of Wolf and Man". The bass and drums in this album aren't as showy as previos Metallica material but this doesn't necessarily ruin the album, in fact, it helps us focus more deeply on the guitars and vocals, which are very well done on the album. Metallica = Kirk Hammett = Killer Solos, this assumption would hold true as indeed there are great solos in every song. The solos range from lengthy shred in "The God That Failed" to some sweet licks as heard in "Enter Sandman", James even manages to do a solo in "Nothing Else Matters", which is a great emotional solo inside a beautiful ballad, so as said before, great sound on this album that really shouldn't be judged down simply it's not as heavy as the earlier Metallica stuff.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrics are a hard one on this album, some of them are pretty well thought out and put together whilst others just seem all over the place. Not a strong point of the album but I don't think it actively ruins the music so I'd let it go. But since it's Metallica why not just focus on the sound anyway?
Overall Impression — 9
Metallica by Metallica. Probably one of the most special metal albums ever released, why? because it provides the gap between hard rock and good old thrash, but lot's of people don't seem to appreciate it just because it isn't "heavy enough". Please do not hold that kind of assumption when listening to this album, it's a fine piece of work that helped the band reach new heights of success and as such it should be seen as a good album with many inspiring guitar licks, interesting rthym and sound, which it is.