Sound — 9
This record has an amazing sound. Every instrument is well defined, you can hear everything at an adecuate sound. Soundwise they improved a lot since past albums, and musically they changed, forming a record which, to me, isn't as good as Master of Puppets or ... And Justice for all. Although they slowed down, these songs are heavy metal and great for headbanging. James Hetfield does an amazing rythm playing, very nice riffs, not as complex as previous albums but more catchy. His voice is amazing in this record. He actually learned to sing and although he won't bark that much anymore he'll give the right power to the lyrics. He also plays one of my favorite solos, although simple, in Nothing Else Matters. There a few nice harmonies too. Lars won't be playing as complex as on ... And Justice for All but he does pound greatly into his drumms. Definetly the album where he achieved his greatest sound. But he played very simply almost throughout the entire record. Kirk does a good job too. He does a great job on the wah, he may help himself a bit too much with it but he surely knows how to handle it, and he likes doing it so. His solos on this record are pretty much structured in the same way. The best solos he plays are probably Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam and Struggle Within. Jason improved a lot. He does a great job on My Friend On Misery and for the rest of the record he pounds greatly and he is heard at a good sound in this record, contrary to... And Justice For All. Although I hate pick playing in a bass player, and I prefer melodic finger players, I have to admit that jason pounds my ass off on this record. Enter Sandman: I miss acoustic or playback intros on previous 3 records enter sandman starts great. I Love the way the song grows riff by riff into the main riff. When the main riff attacks you have to start headbanging, you don't even notice that it is actually slower. The drumms in the intro help the mood of growing. Then James starts singing about nightmares with a great voice. During the bridge between verses, Kirk gives in with a great lead, and does a couple more in the second verse. Then he kicks your ass with the solo. Simple with an amazing wah work. Then a slow part with a prayer, adequate for the mood of the song. A silent to draw in the main riff again. A last chorus and an amazing outro which plays the intro riffs in backward sequence until it fades out. Sad But True: A Hard intro prepares you to a heavy heavy song. The riff is a heabanging special. Slow and repetitive but very heavy. Lars perdforms a couple of nice simple fills. Lyrics are great in this song being about all obscure parts within ones self. The guitar parts in the chorus are very well suited for the song. After the second verse there's a great interlude, great riffs kick into the 1st solo. A middle section with multiple repeating voices singing the chorus heard, and a second solo, shorter but also amazing. Then a last verse and chorus, main riff and the song ends with lars pounding his snare. Holier Than Thou: Althoug Speed is back in this song it won't raise any emotions, at least to me. The Riffs are fast, the bass pounds greatly, the lyrics are great about gossip talking but I get bored with the song. The solo is well suited but also nothing special. The Unforgiven: The Number 4 track on the records is a ballad for previous 3 records, and this is no exception. Great ballad, with very great acoustics, very complex arpeggios, and an inverse structure as off previous ballads. This time The verse is heavy and the Chorus is calm. The middle section of the song includes a great solo, one of kirks best, a great clean part and a kick ass very classic hard part. The back up riff is very good too. As oposed to past ballads, which grow in the end into a complete pandemonium, this song repeats the chorus and ends with very nice strumming and a repeated lead. Wherever I May Roam: And a surprise. Metallica brings in other kinds of instruments. The intro soundsvery nice with gongs, some cool noices and a sitar. When suddenly Lars Pounds his snare and the rest of the band plays the main riff slowly, before speeding it up. As Enter Sandman this song sounds faster that it really is. The Riffs are very amazing, previous to the verse some arpeggios are played and some whispers are heard, before having an almost clean verse with other great arpeggios. Another verse chorus sequence and a great harmonized middle section. The chorus is repeated and Kirk comes in with a great use of wah, tapping, hamer ons, pull offs and bends, the sound of the solo is also very good, there is a last verse and the outro. As many other outros on the record, james just repeats the main part and kirk starts playing another solo. The song fades out. Don't Tread On Me: This song is great, if you go to a show you won't hear it for sure, James doesn't like it, I don't know why. The riffs ressemble those of lepper messiah and the structure it self but not as great. Jason handles very nice pounding in this song. There are amazing leads and the riffs have very nice scaled patterns. The solo is great, very heavy use of wah. Through The Never: Another fast song, very repetitive. I Actually don't pay much attntion to this song. That doen't mean it's not good. James barks again in this song, his riffs are not that great. Drumms are simple. The solo is nice, a couple of ppalm muted scales and some artificial harmonics. The middle section is the best part, where every one sings "on through the never". Nothing Else Matters: James love song. Very nice song about love in a relationship. The song starts of with great arpeggios growing into the verse. The verse consists of three main strophes, in which the first has just simple guitar arpegios, the second has a great harmonie on top of the arrpegios and the third has some acoustic strums on top. James sings very nicely, having his top performance in the chosus. In The second verse just the firs strophe is played and then the chorus. I don't know why the lyrics are only repeated in the song instead of having more lyrics but the song is great as it is. There is a very great middle section. Up to this point there has been a lot of orchestration by Michael Kaeman, the S&M guy, doing a great job. The third verse repeats the second and third strophes with a more sentimental voice to it, a larger chorus and a nice shout before dropping into the Solo. This solo is played by james amazingly shreding his guitar, and kirk performing an amazing back up riff. The song ends with a last verse (1st strophe) over some great harmonies to end with the first part of the intro being played over and over. Of Wolf And Man: This song starts by everyone smashing his instrument. The song is simple and repetitive with nice riffs, great howling, but also bores me a little bit. The solo is very simple, and well suited. Lars does some nice fills in this song. The God That Failed: Very great intro by Jason and Lars, and great riff by James. This song has great scales in the riffs, very metal calssic. The Lyrics and the singing are definitely mad at god. The chorus is great, with instrumental pauses and great voice by james, very powerfull. This solo is also very complex, this doesn't mean it's hard to play, but Kirk handles great the sound. The chorus is repeated, and the song ends to the shout of Betrayal, and a great Chord Played clean at the end. My Friend Of Misery: This is probably Jason's trademark. Another kind of ballad, it's heavy and the riffs are very good although the best par is the Middle Section. James voice is very good in the song, changing moods constantly. The middle section consists of clean arpeggios and melodies. The solo is a dissorted section with a great mood on the song. The Struggle Within: Thrash is back. As it is common on Metallica records up to 1991, the last song on the record was complete pandemonium. Struggle is just a fast song with great riffs, and a great militar intro with snares and harmonies. This solo is one of the best on the record having a very well defined structure. And just like that, the record ends
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics have no main concept in this record. There are love songs, hate songs, and many themes are displayed. Nightmares, troubles within, gossiping, self psicological punishment, being a nomad, love, and anger against god. James sings greatly, this time he actually uses his voice as an instrument. He is able of changing moods suddenly making his singing less monotone this time.
Overall Impression — 9
This is an amazing record although it's not as good as Master Of Puppets or... And Justice For All, evethough the sound is much better. The best songs are Wherever I May Roam, Nothing Else Matters, The God That Failed, and Struggle Within. Some songs on this record are too monotonous and boring, Holier Than Thou and Through The Never. I can't help but blaming this record for changing Metallica's style, although I understand that an artist cannot spend his entire career doing the same thing over and over. They might not become better but they have to grow. You're gonna blame me for not giving this record a 10 but I can't give a ten if there are boring songs.