CD-WOW are currently having an offer on Metallica albums, with much of their back catalogue being offered for £3.99. These include the albums Metallica (aka the Black album), Load, Reload and Master Of Puppets. It is rare for many of these titles to be discounted so low, e.g. next best for the Black album is £6.98 (Amazon), next best for Master Of Puppets is £8.95 (Play.com) etc.
Originally released in 1991, 'Metallica' (also known as the'Black Album') was the band's fifth studio LP and the one which gave them their first taste of commercial success. Along with producer Bob Rock, the band had defiantly walked awayfrom the progressive thrash metal they had become known for, choosing simplified arrangements with a more mainstream sound. Includes the singles 'Enter Sandman', 'Nothing Else Matters' and 'Sad But True'.
Master Of Puppets:
Metallica's irresistible rise to the top continued with this enigmatic 1986 album. A constant touring unit by this point, their combination of light and dark and their deft staccato delivery, especially on the title track, came brusquely through. Their ever-lengthening arrangements (three songs came in at over eight minutes), bolstered by the precise snap of Hetfield's vocals, testified to their undeniable power. The striding "Battery", the darkly lit "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", as well as the complex instrumental, "Orion", all gavepowerful testament to their ever-developing skill and vision.
The kings of speed metal have never been keen on being labeled, and LOAD, which follows up the 1991 mega-hit METALLICA,is a surprising pastiche of sonic fury. Metallica still rocks hard. James Hetfield's lyrics are still full of venom andanger, and the music still could scare small children. But the band is ready to show off other sides of its craft. "Hero Of The Day" sounds like an R.E.M. song, albeit a heavy one, with its tender beginning and ending confluence of harmonised vocals and catchy guitar riffs. A dose of the blues can be heard in the slow-burning "Bleeding Me", and a downright country twang pervades "Mama Said".
Still, this is a metal album, and there are headbanging riffs o'plenty. LOAD may seem like a departure from the Metallica "norm", but it's actually what the band has been doing all along: writing well-crafted songs without a regard for what others think. The only difference is that the one-time denizens of the underground now have the world's rapt attention.
When Metallica recorded 1996's LOAD, the studio sessions were fruitful enough for the band to put out two records. A year and a half later, RELOAD is the inevitable follow-up. Stretching beyond Metallica's speed metal roots, RELOAD is a continuation of the experimentation that dismayed many old fans and welcomed in many new ones. As a result, many Metallicafirsts are reached on their eighth album. Some anomalies include recruiting the legendary Marianne Faithfull to contribute backing vocals on "The Memory Remains" and the addition of hurdy-gurdy and violin to the mix of the wistful "Low Man's Lyric". Throughout all this experimentation, Metallica still plays hard and fast, particularly on the metal groove of"Fuel" and the relentless pounding of "Where The Wild Things Are", (a title borrowed from children's author Maurice Sendak). Metallica continues to reinvent itself in a genre where mediocrity is always just around the corner.
(Note: Ride The Lightning and Kill 'em All are also still on offer at CDWOW for £3.99)