METALLICA - Master Of Puppets - Album Review
For me "Master Of Puppets" is one of the most important metal albums of all time, from one of ‘the’ most important metal bands in history.
I’m fortunate to have been partner in a professional recording studio for 20 years where we used certain bands as reference points for production and final mix-down purposes. These guys popped up regularly when discussing the dynamics of the recording process with up & coming bands who were striving to get that huge wall of sound effect.
38 years from this album landed and Metallica continue to set the benchmark that young bands aspire to reach.
My first introduction to these titans of metal was the incredible album "Ride The Lightning", which my little 13 years old ears were completely blown away by. I listened to this early example of thrash on repeat until I knew the album chord for chord and word for word. I’ve been known to still offer a full-blown drunken rendition of "Fade To Black" at gatherings, much to the horror of the other members of the church congregation.
2 years later "Master Of Puppets" landed and along with my broken voice and newly acquired acne, things in my world changed dramatically.
This album kicked the bollocks out of everything else in my world that year and brought with it a new found attitude, which was starting to realise the importance of confidence and assertiveness when pursuing your passions, regardless of how loud they were.
I was heavily influenced by Tommy Vance’s weekly radio show on Radio 1 and would have taped it religiously every week and listened back on repeat all through the following week. To have an entire weekly show like that on the biggest station in the UK dedicated to rock & metal was testament to how important this scene was in the 80's.
21 year old Lars Ulrich’s drumming on this album, where sometimes completely attention seeking and at times bordering on the OTT, is nonetheless astounding. The twists, utterly filthy hooks, and sharp direction changes in the songs never give you a proper chance to get too relaxed into a song, which is a lot of what Metallica are all about. There’s just a different level of intensity and dirt about this album that I still can’t get enough of to this day.
The title track takes you on a journey through dynamic shifts and intricate guitar work, while songs like "Battery" and "Disposable Heroes" deliver intense energy and aggression. The album's lyrical themes explore darker subjects such as control, addiction, and war, adding incredible depth to its full on sonic assault.
I was in complete awe of the band when I finally got to see them at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena in 2010 and still find myself in awe of them every time I listen to pretty much all of their albums.
Every track on this album is a 100% monster!