First - 7/10
Second - 8/10
Red - 9/10
Blue - 9/10
Yellow & Green - 7.5/10
Purple - 8/10
Gold & Grey - 4.5/10
Orchid - 7/10
Morningrise - 8.5/10
My Arms, Your Hears - 9/10
Still Life - 10/10
Blackwater Park - 9.5/10
Damnation - 8/10
Deliverance - 6.5/10
Ghost Reveries - 9/10
Watershed - 7/10
Heritage - 3/10
Pale Communion: 6/10 (was 5/10 on first listen, I've warmed up to this album in recent years, Faith in Others has some great parts)
In Cauda Venenum: 8/10
The run from My Arms Your Hearse to Ghost Reveries is so strong.
Agreed for the most part, not a big fan of Deliverance. I haven't listen to it in a long time, I should probably revisit it.
I think Morningrise is great. The only thing holding it back from a 9 (maybe a 9.5) is the production, and the drums are sometimes sloppy or poorly arranged imo.
Gonna do another @TTK style discography retrospective, and I picked this band mostly because for whatever reason I’ve been returning to and re-evaluating a lot of their albums this year.
Kill 'Em All — 6/10 (Not a bad album, but super rudimentary. The songs here that are considered classics by fans, "Four Horsemen" and "Search and Destroy" in particular, are just super played out and stale for me at this point. Only moment that excites me at all is "Pulling Teeth", mostly due to Cliff. Not a bad debut I guess but I'll take the debuts from Slayer and Anthrax over this any day of the week.)
Ride the Lightning — 8.5/10 (One of the first metal albums I ever got my hands on, and I still remember what it felt like to hear for the first time. "Fight Fire With Fire" still gives me that rush that I got the first time, as do many of the other tracks like "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Trapped Under Ice" and "Creeping Death". I've honestly never been a huge fan of "Fade to Black" but as we'll get into later I'm generally not a fan of Metallica's ballads. Everything else here though, is flames.)
Master of Puppets — 8.5/10 (Maybe underrating this, but I just don't like "Leper Messiah" that much. It feels like thrash metal dad rock to me for whatever reason, maybe it's the groove that doesn't do a lot for me. If that was off this would easily be a 9; the first side is sheer perfection, and "Battery" is another all-time favorite album opener. And "Disposable Heroes" is a good candidate for my favorite song these guys have ever done. And "Orion" is easily their best instrumental track. Its classic status is very well-deserved.)
...And Justice For All — 6.5/10 (Yeah the production on this makes it borderline unlistenable for me. Just the flattest, thinnest mainstream metal album I've ever heard. Listening to the guy who mixed this album talk about it in this video just makes me lament what could have been had idiots like Lars not been given so much creative control. The songs themselves, for the most part, are great (except "One", but again I dislike virtually all of their ballads so adjust accordingly). If Cliff were still alive I feel like we would've seen another terrific album, or at least if Lars, James and Kirk hadn't been such bitches to Jason we would've gotten a pretty good one. But of course this wouldn't be the last time the band has dabbled in godawful production.)
Black Album — 6.5/10 (Well, at least the production is better here, even if it's arguably overproduced (which is Bob Rock's thing, I guess). But almost half of these songs I just can't stand--the ballads are the sappiest crap the band has ever written, and I never ever want to hear "Enter Sandman" again. But there are a couple real gems here--"The God That Failed" is by far the best track here and an easy contender for their best post-Puppets track ever. "Holier Than Thou", "Through the Never" and "Don't Tread on Me" are pretty good, and as overplayed as they are "Sad But True" and "Wherever I May Roam" still bang for the most part. But yeah, too much of this is just a big ol' meh for me nowadays.)
Load/Reload — 5 I guess?/10 (I haven't listened to these albums since either middle school or early high school. I keep meaning to go back to them and re-evaluate 'em, but it's extremely hard to muster up the energy for a bunch of post-grunge mediocrity. "Fuel" goes kinda hard I guess. I dunno, I don't ride enough Harleys to like music like this I guess.)
St. Anger — 2/10 (Pretty much as bad as the legend would have it, though I begrudgingly admit that I kinda like "Frantic". Everything else though is pure dogshit, with a lotta tracks like "Invisible Kid" being downright hilarious. There's an odd sort of nakedness to James Hetfield's vocals here, but that quality quickly devolves into hypermasculine whininess. The album just screams of misplaced ego, with James turning the brooding cringe factor up to 11 and Lars pushing his godawful drum timbres to the forefront of the mix for no good reason. Listening to this dude's snare tone becomes literally migraine-inducing. This is just the worst example of the dudebro faux-sensitivity that was all the rage in the 2000s post-grunge landscape. And did I mention this album goes on for 11 friggin hours?)
Death Magnetic — 4/10 (Awful production again, except it's awful in a different way. St. Anger had awful drum timbres and mud poop guitar tones, but at least it had *some* dynamic range. Here, Rick Rubin just Rick Rubins all over this thing, pushing everything into the red for no good reason. As an example, "The Day That Never Comes" (a classic terrible Metallica ballad) legitimately sounds louder than most songs on Ride the Lightning. It's not like the songs are that good anyway—the only one I can ever see myself jamming to is "All Nightmare Long"—but Death Magnetic is pretty underrated in the conversation of terribly produced rock albums.)
Lulu — 8/10 (Yep, you read that right. I'll get the demerits out of the way--the production, by Greg Fidelman (who also ruined Slayer's World Painted Blood and High on Fire's Snakes for the Divine), is not that great, and makes these songs sound unnecessarily rough and almost demo-quality this time. And there are moments of James' backing vocals not working at all—the "small down girrrrrl" bit on the first track is a prime example, and it makes it easy to see why a lotta people mocked this right out the gate. With that out of the way, this is Lou Reed's Blackstar, and it really deserves to be read in those terms. Lou's lyrics are as sick and twisted as he is known for, but also as melancholic and mournful as he is also known for. Tracks like "Cheat on Me" and especially "Junior Dad" have an undeniable emotional power that's impossible for me to shake. Lou's wails of calling himself "the greatest disappointment" on that latter track straight up made me cry the last time I heard it. And there are some real ragers on here too, with "Pumping Blood", "Mistress Dread", "Iced Honey" and other tracks having genuinely some of the strongest Metallica instrumentals in years. And Lou is just a barking madman on those tracks, which creates a volatile atmosphere that is unlike most other albums I can think of. Lulu is just a truly singular release, and it's a shame that even after 8 years most people still refuse to look beyond the surface of this thing. I seem to be looking at this more as a Lou Reed album than as a Metallica album, but one of the things I find so moving about this album is the deference and respect they give to Lou. For this famously egotistical band, Lulu is an astonishingly egoless album, and they do not get nearly enough appreciation for that.)
Hardwired...To Self Destruct — didn't listen/10 (None of the singles were good and everything made it seem like this was just gonna be fan service to the meatheads that trashed Lulu, so nah don't care. Will probably listen eventually, but until then, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)
Great write up, especially on Lulu,
fuck the haterz
I agree with pretty much everything except And Justice For All
Wait manatee does that mean you’re also on my side re: Lulu???
(also you think AJFA’s production is good??????)
Re: AJFA: I don’t like the production all that much but the songs are so good.
That’s exactly what I said, I only have it rated relatively low because the production is so bad.
As for lulu, I couldn’t get into it, but David Bowie once said it was a misunderstood masterpiece and one of his favorite Lou Reed albums
yeah I think Laurie Anderson said Bowie thought it was Lou’s greatest work. You can absolutely see where he took cues from that album on Blackstar.
The College Dropout - 9/10
Late Registration - 10/10
Graduation - 8.5/10
808s and Heartbreak - 7/10
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - 8.5/10
Watch the Throne - 5/10
Yeezus - 8.5/10
The Life of Pablo - 7.5/10
ye - 6.5/10
Kids See Ghosts - 9/10
Jesus Is King - 4/10