Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Metallica is Dead. Sad But True!

 Oh, I'm going to take some shots for this one...Before we get started, let me give you a summary of my view of Metallica. I think that with the albums Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, the band peaked. While And Justice For All is a good album, it was a serious letdown to be the followup to Master of Puppets. Although topping Master of Puppets is a pretty tall order, considering that album is one of the top 5 greatest metal albums of all time. I'm not even going to get into the bass guitar or lack thereof on And Justice For All.

Anyway, Metallica released the Black album next, and while it had to grow on me, I eventually accepted it as their third best album. It was certainly their best sounding album as far as production goes. After that, Load and Reload were released. They did grow on me to the point that if it were done by a band NOT called Metallica, they would be great albums. Both albums are good and solid metal albums. Then came St. Anger. WTF were they thinking? No guitar solos? Lars Ulrich's drums sound like he is beating on a garbage can, and the guitar sound is like nails on a chalkboard. By far, the WORST Metallica album to date.

In late 2007, we started hearing rumors coming out of the studio that Metallica was working on a juggernaut of a metal album, and that the answers to all of the fans prayers would be released later the next year. We all waited in anticipation. Finally, Death Magnetic was released, and we all bought it...only to be let down once again. The songs are unnecessarily long, with extra musical bits that don't really fit with the song, seemingly just to make the song longer. And, James Hetfield confirms what we all suspected after hearing St. Anger. He does not have the voice anymore. And, if you saw them live, you would agree. Lars is slower, and that is to be expected. He's 50 something years old, and the drum parts in the first 4 albums were among the fastest recorded at the time.

So, we are still waiting for that breakthrough return to form album. You might say that it isn't possible. You would be wrong. Earlier this year, an amazing return to form or reboot album was released by another band. Click here to find out who it is.

But, all this is not even why I am saying the band is dead. Death Magnetic did not suck, and Metallica still puts on a hell of a show live, even though it isn't as fast as it was. I'm saying they are dead because of things they have said and done in interviews, and behind the scenes.

It all started with S&M...Although I thought that was a pretty cool thing to do, lots of people thought Metallica playing with an orchestra was a major non metal moment. In fact, VH1 listed that as the #23 non metal moment of all time. Some songs sounded like a train wreck, like One. Others sounded great like For Whom The Bell TollsThe Scorpions and Deep Purple did it too.

 But, in my opinion, it started to go downhill with them in the Some Kind of Monster movie, where they showed scenes with Lars Ulrich and Dave Mustaine having a heart to heart. I thought they were going to hug and start crying. Later in the movie, James Hetfield was airing out his feelings like an after school special. Yep. That was the beginning of the end. In fact, here is a blog post written by a MAN no less, explaining why non metalheads will like the Monster movie. (the quote is also a link)

Next came VH1's #38 least metal moment. Avril Lavigne playing Fuel at Metallica's Icon dedication. Once again, I thought that was pretty cool. I know I'm not doing myself any favors or lending myself any credibility by saying that I think that these are pretty cool in a blog post where I am trying to make the case that Metallica is dead. Believe me. You will understand when I am finished. You know, Avril Lavigne is a rocker chick. She writes her own songs, and can actually play guitar well. I am not a fan of hers but based on the few songs I heard of hers back in 2003, I would rather hear her music than 90% of the crap that is on the radio today. I've never understood what VH1 had against her doing Fuel for that show.

Speaking of VH1's list of nonmetal moments, what I am leading up to would surely make number one on an updated list. This is worse than the current number one which is 1. Vince Neil Leads Giant Chicken Dance. 

Then came Lulu. Metallica releases an album with the late great Lou Reed. The burning question on everyone's mind was "WHY???" As the follow up to Death Magnetic, which was a letdown, this does not send a message of hope to the fans that somewhere underneath was the band that released Puppets and Lightning. One review states:
In qualitative terms, this album makes St Anger look like Master Of Puppets.

Nothing Else Matters crosses a line in my opinion. And, while Metallica can't control who covers their music, this whole mess could have been avoided if maybe...I don't know...METALLICA HAD NEVER WRITTEN THAT DAMN SONG IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!
Now, the band obviously can't control who covers their songs, but Macy Gray covering 

While that is bad, brace yourselves. This is the story that signals the demise of Metallica. No one should ever take them seriously again after this. What could be so horrible?

Drummer Lars Ulrich backed James up ... saying, "I think the kid's really talented and obviously to go through what he's going through at that early age must be a mindf**k. So the fact that he still goes out there and does it, I admire that and I think he's super talented, so I guess I am kind of a Belieber.”Bassist Robert Trujillo added "As long as he stays out of trouble, I'll be a Belieber.”  

Now, this whole story was started because of the picture above with Justin Bieber wearing the Metallica shirt, and a 20 second video clip of Beiber vocalizing the lead intro to Fade to Black. I don't see what is so special about that, but TMZ of course had to ask the band what they thought of it. Now, the METAL thing to say would have been along the lines of "Hey, its cool. We love all our fans, but if Bieber really is a Metallica fan, we'd love to hear some influence in his music." 

Instead, the band gave Bieber yet another ego stroking by enabling him to say "Even Metallica are Beliebers!" Its SAD BUT TRUE, and what's even worse is the possibility of yet another collaboration album. 

The thing that should not be...
So, RIP Metallica. Its been real. But unfortunately, the ONLY thing that can redeem you from this would be to release an album that ranks as the number 3 Metallica album behind Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. We won't hold our breath.

Rob Halford had it right on That Metal Show, when he said this: 

Although that was before Metallica came out as Justin Bieber fans. Had it been afterwards, he might have had something more to say other than what he did.

We'll miss you, Metallica, but we will still crank the good albums up to 11 and remember the good times. As for new music, we still have Megadeth. 

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