Saturday, August 23, 2008
Oh Metallica, How I Loath Thee
The band you see to the left there is Metallica. They are the band that I grew up with, the sole human beings who opened my eyes to the world of heavy metal. Before Maiden, before In Flames, before all there was Metallica. No, I'm not saying they were before any metal band in existence, I'm talking on a small scale here. With my measly $10 I had saved up I went out and bought my first honest to god album at the tender age of 5 (and no, I'm not exaggerating...this is how it happened.) That album, fairly new at the time, was "Kill Em All". Then I discovered other metal bands, like Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, and Anthrax. My brother was the Maiden fanatic. I preferred the heavier end back then, and Metallica were the epitome of heavy. When "Master of Puppets" came out, it seemed that perfection had been reached. Nobody thought that Metallica could top this masterpiece of metal. So, alas, Cliff Burton died and so did Metallica. They didn't top "Master of Puppets", and, after one acceptible album called "....And Justice For All" something horrible happened. Bob Rock entered the life of the four already seasoned metallers, and one of the most popular albums by any band of any genre was created. I fucking hated it. This was NOT thrash, it was NOT fucking Metallica! Who was this country singer on vocals? Where were the fast paced songs, the ripping guitar solos, and who gave Kirk a wah pedal? Many people think Metallica started with this "Black Album", as it came to be known. Those people should be punched repeatedly in the face. Okay, actually somebody just needs to play them "Puppets" or "Lighting" and show them what Metallica really sound like. Anyway, I'm getting a bit off track here. After "The Black Album" came "Load". At this point, I still considered Metallica to be my favorite band. I hated the "Black Album" but I refused to admit it. "Load" was the last straw. "The Memory Remains" was the first single and it made me want to vomit. It was like something off of the last album, only even WORSE! I tore down my Metallica posters and replaced them with Maiden posters. What had I been thinking? Metallica over Iron Fucking Maiden? I was shamed. "Re-Load" was, astonishingly, even worse than "Load". "S&M" was like a Spinal Tap parody of heavy metal, "Garage Inc." seemed like Metallica were actually making fun of themselves when they recorded "Garage Days re-visited" and lets not even get started on "St. Anger". At this point, the band were a joke to me. Selloutica was a popular phrase when speaking of Metallica. A couple years ago, it was rumored that the band was talking to Rick Rubin, super producer of bands like Slayer and..um...Johnny Cash. Rubin has credibility. He helped hone the sound of thrash as we know it with Slayer's album "Reign in Blood". Somewhere, deep deep inside of me, something stirred. At first I thought it was a tapeworm, or the onset of the green apple splatters, so I ignored it. Earlier this year, Metallica started talking about the new album. Word began to spread that this was a true return to form for the band. I wasn't buying it, because they said the same shit about "St. Anger" and that was the worst album of their carreer. Still, I felt that stirring again. Months passed, fake songs appeared, and then the clips began to pop up online. Little snippets of guitar solos, something completely absent from their last album, and thrashy riffs. The stirring grew stronger. It didn't matter. NO MORE would I let this band take my money, or hold my interest. Fuck Metallica. FUCK METALLICA! They were the greatest, and they took their fans money and wiped their asses with it. Last month, the band played Ozzfest and tried out one of the new songs to the crowd. It was called "Cyanide" and, though it had a couple of decent riffs and a nifty harmony, it was NOT a return to form. I smiled. And then, the completely unthinkable. Thursday night of this past week I jumped in my truck to go buy a six pack. A strange song began playing on a popular radio station as I made my trek. I knew immediately who it was. I don't know how, as it didn't really SOUND like them, but I knew it was Metallica. I couldn't get out of the truck. I sat in that fucker for almost 8 minutes in the parking lot of the gas station as I intently listened to this song. My jaw could not close. It started mellow, yet was completely listenable. James still sounded like a country singer, but the words he sang were actually sticking with me. Then, about half way through the song, it just BLEW THE FUCK UP!! Now THIS WAS FUCKING METALLICA!!! I couldn't help it. I sat there, in the parking lot of a Circle K, and headbanged my ass off. People stared, but I didn't give a shit. The song "The Day That Never Comes" knocked me flat on my ass. It sounded like nothing the band had done before, yet was a culmination of everything they had done. And it was perfection. Like finding God, I had come full circle and my love for the band that had defined my entire life was restored. Metallica is the Gold Standard. They are the essence of heavy metal and the power it has. Fuck. Looks like they are getting my money again. Behold. Metallica.