The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Metallica – Master of Puppets: The Recap

with 4 comments

I was pretty excited when this first came out.  I thought Ride the Lightning was one of the greatest albums ever made at the time and was really looking forward to what Metallica had to offer on their 3rd album.

I’m pretty sure picked this up from Drew at Unicorn Records (RIP) the week that it came out.  I was 16 and my allowance money or whatever cash I made from cutting grass or other little jobs typically got spent on tapes and gas.  Drew was always pretty good about selling me something the day before its release and I think this was one of the ones I got early (Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son were 2 others that he hooked me up on).

In general I liked this album a lot and listened to it quite often.  My band, like most other cover bands at the time, messed with the title track in our setlist.  But I think I listened to it so much that I started to dislike it…immensely.  I think another thing that turned me off from this album was an interview I read in Modern Drummer with Lars and he stated that none of the drums in any song on the album were played all the way through.  He punched in most of the fills, so I recall from the article.  At the time, I was a pretty big Metallica fan and was even a fan of Lars’ drumming.  As I became a better drummer in subsequent years, I realized how average he is as a drummer.  I was really turned off by that interview.  Sure, everyone does that studio magic and I’ve even done it on some of my past recordings, but this was one of my hero bands at the time.  I’m not sure how my irrational 16yr old mind would have reacted had I read an article saying that Nicko did it too, even though now I’m sure he did and probably still does.  Whatever.

One pleasant memory I have of this is sitting in my 66′ Nova in the church parking lot before church started with Kelz listening to it.  Moments like that made church more tolerable for sure.

I’m actually writing this whole post today because I decided to listen to Master of Puppets on my ride home today since I am sure I haven’t spun it in at least 10 years and probably even more.  Battery sounded fresh, as did Disposable Heroes and the rest of the album.  To be honest I skipped the title track, I’ve heard that enough in recent years.  I could go the rest of my life without hearing it again and be alright with it.

But one thing happened that struck me as funny.  When Orion started, I thought my iPod screwed something up.  I listened for about a minute to figure out what song it was and by whom and was totally lost on it.  I looked at the iPod (while driving – d’oh) and saw that it was Orion.  Apparently I skipped that one back in the day as I did not recognize one note from the entire song.  It sounded like a brand new song to me.  Hell, even though I thought it was a weak instrumental today, Metallica hasn’t written anything that cool in 20 years!  It really made me laugh.  Orion?  Really?  What song is this?  By whom?  hahahaha.

While this album doesn’t match the awesomeness of Ride the Lightning, it’s surely a good album although I’ll likely not listen to it again for another 10 years.

Good times.

Written by The Metal Files

January 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

4 Responses

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  1. My favorite Metallica album is Ride the Lghtning too! Have you listened to anything form Death Magnetic? There plenty of good songs on it, the best being All Nightmare Long and The Day That Never Comes, and yes I agree that Orion is pretty weak yet it is a cool song.


    January 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

  2. I listened to it a couple of times. The only album of theirs I disliked more was St. Anger. I can’t enjoy them. I hate the way Hetfield sings and despise Lars drumming.

    The Metal Files

    January 26, 2011 at 9:17 am

  3. ha – you were lucky by getting “allowance money” bro!

    “spent on tapes and gas” – love that…now there’s another blog post title: “Tapes n’ Gas”! ha ha

    Listening to any music too much will certainly burn you out. Re: Lars [Modern Drummer et.], being a drummer myself -yikes, where to start!

    I totally agree with you, first off he would have never even been in M.D. if it weren’t for their newfound sales + popularity (at that time).

    Not to be a hater -as I loved “Master”, but somethings just not right about reading an interview with him and then on to Dennis Chambers, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Elvin Jones etc.

    Up until “Master” they were one of my fav. bands, but I’m afraid after this LP it’s been all down hill from there. “Justice” was a let-down, but had some decent songs (albeit too long + bloated in parts)and NO bass of course.

    I like some of the Black LP (for what it is) but Ipretty much wrote them off after that.

    I recently watched the BIG-4 Concert DVD, Lar’s playing is so bad it’s not even funny. The bass drums are turned down in the mix and all you can hear is his snare drum and some super “bright/harsh-ass” cymbals.

    Some of the double-bass in the older songs are so sped-up that it sounds like a train wreck during some parts!

    I’ll see you in 10 and we’ll see if we still like “Master” at that time….

    Demolish Metal A.D.

    Demolish Metal A.D.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm

  4. […] not as much as Ride the Lightning.  I went years upon years without listening to it and finally spun it again recently.  Lots of good memories sitting in the parking lot before church with my pals jamming to […]

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