I am a Metallica fan.
This is both a thing of shame and respect.
Why respect? All I have to do is point you to the band’s 80’s catalogue (I also have no fear of including their first album of the 90’s).
Whether you like them or not, Hetfield’s group made some serious metal back in the day. People may name Sabbath or Maiden as the definitives, but this British boy prefers 80’s US thrash.
But the shame is that they dissolved what they were.
I remember looking at the promo photos prior to Load+Reload and tolerating them. I also didn’t mind first single Until It Sleeps as it had the feel of Metallica (black album). But hearing the Loads made me wonder if I’d bought the right CD.
I felt let down. In the same way even earlier fans (I got into them at about 12 when black was out) snubbed their noses a bit at Bob Rock’s first helming.
Gone was the band that made me collect their previous albums in a swoop (I believed black was merely a way to fish for new fans before resuming on metallic destruction), and in place were some kind of boogie-woogie boys. I made fun of Guns N’ Roses, so I couldn’t possibly accept this.
I gave them a chance though.
I unfeelingly collected the unnecessary covers and live orchestral albums and even rewarded the band by attending a show for their wreckage of an album St. Anger. By this stage they’d come kind of metal again, but more so by expired MTV definitions. This was a nu-metal album after the assassination.
I’m still a mug though. I’ll be buying the new album.
But while I thought “you can do it again!” in ’03, I don’t feel that now. The most they can put out is a tolerable or decent album. I don’t listen to them as religiously as I used to, but they were the most important band to me during my teens and so that memory association drives me to them.
Not because of any emotional nonsense. They just entertained me well.
I hope the new album’s good – in fact a teaser today I saw looks ‘okay’ – but I don’t pin my hopes on them because a long time has passed since their glory days.