Rating:
8.0
Metallica - Load
4 June 1996


01. Ain't My Bitch
02. 2 X 4
03. The House Jack Built
04. Until It Sleeps
05. King Nothing
06. Hero Of The Day
07. Bleeding Me
08. Cure
09. Poor Twisted Me
10. Wasting My Hate
11. Mama Said
12. Thorn Within
13. Ronnie
14. The Outlaw Torn


OK, I know you're laughing at my rating, but since I want to be an objective reviewer, I'm not considering what Metallica was in the ?80s: I'm just considering the content of this album. And I'm going to show you that it is not as bad as it seems at first. Load is Metallica's longest work yet, clocking in at about 79 minutes, it is the band's first experimental production and it represents a turning point in the history of Thrash Metal. In fact, thousands of Metallica's early fans decided to abandon their idols after they heard this album and many of them still consider The Four Horsemen as a dead band. But what's wrong with Load? Why is it so awful, so bad, so terrible?

In my opinion, there is just one reason why it has a bad reputation: at the moment Metallica is no longer a Thrash band. You can see it from the frontcover, which has a linear new logo, meaning a total change not only in musical style. You can see it from the cool booklet: things have changed and The Four Horsemen have now short hair! That unpleasant sound in the previous black album gave it an aggressive feeling, but there was just a couple of true heavy tunes [I can's understand how could it reach the 1st position in the US charts]. Now forget about it.

Load has a brand new sound that I label as a mixture between hard rock and 'soft? metal riffs with several experimental elements: quite original. The opening track has a great riff, catchy rhythm and aggressive vocals. But since the second track you can feel bluesy lead guitars and slow, soft riffs. '2 X 4' has an evident Sabbathian feel. The following track is really original: freightening atmospheres, scary lyrics, demoniac wah effects and even a talk box.

'Until It Sleeps' is one of the four singles. Nice song, strange lyrics but nothing special, just a good fretless bass. The fifth track, 'King Nothing', is one of the best on this album: it all turns around a wonderful bass riff. A perfect hard rock rhythm catches you immediately. Lyrics are great, well conceived, catchy and there's a strange ?We're off to never never land? at the end. A great single! Another song, another single: 'Hero Of The Day' is an excellent melodic ballad with a heavy disturbing ending: ?Mama they try and break me?.

The seventh track is my favourite: 'Bleeding Me' has a particular experimental feeling. That wonderful guitar intro looks like the sound of blood flowing slowly out of James? wounds. In this part there is also an electric organ which fits in very well. Great chorus, great vocals, great solo, great atmosphere, great lyrics. It's not easy to describe it, you just have to hear it. Absolutely a masterpiece. The eight track is a simple song, catchy and with good lyrics about medicine. Track nine is slow and maybe boring, but I find it is funny because of James? ?yeah?, ?whoho?, ?oh?! 'Wasting My Hate' is similar to the opening track.

The single 'Mama Said' has been heavily criticized because of its country sound, which I personally don's like. Involving evolution now: 'Thorn Within' has beautiful bluesy lead guitars, excellent symbolic lyrics and an intersting structure; 'Ronnie' is the most original song Metallica has ever done: the introductive riff is played on a special Fender Telecaster guitar with a B bender on the bridge. The result is this bluesy, catchy, excellent song made of penthatonic minor scales. The involving lyrics are about a strange mad guy. The final track is Metallica's longest song: nearly 10 minutes. It is an experimental and mature piece, with excellent lyrics, great bass lines, powerful chorus and unusual structure. One of the best on the album.

Finally, I consider Load as a mature work, ready to face those who don's like static bands. I am one of those. This represents a great step forward, both lyrically and musically: stop talking about death and stop ?acting like maniacs?.
James? vocals are amazing in every song, although they're different from the previous albums. If you are disposed to try something new, you might love Load. If you are one of those who like just the first three albums of every band, I don's know why you are reading this. If you're looking for heavy thrash metal songs, you?d better turn away. One more thing: I remember to you all that I love Master Of Puppets.


Band profile: Metallica
Album: Load


 


written by The Silent Man | 22.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Mordack - 28.07.2006 at 02:32  
Agreed. This album gets all kind of crap because of who it's by and what they stood for. So Metallica changed their style, so has Megadeth. It's the best way to go before you start to sound repetitive and stale a la Slayer. People need to accept that it isn't a thrash metal album, it's just a good metal/rock album.
Dangerboner - 28.07.2006 at 02:39  
I don't care what genre it is...it sucks in general. Not as bad as reload though.
Pianoman - 28.07.2006 at 05:50  
A totally misunderstood album anyway found it very good with awesome ballads like mama said and heavy metal song like aint my bitch.
BreadGod - 28.07.2006 at 08:47  
I like to call this album "The time Metallica went country". This was also the time Metallica cut their hair, an act which is considered high treason in the world of "tr00 metal". Yes, this album is lousy, but as pyroleprechaun stated, it's not as bad as "Reload". And after that, the quality of the music only got worse.
Fane - 29.07.2006 at 23:51  
Metallica is first metal band that I listened and Load was first album. It is good, but Metallica has better albums like Ride the Lighting, Master of Puppets and Kill'em all. Load has style and is good album, but it isnt so good that you can expect from Metallica.
Damnated - 01.08.2006 at 16:17  
Never liked Load, it was the last album that I got from Metallica, so maybe that's the reason, but the style just bothered me, and still I liked re-load.
DudeitsKevin - 04.08.2006 at 07:56  
Guys I hate this album by the music and the Album Picture, Seriously the picture.. do any of you know what the Load and Re-Load pictures are? Look it up... Its Disgusting

An Artist took 2 peices of glass and put blood and semen and pressed them together to make Load. For Re-Load its Blood and Piss.
LiveWise - 13.08.2006 at 22:51  
I aloso think that load is very good album .
I love the song outlaw torn and i like hero of the day very mutch too.
I loved their previous albums but i think Load is very good rock album . I think every Metallica's album is good in it's own way.
I love the all.
Even St. Anger:D
DLMokoma - 27.08.2006 at 18:03  
Yeah I also love every single Metallica's work.. The only bad thing in this record is that it's kinda too long.. They could have made 2 studio albums from the songs. Still good stuff.
yonga - 22.09.2006 at 19:30  
this album sucks. there is alot of other bands that also change their style and they don't make it suck.
matthioso - 09.01.2007 at 14:28  
very good review. I totally agree with you. This album is different, but not bad. alltought I also prefer their former albums.
AnGina-- - 09.01.2007 at 16:07  
Good review @The Silent Man, just remember so: never apologize or explain why you like Metallica after The Black Album! I have hated it and still hate it when people come and say ''Metallica is dead''. Bullshit, pure bullshit and you can go and sell it elsewhere cause you can't sell it to me.

8.0 is a rating this album really deserves, it's a really wel structured rock album with some outsanding songs, IMO Bleeding Me and especially the chorus of it is one of the best songs Metallica ever made. Hero fo The Day and Until It Sleeps weren't singles just so, but because they are truly among the best tracks on this album (even though I fell in love with Hero of The Day after I heard it on S&M). And then Mama Said is another song that I really love, yes, it does have a breath of country, but it's really light and I see it more as ''Metallica goes acoustic''.

Load has it going on whether you like it or not; guitars are really solid, there are some outstanding riffs and solos, James's vocals have been really improved and there are also some kickass bass lines (Bleeding Me for example).

Forget the logo, forget the thrash, just go with it and enjoy it.
Bitch Boy - 10.01.2007 at 01:59  
I agree with you. The album has very good sound, and may not be thrash as the band's old releases but still is a great piece of work.
JohnDoe - 15.02.2007 at 19:32  
Metallica's Load is a solid album; the heavy/thrash days are gone but still there is good song writing on this album. And i agree to the idea that Load is much better than ReLoad.
ThrashMetal_Rulz - 02.03.2007 at 01:39  
How can you guys like Load? Metallica used to be one of the greatest Thrash metal bands ever, now it's just another crappy mainstream band because of albums like Load, and for people that think I hate it just because it's not metal, your wrong. I actualy like to turn on some hard rock once in a while but I never choose Load simply because it's a crappy hard rock album.
VanHelsing - 19.03.2007 at 10:31  
Load has a big bunch of Metallica's greatest music ever composed. If you're open minded you'll know what I mean, of course it's not thrash, everyone knows that. Get over the fact that Metallica changed, it's eleven years now since Metallica released this masterpiece (I think it is) and people still whines at it.
Warman - 20.06.2007 at 14:58  
This is a good album. Maybe I was 11 years old, I was in Greece and we traveled around the country in a car. My mom gave me a walkman and a tape, with Load. I listened to Load, loved it and it made a great impact on me and my Metal "taste". I don't think it's that good today, but I love many songs on it and still have very nice feelings for it.
Dane Train - 12.07.2007 at 20:09  
This is actually my favorite Metallica album.

*Looks around for bricks headed towards his head*

Maybe it is because I am more into experimental and progressive Metal, and that is what Metallica aimed for on this album. Was it their best? I doubt it. But it was a nice try. I would much rather see a band attempt something very new, like Metallica did here, than have a band keep putting out the same albums over and over, like Slayer.

The heavier tracks on this album tend to be weak, but it is those softer, more melodic tracks that are really good. This I think was in part of allowing Kirk and Jason (the best musician Metallica ever had!) to write not only a lot of the music but also the lyrics. This was the first album that they really worked as a band. Before this we could have called them "James Hetfield and The Metallicas".
Syk - 13.07.2007 at 12:21  
Written by Dane Train on 12.07.2007 at 20:09
Maybe it is because I am more into experimental and progressive Metal

Wow... I can't tell from your album ratings, but have you heard the Justice album? Particularly "To Live Is to Die" (unless if you don't like instrumentals), and parts of Ride and MoP before that... it's extremely likely you've already heard these, but if you haven't, I recommend the title tracks.
Dane Train - 13.07.2007 at 18:28  
Written by Syk on 13.07.2007 at 12:21

Written by Dane Train on 12.07.2007 at 20:09
Maybe it is because I am more into experimental and progressive Metal

Wow... I can't tell from your album ratings, but have you heard the Justice album? Particularly "To Live Is to Die" (unless if you don't like instrumentals), and parts of Ride and MoP before that... it's extremely likely you've already heard these, but if you haven't, I recommend the title tracks.


Oh yeah, I have heard them many times. I own everything Metallica has put out, including all the live material and DVDs. Plus some bootlegs.
albatros - 16.12.2007 at 22:43  
I loathe this album. I made a point of throwing it into the garbage can instead of giving it away. The music on it gives me the same feeling as if I would dig in yellow slime. I would prefer to listen to American whiney pop instead of this album. It is pure garbage transformed to money. The only track I like is "Until it sleeps" .
BloodTears - 17.12.2007 at 11:51  
The rating is too high of course. I like the songs "it aint my bitch", "until it sleeps", "bleeding me", "hero of the day" and "ronnie". It has good moments I cant simply just ignore that because it isnt thrash.
Demonmayonnaise - 02.01.2008 at 18:37  
I couldnt really get into this album. Im not gonna say its bad... Its just not my taste.
+{Jonas}+ - 10.02.2008 at 23:42  
I never got nor into this nor ReLoad... it sounded more hard rock than anything to me.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 18.04.2008 at 11:00  
Written by BloodTears on 17.12.2007 at 11:51

The rating is too high of course. I like the songs "it aint my bitch", "until it sleeps", "bleeding me", "hero of the day" and "ronnie". It has good moments I cant simply just ignore that because it isnt thrash.

im agree with u. load or reload rnt my favorite albums but they r good albums. we r not votre for thrash we vote for performance-lyrics, . ...... so i i think 9 points r good for this album
BloodTears - 18.04.2008 at 18:14  
Written by Guest on 18.04.2008 at 11:00

Written by BloodTears on 17.12.2007 at 11:51

The rating is too high of course. I like the songs "it aint my bitch", "until it sleeps", "bleeding me", "hero of the day" and "ronnie". It has good moments I cant simply just ignore that because it isnt thrash.

im agree with u. load or reload rnt my favorite albums but they r good albums. we r not votre for thrash we vote for performance-lyrics, . ...... so i i think 9 points r good for this album


Yes, but ,like many people here,I think Load is much better than Reload.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 18.04.2008 at 18:59  
Written by BloodTears on 18.04.2008 at 18:14

Written by Guest on 18.04.2008 at 11:00

Written by BloodTears on 17.12.2007 at 11:51

The rating is too high of course. I like the songs "it aint my bitch", "until it sleeps", "bleeding me", "hero of the day" and "ronnie". It has good moments I cant simply just ignore that because it isnt thrash.

im agree with u. load or reload rnt my favorite albums but they r good albums. we r not votre for thrash we vote for performance-lyrics, . ...... so i i think 9 points r good for this album


Yes, but ,like many people here,I think Load is much better than Reload.

yes load is better than reload,im agree
Metal Freak - 23.07.2008 at 23:15  
I'm not a big fan of Load (I don't totally despise it either), but I applaud you for having the cojones to stand up for it.
Timelord - 10.10.2008 at 08:22  
Why are people using Slayer as the example of bands not changing or sounding the same? No two Slayer albums sound alike. Does Reign in Blood sound like South of Heaven? Not even close! I think what most people are trying to get across about LLICA(thats what i call this era of metallica cause no metal left), is that they felt like The Four Horsemen turned their back on what got them success in the first place. Which was the brutal and heavy sounds of the thrash era Metallica. I once saw an interview with Ego Ulrich which he said they would leave that kinda stuff up to Pantera (referring to thrash). What a slap in the face!! Load for fans of the thrash stuff is garbage. Alot of newer fans and fans of progressive metal enjoyed Load. Me personally saw this coming when And Justice for All came out. When you make that kind of money and have all that success what is their to be angry about anymore. You lose that attitude it takes to make good thrash music. Look at the big 4 of thrash and you will see that it is SLAYER who remained true and knew what their band was all about. Good ole THRASH METAL!!!! To each their own. I respect everybody has likes and dislikes. Llica will NEVER get another penny from me.
Marcel Hubregtse - 10.10.2008 at 17:36  
Was the black album already terrible and totally none thrash Tellica went one better with Load which was even worse. Only one decent song Until It Sleeps and the rest is utter garbage at best. OKay Tellica managed to outdo Load's crappiness with Reload and St. Anger. But come one what were they thinking? And why do people defend this piece of crap so vehemently? Just cause it has the Tellica name stamped on it I am sure.
Agguran - 24.02.2009 at 17:39  
This was actually one of the first Metallica albums that I bought, like 12 years ago, and later found out that they had even better albums.
It's actually pretty good, for a bad album (specially if you don't consider it a metal album). The standards got lower, though. The band is hardly the same from the early days, and you have to admit that even though '...And Justice For All' was a pinnacle, it wasn't particularly liked by the band itself; they even said that the sound was under-engineered. They got too proud, and that was what led to the Black Album, this album, and Re-Load. They were referred in my country as Malo (Bad) and Re-Malo (Re-Bad). It sucks that it's a Metallica album.

At the time, they had contact, and had to compete with more soft mainstream Grunge bands such as Nirvana (even after Cobain's death) Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, NIN when these were at their peak, so they had to lean that way.
Andresopeth - 21.07.2009 at 00:27  
What a great review!, it is well known that Metallica changed completely to make this one, but it is true, is not bad, it's only different, maybe paople hate it because it was Metallica who did this, maybe this could have been the best album of a band without Metallica's reputation. I like this album, not a lot, not my favorite, not to listening everyday, but i can listening completely and have a good time, Maybe Ronnie and Wasting My Hate are bad points, but i like Until It Sleeps, King Nothing and The Outlaw Torn a lot. Of course it is not the same that their first three albums, but is not as crapy as people use to say.
Deadmeat - 26.08.2009 at 20:11  
Nice shit from metallica... songs like ronnie and poor twisted me are some of the worst songs a metal band has ever wrote imo...
Met@1lurg - 14.12.2009 at 18:09  
Ha, it is not trash metal or heavy. It was the first "unmetallical" album, i think. This album dont like many people, because after Puppets, Justice and Black albums it was bubble gum.
Hm... Maybe only King Nothing is not bad. The videoclip is fine.
Sephiros7 - 16.08.2010 at 21:55  
Bottom line...Load is an amazing album. Fact. The bandwagon of hate for Metallica changing their style is so unoriginal at this point. Ya it was shocking at first...but get over it. They're Metallica, they'll do what the f* they want and it'll kick ass. They get more heat for it cause they're "Metallica." Load is what got me into Metallica, all of their music is great. The only sell outs are the fans that abandoned them after Bob Rock joined the crew. Get over it. Death Magnetic is f*ing amazing too. 27 years later almost in their 50's and they're still putting out music that puts all other bands to shame. "Suck it!"
vezzy - 17.08.2010 at 12:20  
Written by Sephiros7 on 16.08.2010 at 21:55

Bottom line...Load is an amazing album. Fact. The bandwagon of hate for Metallica changing their style is so unoriginal at this point. Ya it was shocking at first...but get over it. They're Metallica, they'll do what the f* they want and it'll kick ass. They get more heat for it cause they're "Metallica." Load is what got me into Metallica, all of their music is great. The only sell outs are the fans that abandoned them after Bob Rock joined the crew. Get over it. Death Magnetic is f*ing amazing too. 27 years later almost in their 50's and they're still putting out music that puts all other bands to shame. "Suck it!"


Bottom line... you are wrong. Fact.
Sephiros7 - 23.08.2010 at 21:12  
Written by vezzy on 17.08.2010 at 12:20

Written by Sephiros7 on 16.08.2010 at 21:55

Bottom line...Load is an amazing album. Fact. The bandwagon of hate for Metallica changing their style is so unoriginal at this point. Ya it was shocking at first...but get over it. They're Metallica, they'll do what the f* they want and it'll kick ass. They get more heat for it cause they're "Metallica." Load is what got me into Metallica, all of their music is great. The only sell outs are the fans that abandoned them after Bob Rock joined the crew. Get over it. Death Magnetic is f*ing amazing too. 27 years later almost in their 50's and they're still putting out music that puts all other bands to shame. "Suck it!"


Bottom line... you are wrong. Fact.

Well said sir...backed up with about as much evidence to support your theory as there is available =D
ErnilEnNaur - 02.03.2011 at 10:43  
God, it's like they're trying to bore me on purpose... for once the general audience seems to have gotten it right, there's really nothing much to enjoy on this album. They were the kings of 80's thrash, but with this album Metallica truly became the kings of nothing.
Troy Killjoy - 03.03.2011 at 02:04  
Written by Guest on 02.03.2011 at 10:43

God, it's like they're trying to bore me on purpose... for once the general audience seems to have gotten it right, there's really nothing much to enjoy on this album. They were the kings of 80's thrash, but with this album Metallica truly became the kings of nothing.

I wouldn't call them kings of 80's thrash, but I doubt many fans during their "reign" could have anticipated this load.
Void Eater - 03.03.2011 at 02:58  
I may be the only one that doesn't consider this album to be selling out in the slightest. While the Black Album(which I do enjoy) was obviously a commerical product in every sense of the term, Metallica would have done better simply by releasing another trad metal/hard rock album, rather then the heavy blues/rock thing they did with Load. I think this album was a genuine attempt at a stylistic change, and not an attempt for record sales. That being said, its not a great album- Its pretty average, although leagues above the crapfest that was Reload. Hell, I like St. Anger more than Reload....
ErnilEnNaur - 03.03.2011 at 10:38  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.03.2011 at 02:04

Written by Guest on 02.03.2011 at 10:43

God, it's like they're trying to bore me on purpose... for once the general audience seems to have gotten it right, there's really nothing much to enjoy on this album. They were the kings of 80's thrash, but with this album Metallica truly became the kings of nothing.

I wouldn't call them kings of 80's thrash, but I doubt many fans during their "reign" could have anticipated this load.


I've never been a fan of Slayer and my favorite Megadeth album is Rust In Peace, so Metallica are the kings of 80's thrash in my opinion. But yeah, I can't think of another band with so much talent that decided to throw it all away. Yes, _decided_ to throw it away, because they couldn't have made an album as bad as this on accident. This is something that a lot of people don't seem to realize, but the ability to write good music doesn't just disappear, which is why these kinds of albums annoy me. Metallica know very well that this album sucks, just like CoB know that everything after Hate crew sucks. But they don't care, they're laughing all the way to the bank.
afu - 02.10.2011 at 14:20  
As a musician and songwriter, I can completely empathize with exploring new territory. It gets boring to re-tread old territory. People branch out in different ways. They decided to experiment with Rock, but to give it a certain twist. I think it's a pretty good album. Lot's of good riffs and lyrics. For me, it's about the songs, not being Br00tal.
Slayerhed1 - 29.03.2013 at 05:14  
Metallica was badass up until and justice for all. Black was ok but only a couple songs. Load is a load of shit. Everything after black was not Metallica it was Gaytallica.

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