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Metallica - Master Of Puppets

9.3 | 3885 votes |
Release date: 21 February 1986
Style: Bay Area thrash metal


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01. Battery
02. Master Of Puppets
03. The Thing That Should Not Be
04. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
05. Disposable Heroes
06. Leper Messiah
07. Orion
08. Damage, Inc.

Top 20 albums of 1986: 1
Top 200 albums of all time: 4

Additional info
Produced by Metallica and Flemming Rasmussen
Engineered by Flemming Rasmussen
Recorded, Sept.-Dec. 1985 at Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark
Mixed by Michael Wagener at Amigo Studios, North Hollywood, CA
Assistant mixing engineer: Mark Wilzcak
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound

All lyrics by Hetfield. All arrangements by Hetfield/Ulrich
Cover concept: Metallica and Peter Mensch
Cover illustration: Don Brautigam
Back cover photos: Cliff - Rich Likong / Kirk - Ross Halfin / Lars - Rob Ellis / James - Ross Halfin

Guest review by
Iced Iñigo
A classic between classics and the top of Metallica like a band. The album that made history, the cd of the cds, the best album of the best band. The album that any person who wants to know what is that world called Metal music needs to have, and listen to.

From the intro of "Battery" to the last guitar riff of "Damage Inc." the cd is just perfect, incredible and all the adjectives you want. In this album Metallica composed the song of songs: "Master of Puppets", astonishing. 8 minutes 38 seconds of pure Metal. The virtuosity on composing of Metallica appears clearly in that song. In Master of Puppets some songs are really dark and paranoid like "The Thing that should not Be". A ballad is also included, which is called "Welcome Home " and Metallica still includes in this album an instrumental track: "Orion"

published 22.09.2003 | Comments (125)

Guest review by
Master of Puppets is a master class in structuring an album, The tracks and the way they're ordered is near perfection. A landmark album. Master Of Puppets is a timeless classic, A hybrid, Which features the best characteristics of many different kinds of metal. Many people consider it one of the greatest albums of all time and for good reason.

published 25.01.2010 | Comments (23)

Guest review by
Cal Wolvington
I know I am in the minority here, but I don't care. Coffee is not as bad for you as everyone says it is, ten million Coldplay fans are wrong and Master Of Puppets is not Metallica's best album. This album is considered to be a classic and it is a great effort, but it is no Ride The Lightning. Master Of Puppets may have become more popular than Metallica's first two albums and it may be every critic's darling but that alone does not make it a better album or the greatest thrash record of all time. What matters is the music itself and therein lies my problem with considering this album a mind blowing masterpiece, which it is not.

published 06.06.2012 | Comments (67)

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Comments: 188   Visited by: 4050 users
04.05.2022 - 19:03
Rating: 8
Nocturnal Bro
As you all probably know, this album was the first and for now only metal album to be added to the U.S. Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
I found 2 funny things while researching:
1. On this official Library of Congress website, the album is listed as "genre:pop"
2. The first search result on Google is this essay from the Library of Congress. To be fair, it does have the disclaimer "views expressed in this essay are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the
Library of Congress".

Anyways, this essay talks about why Master of Puppets is super influential and why it therefore rightly deserves to be preserved as a historic work of art.
However, it's funny the author's argument isn't very convincing. He mentions how it pushed the melodic approaches in thrash metal, that Cliffs bass is so prominent, etc. But he also admits that all of these things were already introduced in their previous album.
He also mentions that many fans believe they sold-out with this album (which is of course totally not true ).
And finally, when he talks about the actual songs, he skips over 4 songs, praises only "Battery", the title track, and "Orion", and even calls "Damage Inc" a "throwaway" song

They should've taken one of the reviews here on MS to sell this decision, not this essay. Reading it just makes me think of all the albums out there with flawless songs that they could have chosen... but I guess those wouldn't have been "influential" enough.

Oh well. I guess it's fine. The most well-known album can be the only metal album in the registry. After all, the beauty of metal is that it isn't mainstream. I'm happy with keeping the true gems out of sight of the mainstream media
04.05.2022 - 20:21
Rating: 9
Written by F3ynman on 04.05.2022 at 19:03

Oh well. I guess it's fine. The most well-known album can be the only metal album in the registry.

I would say by this fact alone the album deserverdly is genre-tagged "pop" here, in the sense of popular music, so d'accord about that.
16.06.2022 - 17:36
spendin' cheese
I've always liked Orion and I cannot lie.

The mid to slower songs are by far stronger than the faster ones which are both paled by Ride The Lightning. It's Orion and the title track that excels, by advancing into new terrain with melodic interludes to connect them but ever since I first heard the title track, I always felt the main riff had never stayed its welcome enough. That's usually a common flaw I find with certain riffs, leads and progressions.

All that time to build up and when you're finally there riff that crushes more than the doomer-eque ones (Creeping, Leper, Harvester) your only going to repeat yourself once and yeet like that? Black Rose Immortal and Advent come to mind too.
I may not have the largest collection but I certainly have the absolute best

17.06.2022 - 11:50
Rating: 10
Written by Alakazam on 16.06.2022 at 17:36

far stronger than the faster ones which are both paled by Ride The Lightning

You don't like Battery and Damage Inc?
18.06.2022 - 02:21
spendin' cheese
Written by gavdann on 17.06.2022 at 11:50

Written by Alakazam on 16.06.2022 at 17:36

far stronger than the faster ones which are both paled by Ride The Lightning

You don't like Battery and Damage Inc?

Listening to Reign In Blood first out of the two messed them up for me. Battery has the intro and outro going for it that under-stays its welcome and even that track was played better by Dave Lombardo.

Damage Inc has one nice interlude riff and that's it.
I may not have the largest collection but I certainly have the absolute best

25.02.2023 - 12:27
Rating: 10
Some thoughts:
Fight Fire with Fire is a far better opener than Battery, being far more agressive and having more interesting riffs. I used to consider Battery their most over-rated 80s song because I find the main riff to be so generic and the vocals unconvincing, despite everything else about the song being great (the intro, the way it changes from acoustic to electric, the bridge, the awesome riff at the end), but the thing is, this is such a well written song, and that is the main strength of this record compared to other thrash classics.

There are plenty thrash records that are better at thrash-metal than Master of Puppets (including Ride the Lightning and Justice), yet this is the at the same time one of the best records in rock music; the mistake is seeing it a thrash record, when really it's more like a metal record which rests on a thrash foundation. It might just be the best structured album in all modern music, with the exception of A Love Supreme from Coltrane.

I would not consider the slower songs here as heavy-metal, because ironically they are too heavy. Like compared to the heaviest of heavy-metal, Black Sabbath, The Thing that Should not Be and Lepper Messiah are completely different. I would consider The Thing that Should not Be a strange case of rythmic doom and Lepper Messiah more like a sludge-metal song, I mean, it's closer to sludge than anything I heard from Mastodon.

The Thing that Should not Be is an excellent song. It's not generic by any means, it's minmalistic in a way that perfectly compliments the progressive nature of the title track. It has the right kind of riffs that work with a minmalistic, repetitive structure. It's not a weakness of the album, but a strength.

While there are other records better at trash-metal, this album might actually contain the best thrash-metal sonf of them all: Dispossable Heroes. That song is a monster.
23.04.2023 - 10:34
Rating: 10
It’s the perfect album. Everything flows even moreso like butter than Ride the Lightning. The album is less speed focus and more melodic focused which was the correct direction Metallica to set themselves apart. It’s just a masterpiece. Period.
20.05.2024 - 05:33
Rating: 8
The title track is LEGENDARY! "Battery" and "Damage, Inc." - cool, fun songs. A very good album, but gets a lot more attention and praise than it deserves.
Glory to the Nation!

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