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Band Name Metallica
Album Name Metallica
Type Album
发布日期 12 八月 1991
出版公司 Vertigo Records
音乐风格Thrash Heavy


Also Knowns as " The Black Album"
 Enter Sandman
 Sad But True
 Holier Than Thou
 The Unforgiven
 Wherever I May Roam
 Don't Tread on Me
 Through the Never
 Nothing Else Matters
 Of Wolf and Man
 The God That Failed
 My Friend of Misery
 The Struggle Within

Total playing time: 01:02:39

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评阅 @ InfinityZero

11 二月 2013

It deserves the title of 'best metal album' about as much as Justin Bieber deserves the title of 'musical visionary'.

I hate Metallica's Black Album, and frankly I can't for the life of me understand why so many other Metallica fans are ready to fellate the supposed genius of the sixty-two minute beast of repetition, limp-wristedness, and flat ideas. This album was to be the gateway to some of the worst music ever to fall under the title 'metal', or to ever be referred to by the band as 'experimental', 'mature', and 'progressive'. And don't worry--I'm not just here to whine about why it's 'not as heavy as Kill 'Em All. I have real reasons to believe that this album is one of the most over-hyped ever.

The first song works as a perfect outline for the biggest issue of the album. We have a four minute stinker of a song titled Enter Sandman, whose main riff, repeated far past the point of oblivion, was ripped off from a band called Excel in their song called "Tapping Into the Emotional Void". The riff isn't even played as well by Metallica as Excel played it in their song. By the end the stolen riff doesn't even sound cool anymore--it's annoying. Where's the sense of progression that earlier Metallica tracks like Call of Ktulu and One had? The only good thing about the track is the solo, and that definitely is not enough to save the song. From the get-go, it's clear that Metallica had very few ideas after they ran out of songs to steal from Dave Mustaine and couldn't rely on Cliff Burton to write good stuff. The Riffs are uninspired most of the time to the point of being embarrassing for anyone who likes pre-1988 Metallica (seriously, listen to the guitar 'melodies' in Don't Tread on Me and tell me honestly that the tunes are just as well-built as in songs like Orion). Orion, good Riffs aren't extinct on this album. There are good moments here and there (The Unforgiven has some nice melodies, My Friend of Misery fuses guitar and bass well throughout, Wherever I May Roam has some catchy stuff in it). Even some of the bad Riffs are elevated by the other guitar fiddling with improvisation in the background... but the good moments are repeated and repeated until they aren't good anymore. Songs like Sad But Orion are irritating and full of moments that would have barely passed as filler on Ride the Lightning, what with its awkward clunkiness. At least every song still features at least one guitar solo that's pretty good. A few are kind of weak, but for the most part, the solos are still there and well-done.

On a structural basis, the songs go for a verse-chorus structure, which in and of itself isn't very harmful, but on top of that, the climaxes to the songs (apart from the solos) are pretty much just alterations on the choruses. The climax of Enter Sandman features a whispered section that's trying to be dark and ominous (sounds goofy to me) which doesn't add anything to the progression since it's following the same melody with the same rhyme scheme; Sad But Orion's climax is another chorus with each lyric sustained.

Aside from that, there's the sound. I think it's the only thing I can strongly compliment in the album, because everything's crisp and the bass is thankfully more audible than in Justice for All, but at this point, it's not really surprising, considering that Metallica already had a ton of money to throw at producers. I think that all the levels are nice and the instruments are fairly even to one another. The sound is pretty dry and clean, pretty much the stereotype of the commercial rock album, but it's hard to complain about. The band manages to get some great grit out of the guitars at times, and the acoustic sections resonate warmly. The drums sound a bit thin despite being loud enough, but that's pretty much minor. Hetfield's voice is fore-fronted in the mix, but I wouldn't quite call this a good thing.

Yes, Hetfield's voice was getting worse from Master of Puppets and onwards, but now the sound of it isn't interesting anymore, and on many occasions Hetfield struggles to hit notes with melody. Mostly he's just shouting lines in a way that is sort of accented by the music. He also seems to put a drawl in a lot of the vowels that makes him sound like a bad country singer, which is the absolute god-damn last thing any singer in a metal band would ever, ever want. He also adds a lot of unnecessary little "Ah's" and "Oh's" on the end of his lines, which I just find baffling. It's an incredibly juvenile, idiotic way of trying to communicate energy and enthusiasm, and it's very irritating. Maybe some of the absolutely intolerable sections on the Black album (most of Sad But Orion and Holier than Thou) would have been made better if he was singing like on Ride the Lightning and yelling with the energy of Hit the Lights, but it's hard to say. With only a few memorable and competent moments, I think you could have gotten some really awesome thrash vocalists in there and it would have made shit-all difference. I should mention that Hetfield does manage to shine in all of the softer sections. He handles Nothing Else Matters pretty well, for example. But when things get chuggy, he simply cannot sing and I'm not even sure he's trying. Get some hobo off the street and give him a nickel to yell for you.
Hobo > Hetfield.

The drumming is also pitifully uninteresting. I don't find Ulrich too much of a stand-out drummer on any Metallica record, despite what Metallica-worshippers say about him being some sort of God, but here he's absolutely average, lacking anything interesting or creative. No Power or aggression, nothing wild or out of the box, and the patterns used throughout the album are, like so much else here, samesy. I really can't say too much about the drumming here, since all there really is to say is that it's boring and predictable. I would even say that anyone who really believes Ulrich to have untouchable drumming skills really needs to listen to some real metal or even some jazz fusion, because most metal/jazz drummers out there can outplay the guy with their eyes closed, especially on this album.

The Unforgiven is the only song that I like here. Unlike the pretentiousness and cheesiness of Nothing Else Matters, the emotion comes off better here, mostly because it's integrated with guitar crunch and heaviness that seem to carry Hetfield's voice. Speaking of which, Hetfield's voice doesn't make me want to slit my wrists here. The dry-throated country-esque wails are kept more minimum, and his lighter vocal approach really works in the bridge sections. The Riffs are utilized better and everything feels more in harmony working towards a pretty rocking solo. Again, the song is held back by a lack of progression (it doesn't seem to climax other than the fact that Hetfield yells a few lines around a solo). While it is a good song and a clear stand out from the rest of the uninspired garbage on the rest of the album, it is still one of Metallica's weaker ballads (One and Sanitarium kicks its ass by comparison). There are a few other songs on the album that might've been nice had they done more than repeat a riff for what seems like eternity. Wherever I May Roam starts promisingly enough but lacks passion like so many other songs here and gets boring by the end. Nothing Else Matters is passable, and decent as background listening music, but when any thought is applied to it, it kind of shows itself as a cheesy, over-sentimental mess that seems to me to be Metallica's attempt to re-capture the angsty magic of Fade to Black. I will say that the flourishes of guitar solo in the breaks sound pretty awesome, though. And I think the song would have worked wonders as an instrumental, because Hetfield's ugly voice does start to bog down the emotional possibilities of the track once he starts yelling. I actually did a search and found a fan-made instrumental version of the song that was a digital alteration of the original, and I found it ten times better (I have attached this version of the song to the bottom of this review).

I should specify that I don't mind a band who starts writing heavy music and ends up writing softer, quieter stuff, nor do I mind a band who completely deviates from their original formula to experiment. People who hate Metallica past the 90s are often accused of being obsessed with having their music only a certain way, and I'm here to say that I think that's bullshit. Metallica fails when it comes to doing something new because they don't understand what works and what doesn't aside from the commercial appeal mentality that was hammered into them by Bob Rock. I think Metallica's Black Album would have been better if it was softer, actually. An acoustic soft rock album would have been fine with me, given that the best moments on here are all in The Unforgiven and Nothing Else Matters. The heavy times are listless and uninspired; all the Riffs have a "DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN" quality to them and hardly vary from song to song, and anything that sticks out is over-repeated. The element of unflinching wayward originality that made Metallica's earlier efforts so worthy to me was the very strong sense of melody blended in with the energy. Every riff in songs like Four Horsemen, One, and Hit the Lights kicked total ass, regardless of the heaviness or whatever tone-related element. Here, every time Metallica tries to be fast or energetic or heavy, they come off as predictably boisterous, lacking style or subtlety or intelligence. I think there are plenty of moments that are squandered or not explored enough throughout the album (again, the fusion of guitar and bass throughout the Riffs of My Friend of Misery). Sometimes the album comes off as obnoxious, cheesy, corny, and even pretentious with such lyrics as:
"Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And Nothing Else Matters".

All in all, Metallica's most commercially-successful album is fittingly completed by how soulless and dull it is. It plays everything family-safe, lacks any sense of originality or passion, and marks the beginning of a new corporate Metallica who falls so low as to take advice from Bob Rock that leaving guitar solos out of a Metallica album is a good idea based on marketability (I am of course talking about St. Anger). Here's a little bit of quote from a fan attempting to defend the album that I found online: "YOUR TALKING ABOUT A BAND THAT HAS SOLD 80 MILLION ALBUMS AN TO SAY THEY SUCK FROM BLACK ALBUM ON IS TOTAL STUPID". You'll notice that the only defence that seems to come up is predicated on how much the band has sold without regard for the actual music. This, to me, epitomizes the essence of what modern Metallica, and by extension, the Black Album, is. A few good moments here and there isn't enough to fix the Black Album; it only reminds me that this money-hungry band used to write music that was far better. It deserves the title of 'best metal album' about as much as Justin Bieber deserves the title of 'musical visionary'. And it could have been much, much better.

3 评论

2 Like

Crinn - 11 二月 2013: You gave that a pretty damn good score for the amount of ranting you did.
InfinityZero - 11 二月 2013: Like I said, there's stuff on this album that does work, it's just buried under a lot of garbage.
That, and thinking about how much worse St Anger was prevented me from giving this a 4 or 5 out of 20.
orionzeden - 11 二月 2013: Well,that was a bit long to read, and Ihave to say I enjoy this album, but you arguments justify perfectly the mark. Also it is indeed massive compared to St. Anger, but ridiculous compared to Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets. (and Orion is kind of what made this nickname come out of my mind)

评论 @ TJKill

07 十月 2007
Nothing I can say can relly describe this album exept two words:
This is what Metallica has achieved with this album. A mix of Thrash and Heavy metal to its finest. NO other album has yet to compete with this One, and nOne are expected to do so in the next decade or two. This album has truely and definitly anchoered Metallica in the metal scene and thanks to it it is not likely that they will go down from the TOP5.

Going in the thick of the album, not One of these songs can be disgarded. The utter genius of Enter Sandman blew the crowd to hell, and the pure magnificence of Nothing Else Matters has left them speechless.I have yet to see any band i the world, even Iron Maiden or Megadeth top this album. Even less known songs such as Of Live And Man or even Through the Never deserve praise as they keep the general feel of the album cmplete and leave the fans hungry for more.

Metal at its finest, Metallica seems to have outdid themselves in the making of this album, as they have really captured the essence of their Live performances. This album is going straight to the top shelf, the shelf of legendary albums that will only be forgotten if the world comes to an end. Utter sonic supremacy up your ass.

6 评论

0 Like

TJKill - 21 十月 2007: True, this album is a bit toned down comparing with Master or Justice, but it is their second best selling album after Master(if you don't believe me check Metallica's website). But this is mainly because they lost Cliff Burton(R.I.P) and because they've "grown". Hetfield's voice has changed from Thrash to Heavy, and other stuf was modified too. But still, I still believe that it is one of their best, and itis ranked among the best Metal albums in lots of major sources.
ryan5 - 27 三月 2010: Every song from Enter Sandman to The Struggle Within is good. Yes this album may not be regarded as thrash. But it was a change up Metallica were willing to take, and they did it very very successfully
Berkerd - 04 十二月 2012: @Ber_de_bing yes this was realesed for a hope of comercial success and aimed to sell mainstream audiance... but this doest change the magnificience of the album... you're trying to show that you know about facts... i know too.... but no matter what they were planing songs such as enter sandman and sad but true are slower than their old trash works but as heavy as they were and still feel metallica... And a classic named nothing else matters is from this album... plus think of effect of this album on audiance.... many people started listening o metal, by this album... this is a huge mile stone for the metal world...
L4G4RT0 - 11 二月 2013: I agree with the technical review, but I don't listen to music as a technitian - i tend to prefer good songs over technical songs, so in the end of the day, this was an album I kept as a good one - not the best, not even on the top 3 best by Metallica, but yes a very nice album... I remember thinking back in 1991 "so... this is how thrash metal sounds when mixed with hard-rock" (or was it the other way???) :)