By Xochipilli

     I remember being 18 when this album came out and I couldn’t believe this was Metallica.  Gone were the thrashing guitars and guttural vocals of their earlier albums like “Master of Puppets” and “Ride the Lightning”.  Instead, “The Black Album”, as it’s commonly known, was a masterclass in songwriting and musicianship.

The opening track, “Enter Sandman”, is a perfect example of this. The riff is heavy and catchy, and the song builds to a huge chorus with James Hetfield’s distinctive vocals at the forefront.  The song is both aggressive and accessible, and it became an instant classic.

Other standout tracks include “Sad But True”, with its chugging, distorted guitar riff, and “Wherever I May Roam”, which showcases the band’s ability to write epic, sweeping songs.

One of the things that makes “The Black Album” so impressive is the sheer variety of styles on display.  “The Unforgiven” is a slow, emotional ballad, while “Don’t Tread on Me” is a fast-paced, punk-influenced track.  The album also includes a cover of the classic “Diamond Head” song “Am I Evil?”, which is a perfect fit for Metallica’s style.

But the album is not without its flaws.  Some of the songs, like “Holier Than Thou” and “My Friend of Misery”, feel a bit uninspired and forgettable.  And Hetfield’s lyrics can sometimes be overly simplistic and heavy-handed.

“The Black Album” is a testament to Metallica’s skill as musicians and songwriters.  The band was able to evolve their sound without losing their edge, and the result is an album that still stands the test of time.  Whether you’re a fan of their earlier work or not, this is an album that every metal fan should hear.  This is definitely one of the stations top ten metal albums.

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