Today in Metal: ‘Load’ by Metallica turns 18 years old

Posted by on June 4, 2014


Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. Today, Metallica’s Load, which still receives mixed reviews hits legal age.

Despite the flack this album gets, overall, I think it has a really nice groove going to it. It’s nowhere near being in the running for the heaviest Metallica album, but it really flows well as an album. Songs like “Poor Twisted Me,” while not a favorite of mine, still display this groove extremely well. At the same time, it still cranks out solid riffs all around, and James’ vocals are still aggressive. Like many albums from the mid’90s, the album is also almost an hour and twenty minutes long, and all of the songs are pretty long for thrash standards, so there’s a lot of it to go around. Jason Newsted has some REALLY cool bass grooves throughout this album (did I say groove enough for one day?). “The Outlaw Torn” has an incredible riff, and maybe the best James Hetfield vocals I’ve ever heard, in terms of being melodic, on the chorus. I think “King Nothing” is another damn good track. Good rhythm, cool riffs, a great bass line.

The biggest problem with this album to me, is that, for every really awesome track this album has, there’s another that is just boring as hell and generic that can match it. In my opinion, tracks like “Hero of the Day” and “Until it Sleeps” are completely worthless tracks. Even though I said above that it was cool the album was long, I do think there was plenty of filler and unneeded tracks and parts all around. “Mama Said” is just so commercial it hurts. It’s got a touching message, but it’s just so cliché, I never thought I’d hear Metallica make a song like it.

Favorite Tracks: “The Outlaw Torn,” “King Nothing,” “Ain’t My Bitch,” “Thorn Within,” “Bleeding Me.”

This is certainly a different Metallica album. The overall feel and mood of it is like none of the others, in my opinion. I really don’t understand why it gets so much flack, because I think it’s good work. Sure, there are certainly a lot of throwaway tracks, but I also think there are some real overlooked gems within too. It’s an album that I’m starting to think many don’t give a truly open minded try to. I say give it a try if you haven’t already, or give it another try if you have and didn’t like it. I think the good on this album is REALLY good!


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