Following the review of the infamous white album (The Beatles), I thought it would be cool to review Metallica's Metallica (The Black Album.) The Black Album came at a time of an extreme change for Metallica, they were changing in foundation from the thrash metal hair band that we had seen up through ...And Justice For All to a less intense, albeit still heavy, more radio accessible band. This shift was a controversial move, as many fans were upset about the new change in direction. Gone are the insane speeds and riffs from albums past. The lyrics also took on a more mature direction, as epitomized by the song Nothing Else Matters. The album was praised by critics, and was commercially successful. Metallica also received some radio airplay, a quasi-new thing for the band, at the time. The album also landed Metallica a Grammy Award. The Black Album was an important pivotal point in Metallica's career, as their next two albums, Load and Re-Load would take that change even further, molding their sound into an almost hard rock shape. The Black Album is, arguably, the band's most dividing album (with the possible exception of Saint Anger) meaning you have a group of people who love the album, and a group who loathe it.
The best songs on the album, from a personal, commercial, and critical standpoint, for me, are Enter Sandman (yeah, get over it, call me a poser), Nothing Else Matters, Sad But True, Wherever I May Roam, and The Unforgiven (though I wish the 'sequel's would never have been written.) The album does tend to revert back to the band's heavy roots, with songs like Of Wolf and Man, but for the most part, sticks to a heavy metal style, as opposed to the thrash metal style of previous albums. The album does sport a few weak songs (relative to the rest of the album) such as Holier Than Thou and Don't Tread on Me. However, there is not too much to complain about on this album.
Overall, this is an excellent album, as well as a very important album in Metallica's career.
(8.5 out of 10)