Metallica’s self-titled DVD on one of their albums, which is known as “The Black Album”( album is actually self-titled, but because the front and back of the album is all black, it earned it’s reputation as “The Black Album”)is one of the best music DVDS on the market. This DVD goes behind the scenes into the making of the album; there are interviews with band members James Hetfield, Jason Newsted, Kirk Hammet, Lars Ulrich, and producer Bob Rock. You get to listen to previously unheard demo recordings, and the five singles off of “The Black Album” are on this DVD: “Enter Sandman”, “Holier Than Thou”, “Sad But True”, “The Unforgiven”, and “Nothing Else Matters”. I also enjoyed the exteneded interviews for the DVD, and it was very interesting when James Hetfield told the behind the scenes stories for when he wrote “Nothing Else Matters” and “The God That Failed”. Hetfield also talked about how he and the band members in Metallica faced difficulties in their childhoods( parents getting divorced, family members dying)and how music was what guided them through all the tough times in their childhoods. If you enjoyed “The Black Album”, you definitely don’t want to miss the DVD.
The story of the making of this remarkable album is told here via exclusive interviews with band members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Jason Newsted, archive footage and performance, and contributions from producer Bob Rock. We revisit the original multi-tracks of the album, as well as listen to previously unheard demo recordings. Featuring the five singles from the album, Enter Sandman, Sad But True, ”The Unforgiven”, ”Wherever I May Roam” and ”Nothing Else Matters”, this is the compelling story of one of the biggest selling albums of all time, a true Classic Album.The making and continued influence of Metallica’s commercial breakthrough (known simply as ”the Black Album”) is entertainingly recounted in this must for Metallica fanatics, especially those who are interested in the recording of one of hard rock’s most sonically breathtaking albums. Drummer Lars Ulrich, singer James Hetfield, and producer Bob Rock take up the lion’s share of the interviews, and their reminiscences a decade after the fact include many juicy tidbits (like Ulrich and Rock loathing each other by the time the recording was finished, or that the final mix was nearly ruined by a digital clicking sound on the master tape–luckily, a successful remastering was done). The Dolby 2.0 Stereo sound is appropriately pummeling, even if we are treated to mere excerpts from the songs, videos, and even some of the original demos. Classic Albums: Metallica adroitly summarizes a pivotal moment in hard rock history. –Kevin Filipski
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First my standard warning:The Classic Album series by Eagle Eye Media is a series of DVD documentaries about the *making* of classic albums. These are not DVDs of videos and music. This series will probably be of highest interest to musicians and recordist. And it’s an excellent series with quality production.Now the review:The DVD actually documents the making of 7 tracks on the black album and touches on interesting aspects of the production of each song. There a hella lot of footage and interviews here since the bonus interviews actually comprise half the DVD. James & Lars discuss songwriting and drum recording techniques. Kirk talks about how Bob Rock pushed him to the brink of insanity to get some good solos on tape. What I love most about this DVD is seeing the band sit around the mixing console with engineer Randy Staub as they listen to the original mixes and solo things like the vocal and drum tracks. It’s pretty cool to here the band members’ tracks isolated like that. They also listen to some demos and discuss those. There’s tons of comments about the many decisions that Rock and the band had to make to create this album and why they made those decisions. Also interesting was the story behind Michael Kamen’s orchestral score of Nothing Else Matters and his later work with the band. And last but not least, there’s a bunch of studio footage from the period and much praising of Bob Rock–you’ll have to judge if the praising is justified. I know a lot about how Metallica works as a band so a lot of this info wasn’t new to me, however I have to admit I gained more appreciation of the immense effort these guys made to put this album on tape–quite an incredible process. And I’m looking forward to more documentaries in this series, especially the making of Nirvana’s Nevermind.
I watched this at a friends and will probably eventually buy it but I have a few other Metallica videos I want to replace with DVD first.First off, this DVD doesn’t get ratings for the videos from the Black Album, it’s a documentary…if you want music videos or sessions, buy A Year and A Half… There’s no comparison between the two. If it contained most of the same material, I think that would be a bigger waste of money.
The “Classic Albums” release about Metallica’s so-called Black Album has a wealth of good information and interesting tidbits on it; it’s just a shame we’ve seen so much of it before. Much of the footage is recycled from the “A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica” VHS/DVD release, and I suppose that was to be expected. What the disc does provide, however, are plenty of new interviews with the band that better tell the story of how this record was made.The bits that are especially interesting are those in which the guys sit at the mixing board with Bob Rock and Randy Staub, isolating different parts of each song and letting us hear things we’ve never heard before, like a particularly good solo from Kirk Hammett that was muffled as “Wherever I May Roam” faded out. These parts of the documentary are too few; I for one want to get a shot to get in that room and play with that mixing board for hours, dissecting each song.Then there’s also some really strange moments where the guys talk about having drinks after recording, including one where James comments that he didn’t remember the story Lars and Bob Rock are talking about because he was drinking, as illustrated by the usual hand-to-mouth invisible beer can gesture. This was recorded not too long before James checked himself into rehab, so it’s really interesting to see this side of him.Even better than the main 45-minute documentary are the outtake interview segments, which run almost a full 50 minutes. This lets us hear more detail about certain aspects of the production than the rest of the show. Particularly interesting here is Jason’s revelation that “My Friend of Misery” was originally intended as that album’s instrumental track — and his snide comment that it was his second full writing credit in his five years in the band, reminding us that this was also recorded not too long before Jason left the band.All in all, an essential addition to the collection of a die-hard Metallica fan, even if some of the material is recycled.
Was really wanting some actual full length music videos allong with this but it did not deliver. When the cover says “cuts from” thats what they mean. It was interesting to watch to see how the band started with thir first album and how they progressed. Seems like I would have watched this on “Behind the Music”. Man I wish they had included the actual music videos on this. Why did they classify this as UMD Music when all it is is a documentary.
So all you get is the main feature running about 40 something minutes going over the five singles from the Black Album. Enter Sandman, Sad but True, The Unforgiven, Wherever I may roam, and Nothing Else Matters. And it has Im guessing another 40 something minutes in some additional interviews.
It wouldn’t have taken much to put the actual music or even the video’s on this UMD MUSIC selection.
Kinda dissapointed but still an innteresting watch. You do get to hear some of the origional riffs and clips of the progression of the making of the songs.