If there’s anything out of 90s Metallica that can be salvaged it’s this. Too bad it’s not new Metallica at all but just some more covers.
First off, the first disc comprises a return back to the garage for much-needed inspiration. It’s good but my goodness! On “Tuesday’s Gone” they’ve turned full Alternica! It’s the worst cover on the disc, being not just overlong but sums up in about ten minutes what’s wrong with BOTH Load/Re-Load. It’s so bad that it just sunk the first disc.
It’s not all bad, though. It does stay with you as for the remainder of the disc you ponder, “Where was *THIS*?” I really felt cheated in knowing that it was all right there and not elsewhere. Maybe Metallica is better as a cover band after all.
Ah, but the second disc! Oh, now we’re talkin’! *THIS* is ALL of the classic riffing, drumming and much much more back from the days when Metallica didn’t suck. Just the first five tracks on this disc which comprise the reissue of 1987’s “Garage Days Re-Revisited” brings back the memories like a flood. And it just keeps getting better after that.
From the two tracks formerly available on “Kill ‘em All” to the covers recorded during the Justice/Black sessions right on down to FOUR (!) Motorhead covers, doing Lemmy proud in 1995!
1995? Y’mean there was a time between Black/Load where Metallica didn’t suck too? Now I’m REALLY beginning to feel cheated now!
Overall, if you kick “Tuesday’s Gone” to the curb and can get over the feeling of being cheated this is a damn fine set. It’s not original but damn, *THIS* is the Metallica oldskool fans know and love. Nicely mixed, somewhat produced and containing a big *FAT* inlay booklet (it’s really thick at about 30 pages, filled with tons of text, photos and track info), it’s that rare treat from the 90s.
Now, if only Metallica could only make that inspiration stick to some new material…