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Kill 'Em All

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  • Heavy metal is a dead genre now but this, Metallica’s debut LP, ushers back in all the imagery of 1980’s doom, gloom and talk show worry talk again every time you hear it. ‘Kill ‘em All’ comprises ten tracks (twelve if you can get your hands on the 1984 rerelease with the Diamondhead and Blitzkrieg covers) that pulsate with a speed/thrash energy not heard since. Perhaps a little dated to younger ears today, there is a lot to enjoy on here. In the speed category we have ‘Hit the Lights’, ‘Motorbreath’ and ‘Jump In the Fire’, while ‘Seek and Destroy’, ‘No Remorse’, ‘Whiplash’ and the masterful ‘The Four Horsemen’ line the forefront of the thrash section. The terrific thing about this album is that its sound hardly betrays the tender ages of its creators (20 years old on average). This was hard, fast, nasty music which combatted well the growing armies of glam-metalheads who were also coming out of L.A. . While not as refined as ‘Ride the Lightning’ or as well produced as ‘Master of Puppets’, ‘Kill ‘em All’ possesses an exceedingly powerful feel (if all bands had a freshman release as killer as this, the record labels wouldn’t know where to put the money!)and if there is any filler (‘Motorbreath’ and ‘Whiplash’ only being the weaker tracks), it has yet to show itself to these ears. There’s also a few extra goodies in here. Apart from being shown the ugly mugs of these good natured lads in their post-pubecent stages, there is the strange ‘Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth’. I don’t like it as a song but I can appreciate why it was included: essentially as a buffer zone between the raunchy power of ‘Jump in the Fire’ and the blind road racing rocker ‘Whiplash’. Also look out for ‘Metal Militia’. Forget its monotony of sound and imagine the marching metal troopers descending upon every aspect of pop culture you never liked and wrecking them to bits. That’s what ‘Kill ‘em All’ meant to me ten years ago when I first found it and, although I only rarely listen to it anymore (why bother when I can play every part of every song using my mind’s own ‘MP3 player’), I would surmise that that meaning still exists to some smaller degree for me today……..

    Posted on December 11, 2009