Let us start from the beginning. The question is not whether or not Metallica “sold out” because they changed their music style. The issue in a review like this is if the album was good or if it , instead, sucked royally. To give an album one star means it sucked royally. While “Load” may not have met the expectations of some, it was at least a decent album. No, it was not thrash or speed metal. Like its previous effort, “Metallica” (commonly known as the “Black” album) “Load” had a more rock oriented sound to it. (No, it was not an alternative album, if anything “Load” at least represents a good hard rock album.)Load did not suck royally. So, in my opinion, it deserves three stars. It did not meet the same level as an album like “Black,” which would be a four or five.As for earlier albums, this album is different. Understandably people buying this album expecting to see Metallica’s thrash-metal roots (see “Master or Puppets” or “Ride the Lightning”) clearly are disappointed. The reason for such disappointed is well founded…. “Load” is not a thrash metal album. It is, instead, a clear progression from earlier albums. Go ahead, listen to them in order and see if you can’t expect an album like “Black” or later “Load.”Face it. James Hetfield and company aren’t angry 18 year olds. If they were, they would be pumping out more albums like “Kill `Em All.” And, no doubt, we’d be sick of them and complaining that all they can do is create copies of the same thing. Let Metallica evolve. Give them a bit of slack, and see where things take them. If you don’t like where things are when, god forbid, Metallica is no more, then you can complain about where they ended up. But right now, they are still a work-in-progress (like any band still playing), so let’s just see where evolution takes them.