The direction Metallica went on Load shows EXACTLY what they stood for since the beginning. Going with their instinct, doing what THEY felt they felt necessary to express themselves, regardless of what backlash some people may give. This album brought Metallica on a level above the entire genre of metal. They showed that unlike most metal bands, they can write beautiful, melodic music, and try new things. In fact, this album may be more metal than most, due to its heavy blues influence. After all, blues was one of the biggest influences on the formation of heavy metal. Now onto the album itself.
Load has a great variety of styles. You have powerful, up-tempo rockers like ‘Wasting My Hate’ ‘Ain’t My Bitch’ and ‘Cure’. A soft rocker with an intense bridge/outro in ‘Hero Of The Day’, and one of the biggest surprises of the album, the country-esque tune ‘Mama Said’. Which is an absolutely beautiful tribute from James to his deceased mother, and anybody with a heart should be able to appreciate. Yet the highlights of Load in my opinion, are the epic rock classics ‘Bleeding Me’ and ‘Outlaw Torn’. The lyrics, the solos, the riffs, the beats, everything about these songs is perfect and brilliant. Metal or not, these songs will go down in history as pieces of amazing artwork.
In summation, although the average metalhead will tell you they only like ‘old Metallica’, the MUSIC fan will be able to appreciate Load for what it is. Just because it isn’t metal, doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Metallica took a daring risk that most metal bands would be scared to death of taking in their careers. And it pays off, as the music on this album comes from the heart, and shines with brilliance that only Metallica has been able to deliver.