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Master of Puppets

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(1285 Reviews)

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Japanese exclusive reissue of 1986 album, packaged in a miniature LP gatefold sleeve, features 8 tracks. CBS. 2003.One of the defining albums of thrash metal, Master of Puppets is arguably Metallica’s best album (as well as their last with bassist Cliff Burton). Focusing on the concept of power and abuses thereof, this is a collection of complex, intelligent music, played at about a hundred miles an hour. Not that these are short songs; this eight-song album clocks in at over an hour, which makes it all the more impressive that not one moment on this recording is boring. In tackling various approaches to their subject, Metallica is insightful lyrically as well as musically: ”Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” is from the point of view of an institutionalized inmate and ”Disposable Heroes” is the perspective of a soldier. If all you’ve heard of Metallica is what’s been on the radio recently, check this one out. You’re in for a surprise. –Genevieve Williams

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  • these days i spend a lot more time listening to overkill and megadeth and tool than metallica, but no one can deny that Master of Puppets is, simply put, what metal should be. It is, without a doubt, the best heavy metal album anyone has ever done. Better than Megadeth’s Rust In Peace, better than Black Sabbath’s We Sold Our Souls For Rock And Roll, and that is no light statement. Battery lulls you in with masterful acoustic guitars then bashes you over the head with power and fury. may say the theme is power, but it is actually insanity. The insanity of domestic abuse(battery) drug addiction(master of puppets) the insanity that results from seeing things not meant to be seen(the thing that should not be-which takes its lyrics almost directly from a H. P. Lovecraft story) being locked in an institution(welcome home) the insanity of war and sending your children off to be slaughtered for the greater good(disposable heroes) then pure insanity made audio-orion, this instrumental sounds like beethoven done electric. That may sound uninteresting to metal fans and blasphemous to fans of classical, but i am a huge fan of both and i challenge metal fans to listen to beethoven and beethoven fans to listen to orion, you will find they hold much in common. i don’t know if hetfield and the rest of metallica is insane, as beethoven was, but they at least know how to express the feeling. the final track, Damage, Inc.-doesn’t appear to have a theme really, it is pure metal, a la Kill ‘em All. If you are a fan of Heavy Metal, or are even curios about it, or simply wonder if you’ve given it a bad rap, buy this. Listen. If you don’t like this cd, don’t bother with another metal cd ever, because this is exactly what metal is meant to be.

    Posted on December 23, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Metallica’s third full length release, Master of Puppets, is possibly their finest work. The lyrics are smart, the fast sections(and I mean fast) are impossibly tight, and the slow sections are melodic and chilling. James Hetfield’s vocals aren’t exactly pretty, but his intensity matches the music perfectly. Drummer Lars Ulrich manages to hold things together through myriad tempo changes and time signatures(not an easy task) but bassist Cliff Burton seems to get lost in the mix at times. Not to knock Cliff. Listen close in “Sanitarium” and “Orion” and you’ll hear some of the best rock and roll bass ever recorded. Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett is a chameleon, blending in as the situation calls; he is at times frenzied, at others morose. James Hetfield’s rhythm guitar work is so fast and precise one wonders how in the world he manages to sing while playing. The production is a little rough but even that seems to fit. All in all, it’s scary how good this album is. Listen and see why in 1986 all of the heavy metal haters were scratching their heads and saying, “wow, these guys can really play.”

    Posted on December 23, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Metallica truly shows their maximum talent in this amazing album. This 24k gold CD holds beautiful sound quality that will blow any fan away. This spectacular CD is defenitely worth the purchase, especially if you are a die hard fan…10 times better than regular “puppets” album.

    Posted on December 23, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Master of Puppets illustrates why Metallica was one of the most important metal bands ever.After giving birth to thrash with Kill ‘Em All, Metallica began refining their innovations with Ride the Lightning, which added a bit more maturity and compositional quality. Master of Puppets is a much larger step in the same direction, and had the band incorporating more progressive elements into their music. It’d be hard to count the metal bands doing half the pioneering things Metallica was doing.The acoustic, quiet introduction to “Battery” explodes under an aggressive onslaught of hyperkinetic, muscular riffs and thick, heavy arrangements that characterize the entire album. That’s not to say it’s redundant, though. All eight songs are excellent, featuring enough variation of tempo and texture to ensure that they never get boring, which is crucial when some songs extend for eight minutes (“Master of Puppets,” “Disposable Heroes,” “Orion”). Cripes, you could dissect the riffery of the title track and probably create half a dozen normal metal songs. That”s part of Metallica’s appeal: they cram a ton of ideas into their music, but all songs are perfectly crafted without the slightest sense of disjointed songwriting.Speaking of the title track, it in particular sports a dynamic composition, where its middle section diminishes into a quieter, evocative guitar solo (one of the few played by Hetfield) before taking off all over again. “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” mirrors “Fade to Black” in its progression of intensity. It starts with haunting melodies, turning up the crunch for the chorus, then kicks into high gear with a weighty, fast riff and a glistening lead that carries the song to its vengeful apogee. Hetfield isn’t quite a master lyricist, but for the first time in Metallica’s career, the lyrics were insightful with effective diction. Note the telling and vitriolic “Disposable Heroes” or “Leper Messiah.” Hetfield was never a great singer, but he was a good metal vocalist. Although his ferocity was tempered by youthful pipes, he still managed to convey the viciousness required of music so heavy, so furious.And even when the band eschewed words and singing, they could impress. “Orion” is a marvel of metal songwriting, being an eight minute instrumental with precise, articulate solos (including a short-but-sweet one from the late bassist Cliff Burton) and big, chugging riffs. Most metal bands wrote instrumentals that were three or four minutes long…never eight. But Metallica did it, and they did it well enough to make songs like “Orion” and “To Live Is To Die” (from …And Justice) among my favorite metal instrumentals.Add my voice to the many, many fans who have rated this album five stars (about 362 at the time of this writing). If Master of Puppets isn’t the best metal album ever, it’s very very close.

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THIS is one of the finest albums every produced, not just in the genre of thrash metal. Metallica rocked with their first two albums, but this is the album that I listen to most out of all of them. There is not a single dull moment on this masterpiece of puppetry. All the songs are played with lightning fast precision, and glorious heavy metal power. And yet, 1) The songs clock in mostly between 5-12 minutes long, and 2) Amidst the mayhem of wailing guitars and pounding drums is the sound of melody and classically influenced arrangments and composition. This is largely in part to bassist Cliff Burton, the most classically trained member of the band. Sadly this would be his final album, but if he had to give a final farewell before his sudden and unfortunate death, this album screams with a power that engraves into the listeners’ minds, “Cliff was here!” -”Battery”: great acoustic intro leading into a maniacal barage of Hetfield’s harsh vocals and Ulrich’s pounding drums that literally batter their way through your ears.-”Master of Puppets”: a classic in the truest sense of the word. Like “Battery,” this song is fast, hard, and it beckons with energy the question of who is truly the puppet and who is the puppeteer.-”The Thing that Should Not Be”: again, a great acoustic intro that leads into a hardcore thrash rhythm.-”Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”: the lyrics are the real gem here, telling the story of a mental patient from inside the patient’s mind. The music is great, but the lyrics can haunt you if you’re not careful.-”Disposable Heroes”: while I may like their later song “One” better in terms of the lyrical device of the soldier’s point of view, I still give this one credit since it came first, and let’s face it…everything on this album kicks serious arse, including this one.-”Leper Messiah”: I could say again that this song is fierce in its brutal greatness, but I’ve been saying that about every other song, so…let’s just say this is still yet another great song on this great album.-”Orion”: great instrumental, with a militaristic march that echoes the gradeur of Wagner, but without being oppressive. This is something for the Metal Militia to use as a warcry.-”Damage Inc.”: the intro to this song is absolutely incredible. It is my favorite part of the song, and thus that makes it my favorite song on the album. As a closer…it is amazing, and it has to be one of the best songs Metallica ever recorded.Top-notch production, speed-licks only Hammett and Hetfield could dish out to give Eddie Van Halen a run for his money, and let’s face it…like I said, it is a sad, but glorious and powerful farewell to Cliff Burton. He left us too soon. Behold his legacy! DANCE PUPPETS! DANCE!

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now