This is one intense album. Yes, it’s been played to death (so was “Stairway to Heaven,” does that make Led Zeppelin a sellout? What about “Start Me Up?” “Free Fallin’?”), but does that make Metallica a sellout? No it doesn’t. The word “sellout” just doesn’t apply to Metallica.The songs were not like their usual thrash-style, nor was the sound, or the lyrics, or the song structure, or the production. Does that make this a bad album full of bad songs? No. Does the album lack musicality? No. Does it lack the attitude that metal projects constantly? No.People forget that this album houses one of THE most heavy songs ever written – Sad But True. Some hardcore losers might come out and say, “What about Morbid Angel’s ‘Nothing is Not?’ Or Six Feet Under’s ‘Blood of the Insane?’ or Samael’s ‘Shining Kingdom?’ Huh? Huh? Huh?” And then call Metallica p@$$y sellouts. I don’t think so. Yes bands like Slayer, Samael, Impaled Nazarene, Deicide (Children of the Underworld), Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel (James Murphy-era) might write songs that are far and away heavier than a lot of Metallica’s songs, but you can’t deny that “Sad But True” is a benchmark of metal heaviness and raises some serious hairs on the back of your brain. Keep in mind the other thing about Metallica that this album demonstrates, no matter how crappy the music gets, no one can match their power.Then there are those that howl about “Nothing Else Matters.” Once again, we hear moaning about how it was popular, teenie girls liked it, it’s not heavy, it’s not metal, it’s not real, it’s a sellout song, it’s stupid, it’s not Slayer, blah blah blah. Does this mean it’s a bad song? No.Some people talk about this album being the “beginning of the end of Metallica.” The argument is that, again, it’s not metal. Most of those people are metal heads who have never heard of another genre, and are exactly the close-minded, unintelligent saps that they claim they are because of their “different” musical tastes (It doesn’t work that way. A lot of people listen to metal, death, black, grindcore, thrash, etc., and it doesn’t make you unique just because you listen to metal.) The thing is, “Nothing Else Matters” was unlike any other metal song we had heard, and this close-mindedness was not the kind of audience the song needed, even though it found an audience elsewhere. What happens is that those people miss out on a great song and a great album. That’s essentially the problem; it’s not the band, it’s the ears listening to it.Imagine if this album had been released by a brand new band; they would be instant metal gods. But no, Metallica “betrayed” us. No they didn’t. They made their music. If you don’t like it, go back to Cannibal Corpse, but don’t open your mouth and claim to know good music because all you listen to is a “unique” style of music called metal.