Metallica – Load

Metallica - Load

What the fuck is this dad-rock post-grunge bullshit that’s disguising itself as a heavy metal band? Is that blood and semen mixed together on the cover; am I supposed to feel “hardcore” or whatever the kids say when I see that? Did James Hetfield just say I need to be down with the sickness – is that where Disturbed got it? Is this really a band made up of a bunch of dudes in their thirties who made a song called “Ain’t My Bitch?” If I purchase this album, do I get a free mullet?

I’m at “Poor Twisted Me” and the album is just halfway through, please God kill me now. That poor vocoder. That poor, poor vocoder. It probably hasn’t been that close to a washed-up ashtray since it was used as the boom mic for the death counselor in Betelgeuse. Now there’s a song called “Wasting My Hate” – no fucking wonder this album was only five dollars at Wal-Mart. Seriously, I can’t believe they led this album with a song called “Ain’t My Bitch” – is that word supposed to make them cool or badass? Did I miss the boat on the whole “bitch” as a funny dismissive that I’m not supposed to take seriously? Hah, bitches – am I right?

Y’know, there are actually some pretty good licks in here, but James Hetfield’s voice is just so damn stereotypical eighties/nineties dad-rock that I can’t take it seriously and it doesn’t do anything for me at all. Is it because he actually founded all of the tropes and now they sound overplayed, kind of like how Seinfeld doesn’t seem all that funny to new viewers? Or does he just sound obnoxious with every over-enunciated phoneme that ends a word? Because I’m sick of hearing “meh” instead of “me” – or “me-yuh.” God.

Every piece of this album – from “Mama Said” to “The House Jack Built” – drips pandering insincerity. “Mama Said” is especially bad; how am I supposed to take your emotions seriously when you had a bunch of RAWRGH MEN songs like “Poor Twisted Me” and “Ain’t My Bitch?” Seriously – you guys have how many studio execs watching your every move and nobody told you it was a bad idea to write a song called “Ain’t My Bitch”? Hetfield just dropped “forgive me father / for I have sinned” on “Thorn Within.” Yeah, because there weren’t enough enormous clichés here. This isn’t fucking sensitivity training. Is “Ronnie” supposed to be country? Actually, that track could be pretty damn good if it weren’t Hetfield chewing the scenery with that mouth of his.

I’m not a Metallica fetishist. I don’t have any particular leaning toward Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets as these huge mind-altering albums and that post-Justice for All Metallica is just sell-outs. Load is just a really bad album. It’s full of hackneyed blues rock and metal tropes, and its attempt to co-opt grunge into the sound is horribly awkward. “Sell-out” are fighting words; but “insincere” is certainly applicable.

I should have torrented this.

1. Ain’t My Bitch1 – (5:04) – ☆☆☆☆☆
2. 2 X 4 – (5:28) – ★★★☆☆
3. The House Jack Built – (6:38) – ★★☆☆☆
4. Until It Sleeps – (4:29) – ★★★★☆
5. King Nothing – (5:28) – ★★☆☆☆
6. Hero of the Day – (4:21) – ★☆☆☆☆
7. Bleeding Me – (8:18) – ★★☆☆☆
8. Cure – (4:54) – ★☆☆☆☆
9. Poor Twisted Me – (3:59) – ★☆☆☆☆
10. Wasting My Hate – (3:57) – ★★☆☆☆
11. Mama Said – (5:19) – ★☆☆☆☆
12. Thorn Within – (5:51) – ★☆☆☆☆
13. Ronnie – (5:17) – ★☆☆☆☆
14. The Outlaw Torn – (9:48) – ★★★☆☆

Overall: ★½☆☆☆

1NOBODY took you guys aside and said “hey, maybe we shouldn’t do this one?” SERIOUSLY? I’ve totally heard worse, but this is just fucking absurd in its try-hard attempt to be cool in using “bitch” as a derogation.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Your obviously not a Metallica fan then!


    1. dylanrkilby says:

      I respect and enjoy Master of Puppets and Justice of All quite a bit! Load felt like a capitulation to whatever was “in” at the time rather than artistic growth.

      Liked by 1 person

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