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A Review of the Album "Load" by American Heavy Metal Band Metallica

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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"Load" is Metallica's 6th studio album and a Very Different One Compared to Their Previous 5 Albums

American heavy metal band Metallica raised much criticism following the release and promotion of the album Load. The question that some of us may be asking is how does the album sound more than 26 years after its release? That’s why I will review the album once again and offer some perspective.

3 Reasons Why Metallica's 6th Album Is a Significant Release

1. As I have alluded to before, sometimes a band has to change their musical direction to show that they are maturing as a unit.

2. By this time in their career, Metallica had lost Cliff Burton, having had to replace him and:

3. They had to deal with front man James Hetfield suffering serious burns in 1992 following a pyrotechnics accident in Montreal, Canada.


"Load" Songs List

  1. "Ain’t my B*****"
  2. "2 X 4"
  3. "The House That Jack Built"
  4. "Until It Sleeps"
  5. "King Nothing"
  6. "Hero of the Day"
  7. "Bleeding Me"
  8. "Cure"
  9. "Poor Twisted Me"
  10. "Wasting My Hate"
  11. "Mama Said"
  12. "Thorn Within"
  13. "Ronnie"
  14. "The Outlaw Torn"

"2 X 4"

This Album will appeal to those listeners that have an open mind

Through it all, the band stuck together and persevered and here we have a good hard rock album that has some blues influences in it such as the song 2 X 4. This is one of those albums that will receive a hard and heavy criticism from many long-time Metallica fans. It is VERY different from the band’s releases of the 1980’s and if you can’t handle this, then don’t listen to it. At least this album does have guitar solos unlike St. Anger. The album is almost 80 minutes long making it a very long album so some people may lose patience and this is understandable. But for those of you that have an open mind, Load should be a pretty good listen. It is not as hard hitting and intense as albums such as Master of Puppets so that should be easier for many listeners to handle. Load is an album that is totally more mainstream than even the black album that had been released five years earlier but still, it is a darn good album with a nice collection of songs that should appeal to a person that is open minded.

Load is actually a musically diverse album if you are willing to open up your musical tastes for the better. One such example is the softer rock song “Hero of the Day” as James Hetfield sings “they’re off to find the hero of the day.”

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"King Nothing" Music Video

Here We Introduce Metallica's 6th Album "Load"

Load was released on June 4, 1996. I remember hearing the songs of this album while being at summer camp and this is one of the reasons that the album is memorable to me. Until It Sleeps is perhaps the most famous song on the album and a video was made for it. It is what I would call one of the first very strong songs on the album. However, now the song "2 X 4" in spite of the grooves that it has, it sounds a little too generic for this fan of hard rock and heavy metal. So that one is now one of the weaker songs of the album even though I really used to like this one in the past. It is not a bad song but it is not as good as Cure or Until It Sleeps. "King Nothing" has an excellent catchy set of grooves to it and the song basically making fun of a king that has lost his crown and he has seemingly lost his grip on power. The song features a very good blues solo by Kirk Hammett. Hetfield says “Where’s your crown? King Nothing!” My assumption is that the band was really enthusiastic about writing and performing the song. The blues style solo by Kirk Hammett is really good as well.

"Cure"

Metallica's weakest studio album

"Until It Sleeps" Music Video

This Is Not the Weakest Metallica Album as of 2022

As we are in 2022 now, is Load really the weakest Metallica album? No, that distinction belongs to the album Re-Load which came out in 1997, the year after Load. Load is a fine experimental album by pretty much the best US heavy metal band ever. The strongest songs in Load include the big successful song Until It Sleeps, King Nothing, Cure, Wasting My Hate, and to a certain degree Mama Said. To say that Load is a musically watered down album is not entirely accurate because songs such as Ain’t My B**** show that even back in 1996, Metallica did try to use some speed but there is a definite blues and rock kind of feel to Load as well as a more heavy atmospheric feel in Until It Sleeps which to this day is one of my favorite Metallica songs on this album. The aggressive style singing by James Hetfield is also a memorable highlight in this song.

One of the songs on this album that is comprehensive or more complex is the 8+ minute song “Bleeding Me.” The song is lyrically about a person who is struggling and they are trying to find a better path in their life. But they also know that the seed that they have planted is hurting them. Mama Said is the one ballad song on this album and this is one song that might make some Metallica fans cringe because of how much of a country music style song it is. For what it is worth, Load may be the most underrated album in Metallica’s discography. I would not categorize the album in the band’s 5 best ones but it is still really good!

One example that can back up this assertion is “Cure.” This song begins with Lars Ulrich's drumming as he sets the tone for what can be the favorite song of some of the open-minded music fans. Lyrically the song seems to be a sort of sarcastic way of trying to point out that when we are sick and our body has illness in it, we need to take the appropriate medicines in order to feel better. The bass play by Jason Newsted complements this song nicely.

"Mama Said" Music Video

Rate the album Load by Metallica

Favorite Song the Album Load

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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