METALLICA

(UNITED STATES)

LOAD

(1996)
LABEL:

ELEKTRA ENTERTAINMENT

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
Melancholic, Rasping vocals
"A minor album from a major band, "Load" sees Metallica confirm the musical trend of the "Black Album", and certainly doesn't deserve the scorn it received on its release."
NOISE (03.08.2010)  
3/5
(0) opinions (1) comment(s) (1) Biography + (4)
At the beginning of the 90s, the release of a new Metallica album was an event covered by all the media, far beyond the simple sphere of hard rock and heavy metal. In just five albums, the band had revolutionised the genre in a way that few had done before, with the release of the "Black Album" in 1991 turning Metallica into a commercial war machine. In fact, in 1995, the announcement of a new studio album came as a bombshell, with many wondering what to expect from the leader of the world metal scene, who had always evolved from record to record.

"Load" was released in mid-1996 after a very long wait. In the meantime, the band had spent a great deal of time in the studio with Bob Rock, the man responsible for the sound on the Black Album, and had composed many tracks - no fewer than 14, lasting almost 80 minutes. Logically, "Load" sees Metallica confirm the musical trend of the "Black Album", abandoning the Thrash of their origins.

"Load" is a dark album, an aspect that comes in particular from the lyrics of James Hetfield, who is as tormented as ever. Even if the aggression of the early days has disappeared, the Metallica style is immediately recognisable. While the album as a whole sounds fairly mainstream, the band still tries to please everyone, offering both Heavy tracks and softer, hit-like songs. "Load" saw seven of its tracks released as singles, breaking the "Black Album" record.

The album's strength lies mainly in its first half, with fairly effective heavy pieces such as 'Ain't My Bitch', the record's fastest track, which gets straight to the point, '2X4', which is a little less immediate, and the murky, dark 'The House Jack Built', a convoluted track which turns out to be a little marvel of heavy metal, with its dark ambience and unstoppable chorus. Aimed at a more recent audience, Metallica's muscular tracks are complemented by singles designed for US radio stations, with easy-to-remember choruses and melodies such as 'Until It Sleeps' and, above all, the very Pop/Rock 'Hero Of The Day'. Finally, there are the heavy melodic rock tracks 'King Nothing', with its powerful, snarling chorus, and 'Bleeding Me', a more than eight minutes track.

The second half of "Load" is less easy to digest, with dispensable compositions such as 'Poor Twisted Me', 'Thorn Within', 'Ronnie' and, to a lesser extent, 'Wasting My Hate'. Still in a heavy rock style with a few southern influences, they have the misfortune of weighing the album down. The only ones that really stand out are 'Mama Said', a very surprising ballad with strong country overtones that won't appeal to everyone, but which is bursting with emotion, and 'The Outlaw Torn', simply grandiose with its heavy hard rock tinged with melancholy.

Almost 15 years after its release, 'Load' continues to divide fans. Putting aside the sterile polemics about the musicians' looks and the abandonment of thrash, it remains an honest album with highly effective tracks, unstoppable melodies and real musicality. Handicapped by some average tracks, particularly in the second half, the album would no doubt have been better received if it had been reduced to around fifty minutes. An obviously inconceivable exercise for the members of Metallica, when we know that they had as many tracks in reserve for a new album: "ReLoad".
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Ain't My Bitch (05:04)
02. 2 X 4 (05:28)
03. The House Jack Built (06:38)
04. Until It Sleeps (04:28)
05. King Nothing (05:30)
06. Hero Of The Day (04:22)
07. Bleeding Me (08:18)
08. Cure (04:54)
09. Poor Twisted Me (04:00)
10. Wasting My Hate (03:58)
11. Mama Said (05:20)
12. Thorn Whitin (05:51)
13. Ronnie (05:17)
14. The Outlaw Torn (09:48)

LINEUP:
James Hetfield: Chant / Guitares
Jason Newsted: Basse
Kirk Hammett: Guitares
Lars Ulrich: Batterie
   
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BOOMBOOM
26/04/2023
 
1
1
Très bon album aux accents blues, un son particulier.
un groupe à un tournant qui essaie de se renouveler.
Disque sous estimé et peut-être sorti trop tôt, le même plus tard aurait eu meilleur presse.
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