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    Sad, But True:

    ‘#9;In the early 1980s, the bay area of San Francisco was a hotbed for a quickly emerging brand of metal rock called ‘thrash.’ Taking the influences of speed punk bands like the Misfits and the Ramones and the aggressive heaviness of European metal bands like Motorhead and Judas Priest, thrash metal easily appealed to American metal fans.

    ‘#9;

    Many bands like Exodus, Slayer, and Megadeth used this thrash style to explode into the music scene. But one band in particular gained underground popularity faster than any other American metal group. This band was Metallica.

    ‘#9;In the mid to late 80s, Metallica was the definition of thrash. The original core group of bassist Cliff Burton, guitarists Kirk Hammet and James Hetfield, and drummer Lars Ulrich displayed an uncanny ability to both appeal to live audiences and record amazing music. Metallica was able to feature every single one of its members, something most bands found difficult to do.

    ‘#9;While remaining relatively underground with their first two albums, Kill ‘#145;em All and Ride the Lightning, Metallica broke through with their third studio album, Master of Puppets.

    Master of Puppets is, track for track, one of the most complete thrash metal compositions to date. Their fourth album, ‘#133;And Justice For All, was just as good, if not better, than any of their previous albums. It is after this album, however, that Metallica took a turn for the worse.

    ‘#9;

    Although Metallica’#146;s three most recent albums all sold remarkably well, their focus strayed away from the pure thrash that made them so famous. Their music was slower than ever, and the rhythm and percussion parts became much more repetitive and simple. Fortunately for them, Kirk Hammet remains one of the most skilled lead guitarists that ever walked on stage.

    ‘#9;Recently, Metallica has stooped to new lows. On their upcoming album, Metallica is featuring rapper Ja-Rule on the track ‘We Did It Again.’ I have heard this song, and I think that most Metallica fans would agree that this song sucks to a degree far beyond human comprehension.

    ‘#9;In my opinion, there are two main reasons why Metallica has went downhill since ‘#133;And Justice For All. First, the death of Cliff Burton during Metallica’#146;s Master of Puppets Tour was a severe blow to the band. Anyone who has listened to the song ‘Anesthesia’ (on Kill ‘#145;em All) would reassure you that Burton is undoubtedly one of the top five bassists in metal history. Jason Newsted, the bassist who replaced Burton and recently quit Metallica, was a solid bassist, but was nowhere near Burton’#146;s talent.

    ‘#9;Second, Lars Ulrich is an overrated metal drummer. Compared to percussionists like Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament) and Richard Christy (Death, Iced Earth), Ulrich is a boy in a man’#146;s world. Ulrich has shown a lack of endurance when it comes to playing a double bass drum, which is essential to a good thrash band. ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ is the only song in which Ulrich has an extended double bass part, and Metallica rarely plays that song live.

    ‘#9;It is time for Metallica to turn off their amplifiers and throw away their drumsticks. They are running out of ideas and now are apparently relying on mainstream, hip-hop artists to keep them afloat. Metallica is not, and never will be, the aggressive and influential band they once were.

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