The Great Metallica Debate — Round Three




On Saturday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum welcomes Metallica to the ranks of popular music’s all-time greats. The band did as much as any group to establish and define thrash metal, then gradually slowed down and became one of the world’s biggest rock bands.

To celebrate the Frisco phenoms’ hard-won recognition, Scene presents The Great Metallica Debate. D.X. Ferris, the paper’s designated metalhead, is moderating. He’ll introduce topics, which will be answered by Chris Akin, Classic Metal Show host and webmaster of, and Matt Wardlaw, former Metal Show host, Radio 92.3 Inner Sanctum host and proprietor of music blog Stay tuned for more.

Today’s topic: Rank the Metallica albums, best to not-so-best

1) ...And Justice For All
2) Ride The Lightning
3) Master of Puppets
4) Kill 'Em All
5) The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited
6) Metallica (“The Black Album”)
7) Death Magnetic
8) Live Sh*t: Binge & Purge (There was no rule about not including compilations/live albums, and I think that many teens in the ‘90s wore out a copy or two of this live record, even if there are questions about how "live" it really is.)
9) St. Anger
10) Garage Inc.
11) Load
12) Re-Load
13) S&M

If this was a list that wasn't just Metallica albums, I'd place Death Magnetic a lot higher on the list, but look at the first six albums on this list! I liked the songs on St. Anger, but as we all know, the crummy trash-can drum mix on St. Anger killed any chance of enjoyment of the album for many — myself included. I ended up burning a CD of the live studio performances of the songs from the DVD that came with St. Anger, and that was the version that I listened to the most. Hearing the new mix for the title track of the Some Kind of Monster EP made me wish for a remix of the whole album. Same goes for Justice after hearing the fan remix of the album that circulates on the 'net. I'd love to hear a proper re-mix of Justice from the original multi-tracks. Venturing deeper into the catalogue, I might be one of the few that really liked the Garage Inc. set — love "Astronomy" and the "Mercyful Fate" medley. Load and Re-Load could have made a good single album, and all I can say about S&M is UGH. I had really abandoned all hope for Metallica after S&M and the crummy production on St. Anger, but they surprised me and pulled the ultimate heavy metal rabbit out of the hat with Death Magnetic. I'm not happy with getting sub-par audio yet again from Metallica (the Guitar Hero mixes are where it's at with Death Magnetic), but with Death, they at least showed music fans that Metallica is still a force to reckon with.

1) Master of Puppets
2) …And Justice for All
3) Kill ‘Em All
4) Ride the Lightning
5) Death Magnetic
6) $5.98 EP: The Garage Days Re-Revisited
7) Metallica
8) Reload
9) Load
10) St. Anger
11) S&M

Studio albums — screw S&M. And don’t bug me with the argument “Dude, it’s classical music, they’ve got, like, a symphony!” Who gives a shite? Burton’s “Anesthesia” bass solo is more impressive musically.
1) Ride the Lightning
2) Master of Puppets
3) Kill ‘Em All
4) $5.98 EP: The Garage Days Re-Revisited
5) …And Justice for All
6) Death Magnetic
7) Metallica
8) St. Anger
9) Garage Inc. (Hey, I like covers. This one gets a nod for “Whiskey in the Jar” — “Turn the Page,” not so much.)
10) Load
11) Reload
—D.X. Ferris

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