Metallica: Black Album


Nolan Heitman, Jr. Rep


In my opinion the “Black Album” by Metallica was the staple point of the band’s career. The album includes long and heavy guitar riffs that fills you with surprising enthusiasm as well as adrenaline. Lars Ulrich’s drumming ability was definitely shown with his precise counts and tone along with his bass drum incorporating into the tempo of the music. Every song seemed to have everyone’s playing style within this album adding a feeling of completion to the album.


Don’t Tread On Me was the “In Your Face” song of the album combining the heavy, long chords of Kirk Hammett as well as Jason Newstead’s chorus-like chime of the bass guitar. James Hetfield’s purposely deepend and raspy voice boosted the overall intensity of the song and still would be intimidating without instruments. “Wherever I May Roam” was a new type of song for Metallica which they astoundedly pulled off, shattering my expectations. The guitars were tuned to a higher pitch in which they even kept the same beat throughout the song. This may not sound as interesting, however every time they raise the pitch of the guitars the tempo of the song rose, challenging Hetfield to stay on track. I believed this was prevented by the slow and time-spaced drums by Ulrich; always keeping the band on track.

The Cons

Some of the songs on the album are filled with mindless lyrics and guitar playing. The lyrics don’t quite fit together that tightly and the guitar riffs, as well as the drums are off balance, whether that be too much guitar or not enough guitar the imbalance is quite noticeable. Thankfully songs like these are overshadowed by the other song’s popularity and headstrong character.

Emotions Taking Part

The God That Failed was the most heartbreaking and emotional song in the lineup giving details about Hetfield’s mother’s death. Hetfield poured all of his emotions into making his stance seem defiant and hateful. The lyrics seemed to be told from Hetfield’s mother not Hetfield himself. These lyrics destroy all hope and smooth roads knowing that we all face these obstacles and our salvation and faith seems to point to a lost-hope for comfort and guidance. Everything will heal with time, but others can’t seem to wait that long…


Metallica included many interchanging types of songs in this album and also included different meanings and art styles. Some were in your face, some were slow and heavy, and even some were light and delicate in which a single bad strum would snap all the strings. This allowed all types of media rushing to come and listen and to these songs and give their interpretations on it. But that’s not the purpose, to be have another person’s beliefs, NO! The album gives people a way to cope by expressing their own thoughts and feelings as if the album was theirs.