I gotta be honest here – a new Metallica album isn’t something that makes my world start turning. That makes my heart beat faster. That puts me in a euphoric state. That… well, you get my drift. It was a long, long time since Metallica put out anything worthwhile and I haven’t spent any money on that band since Load (1996) and frankly, everything they have released since that album has pretty much sucked. When it comes to Metallica, I was a late bloomer. Back in 1983 when they released their debut album Kill ‘Em All, I hated them. Back then, thrash metal was the most extreme stuff in metal you could listen to and I thought that album was just full of noise – I couldn’t hear any melodies, no clear arrangements and no songs, just a useless screamer for a vocalist and three other guys that seemed to race each other, playing as fast as they could. The first time I realised that Metallica might be something worthwhile was when MTV played the video for the song “One” (…And Justice For All, 1988). But I didn’t become a fan then either, it would take me – like with so many others – up to 1992 and “Enter Sandman”. I bought the self titled black album and it hit me in the gut right away – and that was when I started to look back to their old albums. Today, the black album still holds a place close to my heart, but my favorite Metallica album is Ride The Lightning (1984) with the black album and Master Of Puppets (1986) as a tie for second place. Song wise, …And Justice For All is absolutely awesome, but the production really blows so hard it’s actually hard to listen to it. By Load, Metallica had become huge stars and millionaires and they had changed, not only musically but mentally as well. The underground us-against-the-world metal band had become a part of the system and commercial thinking was now their thing. Load is a really good album, although a bit uneven and it couldn’t hold a candle to the previous three albums. Kill ‘Em All? Yeah, well, I still don’t like it.