Metallica - _Load_
(Warner/Elektra, 1996)
by: Adrian Bromley (3 out of 10)
Six words: 'I waited five years for this?' Having once been the almighty metallic machine that they once were with the stunning and classic masterpieces such as 1983's _Kill 'Em All_, 1987's _Master Of Puppets_ and the domineering force of their _... And Justice For All_ (1989) LP, it now seems that after a five-year gap between their commercially successful last LP, the self-titled release a/k/a 'The Black Album,' Metallica's four-piece (James, Jason, Kirk and Lars - we know'em all) have once again shifted gears and slowed the pace down even further with _Load_. And even though the last album sold millions and gathered up new fans, many die-hard old Metallica fans jumped ship due to the commercialism of the album. _Load_ will surely bring even more success to Metallica and again old fans may bail but with more radio exposure (NOTE: first single "Until It Sleeps" is played on both alternative and mainstream/rock stations) and the fact that the band will be headlining Lollapalooza 1996. Many new fans will be turned on by the wholesome, clean cut hardness to the new Metallica tuneage i.e. "Cure", "Ain't My Bitch", "Poor Twisted Me" and "King Nothing". Working with Bob Rock (as they did with the last release) has allowed the band to really prove to have potentially addictive grooves but still have the heaviness, and though those changes may be promising for the longevity of the band it has somewhat taken away from the band the brutality and cutthroat edge they once gladly wore on their metallic sleeves. A big disapointment for the most part... and I'm sure most REAL Metallica fans will agree with me on that.

(article published 17/7/1996)

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