Metallica - Worst to Best

Here's my personal Metallica Worst to Best, including the brand new release "72 Seasons" (click here if you have missed my track by track). 

St. Anger (2003) 
I think this one is considered by anyone the weakest release in Metallica's discography (if we don't consider the horrible Lulu, with Lou Reed), Honestly, I really like the first two songs, and something is not that bad but I think nobody likes the sound (and the thrash can snare) of this album. Also is very long for no reason (but this applies to every album in the last 30 years, honestly).
Rating 45/100
Top songs: Frantic, St. Anger.

Reload (1997) 
It's made by songs that didn't find space in "Load". As a matter of fact, it sounds like a B-side compilation to my ears, apart from "Fuel" and "The Unforgiven II". The production is perfect, instead, without that, it would have been worse than "St.Anger" in my personal chart.
Rating: 48/100
Top songs: Fuel, The Unforgiven II.

72 Seasons (2023)
Lots of good ideas (and a couple of very good songs) but lost in 77 minutes of "sameness". James Hetfield sings with heavy autotune in some songs and I just can't accept that. It would have been a very good 45 minutes album, in my opinion. 
Rating 55/100
Top songs: Lux Aeterna, Too far gone.

Hardwired... To Self-Destruct (2016) 
Exactly the same length as the one above and same opinion: with 8 songs instead of 12 it would have been way better. The 12 songs are also spread over 2 CDs for no reason. 
Rating 66/100
Top tracks Hardwired, Moth into Flame, Spit out the Bone.

Death Magnetic (2008) 
This album marked a return to Metallica's thrash roots in 2008 but the sound is a little too compressed for my taste. It's a very decent album, overall, with some very good tracks, and the first with Robert Trujillo on bass guitar.
Rating 67/100
Top songs: That Was Just Your Life, The Day That Never Comes, My Apocalypse.

Load (1996) 
In my opinion, this is a very good album (still a little too long, but well...) but criticized because it's more on the Hard Rock side instead of Heavy Metal (forget the Thrash, for this one). A very honest one, I feel like it's what they wanted to play at that moment and I always appreciate that.
Rating 74/100
Top songs: Ain't my bitch, Until it sleeps, Mama Said.

...And Justice for All (1988) 
Metallica's fourth studio album is a sort of monolithic progressive thrash, with intricate arrangements and some politically charged lyrics. However, some fans and critics have criticized the album's bassless mix. Jason Newstead was officially hired to replace Cliff Burton but no one could hear him before the tour.
Rating 79/100
Top songs: One, ...And Justice for All, Harvester of Sorrow.

Kill 'Em All (1983) 
Metallica's debut album is a raw, unpolished burst of energy that helped define the thrash metal genre. Songs like "Whiplash" and "Seek and Destroy" remain staples of the band's live shows to this day. A little raw in terms of production and performance (James Hetfield wasn't yet a singer at that time) but a great debut album.
Rating: 80/100
Top songs: Hit the Lights, Whiplash, Seek & Destroy.

Ride the Lightning (1984)
Metallica's second album marked a significant leap forward in terms of songwriting and musicianship (despite some songs being still composed by Dave Mustaine). Featuring classics like "Fade to Black" and "Creeping Death," Ride the Lightning is a thrash metal masterpiece. The sound and James' vocal performance are still "meh" but the songs are gems.
Rating 90/100
Top songs: For Whom the Bell Tolls, Fade to Black, Creepin' Death.

Master of Puppets (1986) 
Widely regarded as one of the greatest metal albums of all time (and the best Metallica album), Master of Puppets features some of Metallica's most complex and ambitious compositions, including the epic title track, currently famous again to the new generations thanks to the series "Stranger Things". It's also the last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, who died shortly after its release in a road accident.
Rating: 97/100
Top songs: Battery, Master of Puppets, Disposable Heroes.

Metallica (1991)
Also known as "The Black Album," Metallica's fifth studio album is my favourite by the band, mainly because of the sound and because James Hetfield finally learned to sing properly (his performance is spotless). It features some of the band's biggest hits, including "Enter Sandman" and "Nothing Else Matters," but some longtime fans criticized the band's move toward a more mainstream sound. I personally don't care, this album is a masterpiece and one of the most important albums in Heavy metal history, influencing the decade. If you were there in the 90s you know what I'm talking about.
Rating 98/100
Top Songs: Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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