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Metallica Kill 'Em All

Track List:

Hit The Lights
The Four Horsemen
Motorbreath
Jump In The Fire
Anesthesia - (Pulling Teeth)
Whiplash
Phantom Lord
No Remorse
Seek And Destroy
Metal Militia

Release Date: July 1983

Recording Location & Date: Music America Rochester, New York May-June 1983

Producer: Johnny Zazula & Paul Curcio
The Band: 
James Hetfield - Guitar, Vocals
Lars Ulrich - Drums
Cliff Burton - Bass
Kirk Hammett - Lead Guitar

Singles:
Jump In The Fire
Whiplash

Promos:
Whiplash

Notes:
Some of the versions of the release contained 2 additional tracks - "Am I Evil?" and "Blitzkrieg".

James Hetfield: "Just the honesty and the innocence of it all is so cool. It's all we knew at the time: "bang your head," "crush the town" and all that shit." At the time I couldn't write a lyric to save my life, so all I could do was listen to other bands and see how they phrased things. I just wanted to put our attitude into it -and that's why I loved punk at the time. It was that honesty, which is something I'm not sure a lot of the older metal bands had. I mean, what was Judas Priest really writing about? Or Iron Maiden? It was all this weird fantasy stuff. And we maybe got into a little of that with "Phantom Lord" or a few other songs, but we've always tried to stay away from writing about things we didn't know about.
 

Review

 

Kill 'Em All is a timeless masterpiece. The album although recorded in 1983 still stands out today over 20 years since it was recorded as one of the most influential and best loved thrash albums of all time. For me Kill 'Em All has the right balance of tracks starting with Metallica first ever song Hit The Light which is still a favorite live today - Its simplistic lyrics and catchy vibe must have had people hooked from the first listen.

Then comes the monstrosity that is The Four Horsemen. This is one of Metallica's best songs and is a track that everyone wants to hear live. Originally entitled The Mechaix and co written by Dave Mustaine this is one of the highlights from this album. With lyrics such as "You've been dying since the day you were born"....who could argue that Metallica were not talking about the real world and real world issues? Like a sledge hammer in your face Metallica were telling it like it was! That I think was one of the appeals of the early Metallica. They were a bunch of young enthusiastic creative individuals who people could relate life experiences to within the lyrics of there songs. This would be the tip of the iceberg. as the years passed Metallica would get into more deep and meaningful lyrics that some of the more hardcore fans would live by.

The next track is Motorbreath another personal favorite for me and with lyrics that have helped me to achieve certain goals "you only live once so take hold of the chance don't end up like others same song and dance" A brutal song and I can only imagine what people must have thought when they first heard that song. It was so different to everything else that was around at the time.

At this point we must all remember that Metallica forged a path for all the other thrash bands that have followed. Metallica were at the forefront of the movement and some people argue (convincingly) that Metallica were the band to "invent trash".

Jump In The Fire was meant to be the "radio friendly" song on Kill 'Em All and was released as a single with b-sides of Seek and Destroy and Phantom Lord Live - The songs were studio recordings with dubbed crowd noise from another band! Jump In the Fire is a great song and will always be an upbeat funky song but it lacks the depth of some of the others on the album. Having said that it is the bands least favorite song on this album.

Cliff Burton's Bass Solo is a testament to one of the greatest bass players of all time. This song needs to be listened to to fully appreciate what a technically advanced player he was. This was the first Instrumental Metallica did and was the highlight of many a live show with cliff swirling his fire cloloured hair around whilst bent over his bass playing with his fingers.

Whiplash is a mental song dedicated to all the hard core Metallica fans out there that follow the band about. This is a song for all the fans at the front of a show to really go mental to. Whiplash was released as a single on Megaforce records (Metallica's first label in the US) but there is some debate over its authenticity as Lars has scribbled "Bootleg" over some copies he has signed. The single never appears in any official discography either. Whiplash was released after Metallica ended there time with Megaforce.

Phantom lord with its old school lyrics such as "The leathered armies have prevailed, The Phantom Lord has never failed" and "Sound is ripping through your ears, The deafening sound of metal nears" is a super song and one of the best on the album in my opinion.

No Remorse is everyone's favourite and still a firm favorite of the band with its addition in the set most nights throughout the 2003/2004 tour. This song really gets you fired up for a nice bit of killing! There was a case in America where a guy ran over a hitch hiker whilst quoting the lyrics from this song "another day another death" and in court all he could do was to quote the song. A quote from James about this at the time was "maybe they should quote him the words from Ride The Lightning" - A song about capitol punishment.

Seek And Destroy is another favourite live and never fails to get the crowd whipped up into a frenzy and is a song that the band favour to finish there sets with as it is so nuts! Seek And Destroy is a classic song and will always be as fresh as the day it was written.

Metal Militia the album closer is sometimes overlooked but all the same has a dedicated following of fans. From its stomping intro to the final few seconds this is a full thrash onslaught on your ear drums. It would be nice to see the band bring back Metal Militia into the sets and let us all go nuts to one of the greatest trash songs ever written.

Kill 'Em All is a fantastic album and possibly my favorite Metallica album due to the raw and almost innocent edge it has. This is an album that every fan should really give the time to as it deserves dedicated listening time to get the full enjoyment out of this masterpiece. I only wish I had been around for the album when it was released so I could have experienced what a different album it was compared to the music of the day.

Steve (Webmaster) 2004

 

 

 

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