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Metallica Load

Track List:

Ain't My Bitch
2 X 4
The House Jack Built
Until It Sleeps
King Nothing
Hero Of The Day
Bleeding Me
Poor Twisted Me
Wasting My Hate
Mama Said
Thorn Within
The Outlaw Torn

Release Date: June 4th 1996

Recording Location & Date: The Plant Studios Sausalito, California May 1995 - February 1996

Producer: Bob Rock with James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich
The Band: 
James Hetfield - Guitar, Vocals
Lars Ulrich - Drums
Jason Newsted - Bass
Kirk Hammett - Lead Guitar


Until It Sleeps
Hero Of The Day
Mama Said
King Nothing

Ain't My Bitch
Until It Sleeps
Hero Of The Day
Bleeding Me
Mama Said
King Nothing

The cover of the album is original artwork entitled "Semen and Blood III". It is one of three photographic studies by Andres Serrano created in 1990 by mingling the artist's own semen and bovine blood between two sheets of Plexiglas.

Kirk: "Some of the tracks that are a departure from anything we've ever done show what we've been listening to for the past five years--like me being a total jazz and blues guy now. The blues influence is pretty evident. The jazz influence is more subtle, more in my phrasing than anything else. Of course, James listens to a lot of country, and we all listen to tons of late-'70s hard rock. We've not been afraid to let that side of us show--after all, all our roots are in late-'70s stuff like UFO, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy."



Following up the Black Album in terms of popularity and success was never ever going to be easy. In fact you could have almost predicted that it was never going to be greeted with such open arms despite how great it was. What Metallica did with Load was to go somewhere quite different, to a place that further proved the brilliance of the finest metal band on the planet.

Some of the first words that come to mind about this album are epic, big, strong and solid. The production is flawless the songs are filled with riffs and melody out of this world. Hetfield’s voice is as powerful as a bear, Hammett’s solo’s are inspired, Newsted’s bass lines rumble along like a herd of wilder beasts and Ulrich’s drumming as per usual provides the solid back bone and the heart beat to the music.

Kicking off with a monstrous double whammy of Ain’t my Bitch and 2x4 we are welcomed by what can only justifiably be described as classic ‘tallica. Big fat strong “FUCK YOU” songs. The House That Jack Built and Until it Sleeps, provide us with slightly more developed side to the songs with a great deal more depth and melody suitably mixed in with a little bit blues/southern rock feel. It’s here that some people found a problem saying that Metallica this time had strayed too far, I just say this, if they had simply recreated Master of Puppets on every album it would have been great for the first couple of listens, but would the album enjoy the longevity that MOP or indeed Load now has. I think not, I believe it would have had the fans in the long run up in arms saying that Metallica this time had played it too safe. Instead Metallica fucked with us, taking us somewhere else on the ‘tallicatrain. 

King Nothing is often referred to as Sandman of Load, in terms of its structure I couldn’t agree more, the song itself however, is different enough to be a classic in its own right. Hero of the Day, Bleeding Me, Outlaw Torn and Mama Said give us a personal side that had never been demonstrated so well until now. Swelling melodies and the most powerful vocals that Hetfield could possibly deliver mean that the heaviness had taken on a whole new role, it doesn’t have to be fast to be heavy, just listen to the album closer and you may see what I mean.

Some of the songs later in the album such as Poor Twisted Me and Ronnie keep the southern rock feel flowing, Kirks solo’s are of great interest taking on a completely different stance and approach over the solid grooves of the rhythm section. Hetfield even experimenting vocally with a tube distortion in Poor Twisted Me. There is a lot more layers on this album compared to others, be they vocal harmonies or extra guitar lines they all help to create such an expansive soundscape, its difficult not to get sucked right into the music.

Load is quite simply a great album and by Metallica’s standard quite experimental. I absolutely love it. I’m a lover of every Metallica album there is. Load for me personally, just shows what Metallica are capable of outside of such frantic riffing of the likes of Shortest Straw, Metal Militia etc etc. If you want, big riffs, heavy grooves heartfelt lyrics, go listen to this album now, and if you didn’t like it before, for me, give it another go, this time you just might like it. Because they did deliver with this one big-fucking-time.

Olly "The Big Man" Blackbird 2003


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