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Metallica Re-Load

Track List:

The Memory Remains
Devil's Dance
The Unforgiven II
Better Than You
Carpe Diem Baby
Bad Seed
Where The Wild Things Are
Prince Charming
Low Man's Lyric

Release Date: November 18th 1997

Recording Location & Date: The Plant Studios Sausalito, California May 1995 - February 1996 & July - October 1997

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

David Miles - Hurdy Gurdy on "Low Man's Lyric"
Bernardo Bigalli - Violin on "Low Man's Lyric"
Marianne Faithful - Guest vocals on "The Memory Remains"


The Memory Remains
The Unforgiven II

The Memory Remains
The Unforgiven II
Better than you



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

Lars: "We wrote 27 songs for 'Load' and were developing it as a double album. We then got the offer to play Lollapalooza and [decided] we [would] put one record out now with most of the songs that are done and then we [would] come back after a year and finish the rest of them. As far as I'm concerned, you can take any of these songs and interchange them on the two albums. The only fear we had was getting to it quick. We didn't want to leave it lying around for three years and worry about what it would sound like when we came back to it."



The album Reload is essentially the tracks that were not finished from the Load sessions, at the time the band had planned to make Load a double album but after a lengthy stay in the studio they decided to split it up over two albums. The band insisted that these weren’t Load rejects and claimed that these songs were of a more extreme nature either heavier or mellower that needed more time spent so they decided to leave them for this album. 

Kicking off with the bombastic Fuel, the album immediately announces itself as a “don’t fuck with this” type of affair. Memory bares another side of the met with an interesting choice of guest vocals by Marianne faithful (renowned for her escapades involving Mick Jagger and a mars bar!!) that offset the often-unrealised heaviness and greatness of the song. Devils Dance is a mother of a song, with a bass heavy grove underlying the entire journey with monstrous vocals throughout. 

Up next we have an astonishing ballad in the form of the Unforgiven II, more than a reworking of the original with a character of its own whilst still being underpinned with the melody of the first from the Black Album. This track is immensely deep and powerful, an awesome track, and in my opinion an equal for the already acclaimed Unforgiven released some six years previous to this offering. 

It’s hereon that I think some hardcore Metallica fans have had some issue. Although in my opinion the whole album is awesome it isn’t perhaps up to the standard we had come to expect, although when the standard is as high as it is, that’s always going to be difficult. Tracks like Better Than You, Slither, Prince Charming are all great tracks that blast out of the speakers without apology and have real melodic undertones that give the songs added depth, however at 13 tracks long some of these mid album tracks somewhat merge into one idea rather than having identities for themselves, with perhaps the exception of Where the Wild Things Are (co-written by Jason) that has a great feel and melody. 

As far as the latter part of the album goes my favourite section is Low Mans Lyric, Attitude and the mighty album closer Fixxxer. Low Mans Lyric is a very brave song that got greeted with some hostility by elements of the fan base. I find this track a very personal track that James Hetfield’s amazing voice delivers for us better than we could ever hope for, an amazing track, the no holds barred stomp of Attitude takes us to a different place, before the perfect Fixxxer takes us to the end. The epic quality of Fixxxer is incredible, amazing riffs and lyrics make this one of the best Load/Reload era tracks (strictly in my opinion of course), a perfect way to round off the 'tallica’s most experimental period to date, and a very successful period at that. 

Although many don’t consider Reload the greatest, it is certainly an immense record in its own right. As Kerrang magazine claimed, “Metallica cruising is better than most bands firing on all cylinders” a perfect description if ever there were.

Oliver Smith (courtesy of Maisie Smith - Fair play Maisie for bringing this monstrosity into our world) 2004.


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