What's wrong with the Black Album (Metallica)?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JosephRose, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. JosephRose

    JosephRose Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Philly
    As fas as I can tell, it's essentially a perfect album. The sound, the songs, the performances.

    People can wish it was "heavier", or faster, or more complex. But as it stands, it seems like a pretty perfect hard rock/heavy metal album.
     
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  2. Judge Judy

    Judge Judy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    To me personally, that's exactly what's wrong with it. I feel like it's very vanilla and predictable.
     
  3. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    It's a matter of what came before it for a lot of fans. It was seen as a "betrayal" by hard cores due to the melodic nature of many of the songs. In a word, it seemed like a sell out.
     
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  4. JosephRose

    JosephRose Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Philly
    The "sell-out" argument is always super silly to me. It seems more of a sell-out to make an album just to please your pre-existing fan base. I just mean judging it on it's own merit.
     
  5. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Creek, NY
    I remember when it came out most Metallica fans were pleased with it, other than possibly "Nothing Else Matters". I thought it was solid.

    Then it became overexposed and the band never really felt the same after reaching mega-success.
     
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  6. JosephRose

    JosephRose Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Philly
    Based on what came before it, and the direction the band seemed to be moving, it seems like the least predictable outcome, no?
     
  7. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Trust your instincts. It still sounds great all these years later.
     
  8. Judge Judy

    Judge Judy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Not to me. I'm one the few people who really hated "And Justice For All," and I felt like on that album they had gone so far up their own a**es that there was nowhere left for them to go. It seemed like they would release something "palate-cleansing" after that.

    Now Celtic Frost's "Cold Lake," on the other hand... that I did not expect.
     
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  9. 1. "Enter Sandman"
    2. "Nothing Else Matters"
    3. Lack of thrash
     
  10. coffeetime

    coffeetime Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    Was a Metallica fan before the Black album; when it came out the 'stripped down' nature of it compared to what came before took me aback a little. However loved it on subsequent listens and still think it stands up well. It might not be Master of Puppets but then neither is much else, by Metallica or anyone else.

    The mega success the album went on to be shouldn't be held against it; even if Black were a conscious attempt to go in a more commercial direction, the band couldn't have calculated that it would go on to sell in the sorts of numbers usually associated with Rumours or Back In Black.

    What's wrong with the Black Album? Nothing. It's a great record with great songs, great performances and great production.
     
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  11. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    I'm just giving you my (and others) perceptions of what we thought when it came out. It was the first Metallica album I decided to take a pass on buying.
     
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  12. JohnnyQuest

    JohnnyQuest Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paradise
    Nothing. It's excellent.
     
  13. Sondek

    Sondek Forum Resident

    They're good tracks.
     
  14. c-eling

    c-eling Love has no date of expiration...

    I was 18 when this album came out, when I saw the adults and MTV loving it I knew something was wrong...:D
     
  15. coffeetime

    coffeetime Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    Quite. I'm not convinced that there is that much difference between Fade To Black and Nothing Else Matters barring production.
     
  16. coffeetime

    coffeetime Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    After the stunning video for One, all of the videos for Black struck me as trying way too hard to be artsy. That's the videos for Black though. The album Black is not the videos though. Can't help thinking that if the band had continued with their no videos policy and had left One as a, well, one off then Black would be more of a below the radar album as it's forbearers were. As such I think many might remember the album more kindly were it not for its commercial success.
     
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  17. EwaWoowa

    EwaWoowa Sexiest Monkey Ever...

    Location:
    Zürich
    It brought them mainstream success, and all their fans hated them for it...

    (Everybody likes to feel their special, and they "get" something the rest of the world is too stupid / uncool / MoR to understand...)
     
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  18. xcqn

    xcqn Audiophile

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    I think the main problem with that albun is the fanbase, everybody liked/likes it. Even those who are not metal fans.

    It brought in people that didn't listens to or did noy have a clue about hard-rock/metal.

    That's why we all feel a little bit betrayed by it. It was not music for the weird people any more :D
     
  19. Sondek

    Sondek Forum Resident

    It's rated as the second best Metallica album on Besteveralbums.com - with a ranking of 135th best ever album overall.

    See here > Metallica »
     
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  20. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montrose, CO
    Nothing. It is the only Metallica album in my collection. I don't care what came before it, and I don't care what came after it. It stands on its own. Like it and listen to it. Or ignore it.
     
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  21. Thwacko

    Thwacko Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC
    Not a damn thing. Love it. Has a couple filler tracks in the second half, and I would have preferred "My Friend of Misery" as an instrumental. Otherwise I love to crank this one up every so often and remember high school.
     
  22. The more apt comparison to "Fade to Black" is "The Unforgiven" I'd say. "Nothing Else Matters" is a goddam love song and Hetfield sings it in a more conventional manner. So clearly they were trying to be Bon Jovi and that was unacceptable. :)
     
  23. Use_Your_Koala

    Use_Your_Koala Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris
    Nothing wrong with it. A bit too long, but otherwise it's a really strong album.
     
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  24. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Too much filler! AJFA the last great Metallica album.
     
  25. tunes4thegoons

    tunes4thegoons Active Member

    Location:
    Michigan
    I have always held the opinion that it's the best thing they have ever done. That's because in my ever subjective opinion it's the heaviest thing that they ever did. Lyrically, it's just over the top heavy/brilliant. The sound quality is possibly on par with the best heavy rock album ever made in terms of the sound quality ONLY. There is a reason for all my opinion on parade here, and I doubt that deep down inside, it's much different for anyone. I think it all comes down to how we all individually define "heavy".

    To me it's as simple as my definite basis for what is, and what is not, heavy. Heavy to me is Black Sabbath. I had most of the Metallica catalog before the Black album came out. I always thought of Metallica as a thin sounding thrash band prior to the Black album, in terms of sheer sound quality. They were kind of like Motorhead in my mind, in that I knew the music was excellent, even tremendous, but studio wise it just sounded weak and even a bit pathetic. Their studio production was for limp poo poo with respect to low end. For a bassist as monstrous as Cliff Burton truly was, that was just unforgivable IMO. Another thing I can tell you right now, for me, speed for the sake of speed (hello, early Slayer) is the opposite of "heavy". I was banging my head to Sabbath a long time prior to the earliest Hetfield/Mustaine Metallica inceptions of a band. All that speed crap sounded like over wound tinker toy rock to my ears. For a great many Metallica fans the Black album was a total let down. They all claimed in POed fashion that it just wasn't fast enough and that it just didn't give them the whiplash for which they craved. For me it was beyond amazing and in a no two ways about it fashion defined both Hetfield and Bob Rock as being critically recognized geniuses IMO.

    It's all too subjective for there to be any right or wrong view on the matter. IMO, it just comes down to the what, and how, your personal "heavy" cradle rocked when you was just a wee and invincible lass er laddie.
     

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