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4.3 out of 5 stars 1,658 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 12, 1991
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Longtime fans may call this one a sellout but that is hardly the case. Instead, the group has increased the bottom end of their sound and keeps the riff-per-song limit down to about two. This may keep Metallica from alienating staunch metal-haters, but it is the quality of the songs - hits such as Enter Sandman and the ballad Nothing Else Matters, but also Holier Than Thou - that has made this their most successful (and best) album to date. Certified at 12 million units by the RIAA. (2/01)

Called "the Black Album" by many (due to its monochrome cover), Metallica marks the group's entrance into the mainstream, with shorter songs, simpler song structures, and slower tempos overall. That said, this is an excellent album, featuring some of the best songwriting Metallica has ever done. "Enter Sandman," "Wherever I May Roam," and "God That Failed," despite being slower and more groove-oriented than the band's earlier work, feature the same heavy riffs and heavier rhythms that have always been a feature of Metallica's music. The band goes introspective with "Unforgiven," and proves that they can write a ballad with "Nothing Else Matters," which succeeds better than one might expect. Overall, this is a high-energy album despite its laid-back approach, and is in many ways superior to the previous . . . And Justice for All, which was weakened by overly complicated song structures and mediocre production. -- Genevieve Williams
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 12, 1991)
  • Original Release Date: August 12, 1991
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002H97
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,658 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Here we have Metallica's breakthrough album, the Black album. This is what put Metallica into the mainstream, and it is indeed a masterpeice. Every song on this on is a classic. The talent is all there. The production is crystal clear. Everything about this album is epic. A lot of people complain that this is all a little too mainstream, but I disagree. I believe the boys to be in top performance, just because it's a little more accessible, doesn't mean that the talent is gone. Kirk plays some of his greatest solos on this album. I believe that everyone is in top form. Jason Newsted also gets a chance to prove himself on this one. As a bassist, I believe his basslines on the slower songs to showcase his talent the most. He packs a lot of emotion, especially in Nothing Else Matters. Overall, this is just a fun and enjoyable cd with talented musicians and songwriting. Highly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
It seems that many Metallica "fans" seem to enjoy putting this album down, for some reason. They claim that, with this album, Metallica lost their edge and sold out. Listening to this album, I'm wondering if we heard the same one. This album may not be quite as epic or technical as previous releases, but it's every bit as thrashy, heavy, and good. This album was my introduction to Metallica a few years back, and I've never stopped loving it. The songs are full of crunch and vitriol, and the two ballads ("Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters") are very emotional and melodic. There are still a lot of great solos, and Lars still dishes out some pretty impressive drumwork (especially on "The Struggle Within"). The production quality is excellent (probably the best of all their albums), so every instrument is distinct and hard-hitting. There are no bad songs, but if you want to hear a great one, check out "The Unforgiven". This is one of the best ballads ever, with very emotional lyrics and a great vocal performance from James Hetfield. If you love heavy metal and do not love this album, there is probably something wrong with you. I rank this album third, behind "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets", and one of my top 20 favorite albums. It's better than "And Justice for All" mainly because of the production quality, and better than "Kill Em All" because that album is too repetitive and rough around the edges (but still very good, mind you), and well, do I even need to explain why it's better than "Load" and "Reload"? The simple fact of the matter is that Metallica was still a great band at this time, and did not sell out with this album.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This is one intense album. Yes, it's been played to death (so was "Stairway to Heaven," does that make Led Zeppelin a sellout? What about "Start Me Up?" "Free Fallin'?"), but does that make Metallica a sellout? No it doesn't. The word "sellout" just doesn't apply to Metallica.
The songs were not like their usual thrash-style, nor was the sound, or the lyrics, or the song structure, or the production. Does that make this a bad album full of bad songs? No. Does the album lack musicality? No. Does it lack the attitude that metal projects constantly? No.
People forget that this album houses one of THE most heavy songs ever written - Sad But True. Some hardcore losers might come out and say, "What about Morbid Angel's 'Nothing is Not?' Or Six Feet Under's 'Blood of the Insane?' or Samael's 'Shining Kingdom?' Huh? Huh? Huh?" And then call Metallica p@$$y sellouts. I don't think so. Yes bands like Slayer, Samael, Impaled Nazarene, Deicide (Children of the Underworld), Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel (James Murphy-era) might write songs that are far and away heavier than a lot of Metallica's songs, but you can't deny that "Sad But True" is a benchmark of metal heaviness and raises some serious hairs on the back of your brain. Keep in mind the other thing about Metallica that this album demonstrates, no matter how crappy the music gets, no one can match their power.
Then there are those that howl about "Nothing Else Matters." Once again, we hear moaning about how it was popular, teenie girls liked it, it's not heavy, it's not metal, it's not real, it's a sellout song, it's stupid, it's not Slayer, blah blah blah. Does this mean it's a bad song? No.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Love it or hate it, this is modern Metallica. For many, the "Black Album" (as it's been come to be known thanks to the... black album cover), is their first taste of Metallica.

For anyone wondering about the presentation here, the 4 LP vinyl collection, 8 sides worth of Metallica goodness (or badness if you hate what they became with this album)is presented in as pristine and accurate aural presentation available. Mastered by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, known to be notoriously picky about the material they will master, using their 1/2 speed mastering process using virgin 180 Gram Vinyl, allows for deeper grooves and manages to capture subtle nuances in the recorded performance not found in other formats (CD being one). Vinyl, being an analog format isn't hindered by a sample rate.

For many, the CD will sound good enough. They did a great job with the CD. For those that want to hear everything that can be possibly replicated at home will want to pick up the vinyl remasters. On middle range setups this still sounds amazing; on a high end system it can only be astounding.

This album may not be the Metallica you love; if this is the case, don't buy it. If you hate it on CD you will still hate the tracks on vinyl, so rebuying would be pointless.

In the end, I'm glad I bought the vinyl remasters.
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DVD Audio
The album sounds awesome in 5.1, if you have the correct 5.1 set up and a good subwoofer, this album kicks, wait untill you hear Enter Sandman through 5 speakers, when it kicks in or Of Wolf and Man, the guitars sound alot heavier then the cd. An added bonus is a clip form the Classic Albums dvd... Read More
Nov 9, 2006 by B. Janes |  See all 9 posts
I think that if they see CD's as a threat to your or their faith, then that faith can't be very strong, can it? I think that spirituality shouldn't be focused on such petty things as what music people listen to, but rather spiritual merit; what actions people take and do for one another. I know... Read More
Jun 22, 2008 by 40460 |  See all 4 posts
Songs done better when "covered"
I heard it through the grapevine: CCR originally (right?), BEST done by Marvin Gaye.

god, this is HARD! let me keep thinking about this.
Dec 21, 2007 by Jonathan D. Williams |  See all 8 posts
Five Desert Island albums
HI well I would have my ipod but anyways I have a lot of abulms that I love but i guess i could name five that I would like to have on a dessert island . . . . Here goes

These are in no spacific order.

1.Metallica- Master of Puppets, this is an awesome abulm that truley i cannot find a flaw.... Read More
Mar 12, 2008 by Matthew Burke |  See all 11 posts
What do you think the best song from each metallica cd is the best
Kill 'em All - "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth"
Ride The Lightning - "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
Master of Puppets - "Disposable Heroes"
Garage Days - "Crash Course in Brain Surgery"
And Justice For All(*Eye of the Beholder single B-Side) - "Breadfan"... Read More
Sep 26, 2009 by djdruemitchell |  See all 12 posts
Photos: Madison Square Garden, NYC - 11/15/09 Be the first to reply
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