50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2001
First off, anyone who bashes this album based on past Metallica releases is missing the point. We're not in 1983 anymore. At least in their albums, Metallica have made their stamp on thrash metal and have moved on. They still play all the old stuff live, and play it better than ever.
Anyway, let's get straight to the point here. If you are a hardcore metalhead, and accept nothing but fast and angry music, this album is obviously not for you. If you are just a fan of good hard rock of all kinds from blues to metal, chances are you'll enjoy this. As far as Lars' drumming here, it is simpler than before. Mainly because these Load records are more guitar driven (both Kirk and James play rhythum) than before, and Lars is simply becoming more vibe oriented, rather than being all flashy and show-off. Still, as seen on the songs "Fuel" and "Bad Seed", there are still some good drum fills throughout the album.
Even though its been done 100 times before, I feel its necessary to break this down song by song. I'm even going to listen to them as I write this.
1) Fuel: Fast song, as the title indicates. Almost reminicent of old Motorhead, particularly "Ace of Spades". The fast and simple main rhythum, the guitar fills in between, and Lars' churning double-bass drum during the chours. The best song on the album.
2) The Memory Remains: An old friend of the 'Stones, Marianne Faithful, contributes some vocals here. Again, simple guitar riffs, almost like a darker Iron Maiden. The subject matter deals with famous people fading out of the spotlight. You'll notice here that Kirk's leads are more blues than speed, something he learned from one of his guitar heros: UFO's Michael Schenker. Another great song.
3) Devil's Dance: Funny how the old Metallica never wrote anything about the devil. This is where the heavyness begins. The opening guitar effects are great (especially the crunchy one at about :16). Although it doesn't have the groove of the classic "Sad but True", it holds its own. Basically, this song is about the temptations of the devil. A real hidden gem.
4) The Unforgiven II: Indeed, it does resemble the original song in some ways. James was writing this song one day and realized that the chord progression was similar to "The Unforgiven". Rather than toss it, he tweaked it up enough so that it only became a sequel. The somewhat "country" sound in the clean guitar is just James using the B-bender in his Fender Telecaster. Its interesting how in the original, the verses had heavy music and the chorus had soft, while here its vice versa. Overall, despite the resemblance to the first Unforgiven, this song is good enough to stand on its own.
5) Better than You: A song that wins a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance can't be that bad. The subject matter deals with something we all can relate to: the desire to be better than your rivals. Hard, driving guitars are the heart of this song.
6) Sliter: Although not a terrible song, its not one of the most memorable. James seems to be telling us something when he says "There ain't no heros here". One thing about all of Metallica's songs is that they are open to a lot of interpretation. This one doesn't seem to have a meaning that's obvious.
7) Carpe Diem Baby: The title pretty much says what this song is all about. Great sense of movement here. If you don't like this, James has two words for you: "Suck it!"
8) Bad Seed: Tuning down to C# gives this song an added element of heavyness. Lars gets a little wild on the drums here, especially in the chours. Cool song.
9) Where the Wild Things Are: You may know a children's story book by the same name. Haunting opening guitars lead to pounding power chords. Indeed, the whole song is very dark and haunting, reminicent of Alice in Chains. Another cool song.
10) Prince Charming: A fun, loose, and dirty song, kinda like "So What". Not too much lyrical or musical depth here, just something to sit back and enjoy.
11) Low Man's Lyric: This song about the homeless seems out of place on a Metallica record. Even though a past song, Nothing else Matters, has the same slow and clean feel to it, it doesn't have the climactic ending of its predecessor. Many people would avoid this song simply because its a pure ballad, but again, that's missing the point. Nevertheless, a cool song.
12) Attitude: The theme of vibe oriented songs continues here. Aggressive in its music and lyrics, its another great song.
13) Fixxxer: Here's where it gets ugly (in a GOOD way). The opening wahs of the guitar are Hendrix-like in their sound. This is one twisted, heavy song, somewhat similar to "The Outlaw Torn". One of the best on the album, and one of the more popular songs among the fans.
This album, along with Load, is a lot more loose than the tightness and speed of '80s Metallica. Still, most modern bands (3 Doors Down, Papa Roach, Blink 182) would crumble under the weight of this album. It might be a weaker Metallica album than others, but its definately not a bad one.
54 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 1999
Okay, there seems to be four Metallica fan groups out there. You have the "I've been the biggest fan since "no life 'till leather" demo came out and they say Metallica sold out with "And justice for all". Next you have the "Master of Puppets" group that says everything that's not "Master of Puppets" sucks. Followed by the "And Justice"/black album crowd, who for some reason don't like the earlier "Kill 'em All" and "Ride the Lightning", yet state that "Reload/Load" were total sell-outs and nothing will compare to the Black album, the album all the other "fans" whined abot years ago when it first came out. Then you've got the new fan base that loves "Load" and "Reload" and are also buying "Garage inc." (cover songs that influeced them) and earlier albums. The funny thing is you don't hear a lot of newer fans complaining about the older albums or all the older songs that they still play at their shows. Some of you so called "die hard fans from back in the day" need to lighten up a little bit and maybe expand your musical horizons some. "Reload" is not a bad album. It is a little different but is still a great effort by four talented musicians. Some other open minded reviewers made reference to "hair swinging" and if thats all you're into don't buy this album, I agree. There are plenty of hair swinging bands,(Exodus, Meliah Rage, Kreator etc.) none have the talent, then or now, that the musicians in Metallica have.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2006
Metallica's 'Load' albums are one of the most overlooked and underappreciated Metallica albums ever, why? Because Metallica changed their image. From thrash to hard rock, Metallica created the Load albums, Reload, the second of these albums has to be the best of the two and one of my favourite Metallica albums. Old school fans for some reason have a problem with these albums, because the speed metal that created Metallica no longer exists, the contriversial Load album unfortunatly wasn't a very good album and because of this many people have overlooked Reload, despite it being actually a really good experience.
As mentioned this album is actually really good, it isn't as brilliant as some of the previous albums, but it still is a great listen, the album opens up with a really catchy, speedy song, Fuel. This is a great opener to the album and is one of the greatest songs on the album, it's quite fast with fun lyrics with a short but great solo - 9/10.
The next song, The memory remains, is actually a good one, but the S&M version is much better, as it doesn't have the crude voice of Marianne Faithfull's backing vocals. - 7/10 but the s&m version is simply a 8/10.
The devils dance is slow paced but with great use of the bass, the lyrics are very good and the solo is also very entertaining, if not a tad short, not to be overlooked - 8/10.
The Unforgiven ll, an awesome song indeed. I think that this version is a lot better than the previous one on the Black Album, the guitars are much more stronger, the song is longer, with very emotional back up vocals at parts, Hetfields singing is improved and the slow paced acustic is gone. Just like the original, the lyrics are very metaphoric and have some repetition. Even the small solo is great fun and emotional, but not as good as the originals solo. - Best song on the album. 10/10
Better Than You - Isn't a bad song but isn't really one to go crazy about. 6/10
Slither - A great rhythm, and the drumming is very well timed and precise, but there are better songs again. 6/10.
Carpe Diem Baby - Now this is a great song, it's a song you have to sing along to, the guitars are very dominant and Hetfield doesn't sound like he's straiing to sing in this song, it's very relaxed, the riffs are good and the solo is quite lengthy for this album and is actually quite good. "Then make me miss you" - 9/10
Bad seed - nice lyrical value but this song isn't one worththe listen really, give it a miss. -6/10
Where the wild things are - Just awesome, you'll really like this song listen to it and enjoy the chorus and the simple yet, fine musical power. 9/10
Prince charming and Low man's lyric aren't that great either, not quite 6 not quite 7. -6.5/10 for both.
Attitude - Great one, it seems quite overlooked though it really is worth the listen as it's riffs are great and the production of this song is very well done. 8/10
Fixxxer - Hightlight of the album, a terrific closer with great lyrics, a great introduction a great chorus and an amazing finish. the solo is good and the slow stretching period emphasizes the conslusion all to well. 9/10
As you can see above, there are some songs that really deserve the listen, they are really great and show a lot of maturity in Metallica's performance and song writing, forget your strickly 'metal' attitudes, take a look at this and see soem great songs on offer,
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2001
I have been a Metallica fan for years, and when they first released Load, I like a lot of people was disappointed, and I saw this album as more of the same kind of ... (Re-Load after all). I had written Metallica off as a band that used to be good. Recently, I changed my mind. I read a commentary of Kirk's guitar work, which some people like to complain about(too much Wah, blah, blah). The reviewer was defending him and the band. The point was, would you respect Metallica if they were still playing the Master of Puppets style of music in their jean jackets and unlaced high tops. The answer is absolutely not. They would be a group of four cheese balls that we wouldn't even be discussing(I can think of several bands like this). With this new attitude, I took a fresh look at the band. I bought both Load and ReLoad and gave them a listen. I have to say that I like them both. I should have known that some of the best tracks didn't get any air play. Several bands have ripped off the old Metallica style that everyone raves about, but these guys have moved on. They took their heavy sound, refined it, and added in some contemporary influences (I hear a little Alice in Chains and other early 90's grunge on a few of the tracks).
I am also a guitar player and I have since added both Load and ReLoad to my guitar music collection. I have heard a lot of complaints about how the music is so weak now, and Kirk's guitar playing is just ... . Here is my take on that. From Kill 'em All through And Justice For All, Metallica progressive made their music faster and more complicated. The rhythms got faster and more complex, song structure got more complex, and they were using full barre chords instead of just power chords by And Justice For All. Some of these songs are very challenging to play, but you can only take complexity so far. Starting with the Black album, things are scaled down. Song length is kept under control, and the songs are more focused (like their early work). As for Kirk's guitar work, I think he is better than ever. Being able to use the Wah to acutally get more expressive and vocal solos is a big challenge which he does admirably. Sure he isn't playing pentatonic scales 100 miles an hour all the time, but he finally got that blues/metal blend he has been working at for so long.
Bottom line: Knowing the obsessive perfectionists that they are, I should have known better than to write them off. Anyone who ever says that Metallic has sold out or not given a good effort is just plain wrong. Ask yourself, why would they sell out now, what would they gain. The answer is nothing(You think they need the money?!). The only thing these guys are interested in is making music they enjoy playing. If you don't like their new music, fine, but don't confuse that with selling out. They have never lost sight of who they really make music for, and that is themselves, as it should be.
Stepping off the soap box...
Some of the high points of this album are Fuel, The Memory Remains, Devil's Dance, Carpe Diem Baby, Where The Wild Things Are, Low Man's Lyric, Attitude, and my favorite is Fixxxer. Another great effort from a great band.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2000
The problem with this album is that it meanders from first to last track without doing much. "Fuel" is hardly the heavy headbanger the unschooled in metal make it out to be. The main riff is 2 notes, and James sounds uninspired. I find that people still call Metallica a "heavy metal" band is laughable. These are the same people who can't stand bands like Iced Earth or Blind Guardian, who are leading the new wave of metal, because they're "too heavy." Heavy metal should blow you away. No matter how loud I turn up this album, it still doesn't blow me away.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2005
Ok, sure, it's not typical Metallica. I understand that. Like everyone I know, I hated Load. But the problem I see with a lot of people is that they bunch Reload in with Load just because they were recorded at the same time. The fact is, Reload is a lot more typical of Metallica than Load was. People think it's not because it's connected to Load but dig deeper.
1. Fuel - ***** - This song really is great. It's their best song of the post-Black Album era. It has all of Metallica's early heavy metal guitar riffs and Hetfield's trademark growl is back for this song, something that was lost in Load. There's no slowing down in it. It's an adrenaline filled thriller of a song. Since they made it, Metallica has always used to open shows. Why? It gets the fan pumped up. It gets me pumped up as I'm listening to it writing this review. Awesome song. However, the lyrics and and even the riffs are sort of taken from "Motorbreath" from Kill 'Em All.
2. The Memory Remains - **** - This song is pretty good. It's nothing ground breaking and spectacular like Fuel but it is good. The lyrics are pretty inspired actually. Think about it, adding Marianne Faithful, as bad as her parts were, really was inspired because this song really speaks volumes about where she's gone. Big star, dating Mick Jagger, to a washed up has-been whose biggest work in years was on a Metallica album of all places. The problem with this song that earns it just three stars is what I like about it. Marianne Faithful, as I said, was an inspired idea to add because she's the living epitomy of who they're singing about. But that doesn't make her parts any better. Frankly, she sounds like a cat in heat. That's not a good thing. Then, I have to admit, the song is a little slow. It does have some good heavy metal riffs but it's slowness and Marianne Faithful bog this song down to three stars.
3. Devil's Dance - ** - This song is heavier than what they did on Load. What turns me off about it is that it's a little slow and the production is just awful. When James says "Let's dance" you can barely hear him. The lyrics are also pretty uninspired. The guitar riffs are the best thing about this song. This is also pretty much a rip-off of "Jump In The Fire" from Kill 'Em All as far as the lyrics.
4. The Unforgiven II - **** - This song is just too heavily country influenced. The first Unforgiven was a heavy metal ballad with an awesome improvised solo. This one is still good but, like I said, has too much of a country influence. I have to say though, the lyrics are pretty good. Just like the first Unforgiven, it tells a pretty powerful story. This man, the same one from The Unforgiven, meets a woman that's similar to him but in the end, she's unforgiven II. Bad pun, I know, but hey, it's in the song and the song is pretty good.
5. Better Than You - ***** - Another five star song! This one is just plain awesome. This is the only song, along with Fuel, of the post-Black Album era that can compare to their early work. The chorus slows a bit but it's still pretty powerful. The whole song is filled with heavy metal riffs. I love the solos in it. It's two awesome solos and the chorus is great. As I said, the chorus slows down but I love how the lyrics reach that point and James hits the chorus and just strides into crying out the words "Better than you!". The lyrics are also pretty good. If you've ever felt held back in your life, if you've ever felt a little like Dilbert, then this is the song for you. Whenever I feel held back at anything, this song is just awesome to listen to. I can really connect to the lyrics. Also, at the beginning of this song, Lars isn't too bad on the drums. The whole song is really great and underrated.
6. Slither - *** - I've listened to this song a lot more. The lyrics still suck but the riffs are good enough to warrant it a three star rating.
7. Carpe Diem Baby - *** - This song is a little slow but the beat and riffs are really cool. By no means, is this anywhere near 80's Metallica. However, the lyrics are pretty good. It also speaks volumes for how James has lived his life. He literally jumped in the fire, the reason for the tattoo that inspired this song. Overall, it's not above average, but it's still worth listening to and it's better than half the stuff on Load.
8. Bad Seed - ** - This song has another cool beat. The lyrics are a bit like Slither in that they seem uninspired and filler but this song is actually good filler. It has a good chorus. Definitely worth listening to occasionally.
9. Where The Wild Things Are - * - Awful. What was Metallica thinking? Should've been on Load instead. Really uninspired
10. Prince Charming - ***** - This song is AWESOME. I love this song. It's at least 5 stars. My favorite song on the album.
11. Low Man's Lyric - *** - I know what you're thinking. How could this be any good? It's an Irish folk song! What was Metallica thinking? I admit, this isn't metal and has little place on an album by a band called METALlica. But this is actually pretty good if you get past that. The beat is good, the melody is awesome, and James isn't bad at all on the vocals. This isn't a metal song per se but it is a good song despite that. It's got good lyrics and it's a nice song. It's nothing to thrash to but do we really want to thrash and headbang constantly? I like nice intervels of sweet melodies such as this. If I didn't appreciate slow, melodic, ballads too, my head would probably have fallen off by now.
12. Attitude - **** - A good headbanging song. Not as good as Better Than You or Fuel but it's almost as good. Awesome riffs and beat.
13. Fixxxer - **** - A nice ender with powerful lyrics and good guitar riffs.
Three 5 star songs, four 4 star songs, three 3 star songs, two 2 star song, one 1 star song. Overall, that's not really that bad. 5 out of 13 songs that are worth listening to and 7 that are required listening for Metallica fans. That's pretty good compared to the abysmal results of Load. Reload is not, I repeat, NOT, Master of Puppets or Ride The Lightning. But it gets too bad a rap. This album is pretty good overall and if you like old Metallica, I definitely suggest picking it up for Fuel, The Memory Remains, The Unforgiven II, Better Than You, Prince Charming, Attitude, and Fixxxer or at least buying them on your I-Pod. I can't say as much for Load but Reload is definitely worth putting on your shopping list if your a Metallica fan. It's not your typical Metallica but it's a lot better than any of their other post-Black Album studio offerings that were originally written and produced by them. In the end, I'd say buy it. If you don't like it, you can always sell it to a used CD store or somewhere else. Or, if you really hate it, you can use it as a coaster. But if you liked the old Metallica like me, I really do think you'll be able to see merit in this CD.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2000
Usually Imports contain bonus songs that aren't readily available to the U.S. consumers. This Import is no different than the U.S. release aside from a slightly larger case and the Japanese writing on the side. It's not that I don't like Reload, it's just if I am paying more for the CD, I would like some bonus tracks. Since there aren't bonus tracks, only hard core collectors should get this. I would recommend the U.S. version of this CD which is MUCH cheaper.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2006
ReLoad was the first taste of "new" Metallica that i listened to. Its not as bad as people make it seem, but it doesn't compare to any of their old stuff. Then again, what band does? songs such as Fuel, The Memory Remains, and Slither still show that they are heavy. altough you can clearly see they are no longer a thrash metal band, to say they've gone soft is bull. Metallica will live on forever as one of the greatest Metal bands of all time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2001
Those of you who like this album are probably sick of the people who don't, those who aren't 'true' Metallica fans saying its crap and that they've sold out. I can honestly say that regardless of anything else this gets a bad review from me because I honestly don't like it.
This was the first Metallica album I bought (all those years ago) when I first got into metal. Metallica were the second band I got into (I gave them another chance after this). I'd heard Fuel and thought it was a great song (I still think its a good song) so I bought ReLoad. I played Fuel about five times before listening to anything else on the album. But I listened to other stuff, and I thought it was just too slow. For weeks I listened, trying to like it. But I just couldn't.
My point is that I was a complete virgin to metal scene - I hadn't heard much else (the only band I was into before then was Iron Maiden who still remain to be my favourite) and I had no idea that this was supposed to be a bad album or a sell-out. As somebody who wasn't into anything much heavier at the time, as somebody who bought this not really expecting anything in particular (muscially speaking) I listened to this with an empty open mind, and I did not like it.
Now I'm a much more cynical metalhead into a much broader spectrum of metal from early 80s prog to death metal, meaning that if I'd bought this the other day I'd probably be slating it badly and screaming sell-out every other sentence. But its not that I can't recognise change, simply that I may not like the change, and as I said this was my first Metallica album anyway. I bought this with nothing to affect my opinion other than my personal taste. And I hated it.
22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2002
(sigh) Well, the "mighty" Metallica have done it again. Yes, they've gone into the studio and took a great big dump, recorded it, and named it "Reload". It's funny, you hear all these Nu-metal kids out there who make excuses for Metallica and try to convince everybody that they've "grown" or "matured" when in reality, Metallica got old, fat, & lazy. Or they say, that they've sacrificed music for lyrics, excuse me...the Metallica that I loved would have never (and did not) sacrifice EITHER! I recall a drummer who once said in a Modern Drummer interview from the "Justice" days saying "I don't ever want to be a drummer who just sits in the background and counts to 4, I don't think Metallica will ever be that kind of band" Well, guess what Lars...that's you, buddy! This album is more of the same boring, mid-paced-at-best, barely-irritated (much less angry), yawn- worthy tripe. The lyrics are childish and something that I could've wrote when I was in junior high "Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire oooo-yeah-heh!" Come on, give me a break. You want some real deep and meaningful lyrics? How about "Disposable Heroes"? "How about And Justice For All"? These songs were written back in the day when Metallica not only could write music that blasted you in the face, but lyrics that actually MEANT something that was worth saying. In other words...they CARED back then. Now they're super-rich and they don't have to care. Trust me, if you want to hear the REAL Metallica, buy one of their first 4 CD's. If all you want to hear is Kirk do ten more of those cheap wah-pedal solos, or hear James say yeah-yeah, or ooo-yeah, or whoa-yeah or whatever and sing about nascar or some other lame subject, buy this one right away! Can't wait for the next one-oooo-yeah-yeah!!!