Metallica - Master of Puppets
Metallica - Master of Puppets

Thumped Album Club Week 25: Metallica – Master Of Puppets

This week’s Thumped Album Club selection is Metallica‘s 1986 classic, Master Of Puppets

Master of Puppets is the third studio album by the American thrash metal band Metallica. It was released on March 3, 1986, through Vertigo Records, Music for Nations and Elektra Records, making it the group’s major label debut. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 chart and was the group’s first record to be certified gold for sales of over 500,000 copies. This was done without any radio airplay or the release of a music video. The album was certified six times platinum by the RIAA. Master of Puppets marks the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident while touring to promote the album.

Have your say down below or over on the forums.

Previous Album Club selections can be found at https://thumped.com/tac.

 

  1. I know 2 other Metallica albums. I wouldn't really listen to either now. Curious that this one appeared in album club first. I liked the other 2 well enough so maybe I'll like this. Here goes…..

  2. It's an extraordinary record. Not an extraordinary metal record, but extraordinary music. EXTRA-ordinary. Love it.

  3. i'm only getting around to portishead now

    i've listened to this one quite a lot though, but it never struck me as particularly amazing

  4. I find it hard to listen to Metallica these days, their buffoonery has overshadowed their music and the way their music has gone is extremely disappointing (though I'll defend Load, despite its detractors). What gets me more though is the production on everything before the black album, the mix feels really flat here (almost like they pre-empted mobile phone speakers with that tinny sound). The songs are good, some of them are great, but they sound weedy. I'm listening to the Live Shit album now and the tracks from this album have so much more oomph and energy to them. It's a pity that they didn't get a better job done in the studio, it seems to be a problem that plagues all their classic albums. It's a shame because I'd probably love this and the earlier albums more if they had the same quality of production of Slayer or Iron Maiden. As it stands, the bass is a blur, the drums are buckets and the guitars slur into each other.

  5. Listening to this again now, it's hard to believe it's 30 years old.

    Battery
    – if you were to look up cliché in the dictionary, the second entry would be "acoustic intro on an 80s thrash album" (the first entry would be "if you were look up X in the dictionary") but we are where we are. Great tune, gallops along.

    Master of Puppets – Really, no comment required for this one. One of the best – if not the best thrash metal songs ever written. Does not feel like its 8.5 minute length.

    The Thing That Should Not Be – Bit of an abrupt change of pace here and, for me, one of the weaker songs on the album. Doesn't really go anywhere (I'll come back to this) and a fade out on the third track is just wrong.

    Welcome Home (Sanitarium) – Another thrash metal trope – the track four semi ballad. A classic that's only slightly diminished by the fact that it sounds a bit too much like what came before (Ride The Lightning's Fade To Black) and after (…And Justice For All's One)

    Disposable Heroes – FUCK YES. JUST… FUCK, YES. Beavis and Butthead in the form of a single song.

    Leper Messiah – The other "weak" song on the album. Not a weak song by any means, they just set the standard so ridiculously high I suppose something had to give.

    Orion – An 8.5 minute instrumental is a hard sell, but they make it work (that section at 4 minutes in… damn). Always thought they should have just written some words and finished the song.

    Damage, Inc. – Oh god I could probably listen to this on repeat for ever. An absolutely perfect song. (it just crashed Spotify on me… must be a sign).

    That does not feel like an album that's just shy of an hour long. Dave "I AM THE RIFFMASTER" Mustaine once said that the thing that set Megadeth apart from a million other thrash bands (apart from him being "THE RIFFMASTER", of course) were his arrangements of their songs, and I think for the most part you can see that here too. Two obvious exceptions (for me) would be The Thing That Should Not Be, which never really goes anywhere, and Orion, which like I said never really felt finished.

    Let's be honest – Kill 'Em All wasn't that good, Ride The Lightning was a strong record with some occasional flashes of genius, but Master of Puppets took it to another level altogether. Ultimately, a lot of what Metallica did on this record was thoroughly aped by a whole lot of other inferior bands, most of whom had neither the ability nor the tunes to pull it off, but Master Of Puppets is an era and genre defining 5/5 for me.

    Fuck it all and fucking no regrets.

  6. pete

    Listening to this again now, it's hard to believe it's 30 years old.

    Dave "I AM THE RIFFMASTER" Mustaine once said that the thing that set Megadeth apart from a million other thrash bands (apart from him being "THE RIFFMASTER", of course) were his arrangements of their songs,

    wo obvious exceptions (for me) would be The
    Let's be honest – Kill 'Em All wasn't that good, Ride The Lightning was a strong record with some occasional flashes of genius, but Master of Puppets took it to another level altogether. Ultimately, a lot of what Metallica did on this record was thoroughly aped by a whole lot of other inferior bands, most of whom had neither the ability nor the tunes to pull it off, but Master Of Puppets is an era and genre defining 5/5 for me.

    Fuck it all and fucking no regrets.

    I remember listening to the Friday Rock Show the Friday before this was released and hearing Battery,I recorded it and had it on repeat until the Monday when I went into town to buy the record. And there was a flyer with tour dates….including Belfast. I don't think I ever waited so long for a gig.

    All I can say about Mustaine is HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! sour grapes. Arrangements? Megadeth songs sound like they just pluck the next riff out of a hat.

    Ride The Lightning>>>> Master of Puppets.

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