1983. A great year! METALLICA still played real Metal on their first album and I just came into this world...! Well, let's stay with METALLICA, in this case with their debut "Kill 'Em All".
That time, they had the Hetfield/Ulrich/Mustaine/Burton line-up and the young band from the Bay Area created a true Speed/Thrash Metal highlight. Raw, fast and crude, the band thrashes through true Speed Metal shells like "Whiplash", "Motorbreath" or "Phantomlord". The vocals of James Hetfield were pretty thin and you can hear his youthfulness, but the wrath inside the vocals fitted perfectly to the music. "Kill 'Em All" doesn't sound monotonous at all. The band doesn't push the pedal all the time, they can also delight in a mid-paced area. "The Four Horsemen" or the all-known "Seek & Destroy" kick your ass, in any case. That applies for the remaining songs, too, the songs should have a cult status for the fans.
In many riffs, you can hear the bands penchant for the NWOBHM, especially Hetfield and Ulrich were fans of it. Sometimes you can also hear some MOTÖRHEAD influenced Rock'n'Roll and Punk.
Though the sound isn't as pressuring as on later releases, you can still listen to it harmlessly today. Maybe, it's because of this sound, that mangily, that spirit of "Kill 'Em All", which makes this album so irresistibly. Every guitar solo, every punch on the drums is on the right place. Whereby, latter one is not really commonly for Ulrich. The effort of, let me say, "bass guitar legend" Cliff Burton is remarkable. He sets his trademark on "Kill 'Em All", especially with the bass instrumental "Anesthesia/Pulling Teeth".
I have the opinion, that METALLICA didn't match "Kill 'Em All" until today. Although milestones like "Ride The Lightning" or "Master Of Puppets" had the probably better sound, they didn't convey the same unmatchable spirit, which you can find on "Kill 'Em All". It's sad, that the band doesn't fall back on the material of this great album at their live gigs. I think, many fans desire for that. But the guys seem to be too old and to slow for such powerful speed tracks?
Tips: every track (Online May 17, 2003)