For me ‘Master Of Puppets’ is one of the most important metal albums of all time, from one of, if not ‘the’ most important metal bands in history. I don’t claim to be the world’s leading authority on metal, I have a few friends on here who fill that role pretty well already, I just know and appreciate what’s good.
I’m fortunate to have been partner in a recording studio for 15+ years now where we’ve had to reference bands for production and mixdown purposes and these guys keep popping up on a regular basis.
35 years on from this came out and Metallica continue to set the benchmark that young bands aspire to reach.
I was completely blown away by my first introduction to the band which was ‘Ride The Lightning’, my innocent little 13 year old ears listened to this early example of thrash on repeat until I knew the album chord for chord and word for word. I’ve been known to still offer a full-blown drunken rendition of ‘Fade To Black’ at gatherings, much to the horror of the other members of the church congregation.
2 years later ‘Master Of Puppets’ landed and along with my broken voice and newly acquired acne, things in my world changed dramatically.
This album just absolutely kicked the bollocks out of everything else in my world that year. I was heavily influenced by Tommy Vance’s weekly radio show on Radio 1 and would have taped it religiously every week and listened back on repeat all through the following week. To have an entire weekly show like that on the biggest station in the UK dedicated to rock & metal was testament to how important this scene was, and still is tbf.
21 year old Lars Ulrich’s drumming on this album, where sometimes completely attention seeking and at times bordering on the OTT, is nonetheless astounding. The twists, utterly filthy hooks, and sharp direction changes in the songs never give you a proper chance to get too relaxed into a song, which is a lot of what Metallica are all about for me. There’s just a different level of intensity and dirt about this album that I still can’t get enough of to this day.
Being the (supposedly) big grown up now, i find “Ride The Lightning’ to be amazing still but thin production wise compared to M.O.P
I was in complete awe of the band when I finally got to see them at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena in 2010 and still find myself in awe of them every time I listen to pretty much all of their albums.
Every track on this album is 100% bona fide monster!