During my early teenage years in Canada, there was one guy in my class who announced that Metallica’s Black Album was the best thing he’s ever heard and when our classmates (of both sexes, metal isn’t an exclusively male thing y’know) asked him to copy it he would do so and they would agree tat it was great. I shunned all metal so I pushed out of my radar.
Every time I pick a 33 1/3 volume I make sure to listen to the album a couple of times. Thanks to the internet this has become easier so to tell the truth I played Metallica’s self-titled fifth album for the first time last week and I liked it! In fact it’s pretty catchy for a metal album.
Masciotra’s book about the black album is a classic 33 1/3 book: The reader gets a brief band history and then an analysis of the album tracks. Here Masciotra portrays the band as one that wanted to break away from the genre they were lumped with and the black album facilitated that: they roped in a big name producer who pushed the band and introduced new recording techniques to them, Hetfield became a better vocalist and Kirk Hammett , Jason Newstead and Lars Ulrich were able to experiment with other styles.
This volume is a great read, and ESSENTIAL to the 33 1/3 canon.
This review originally was on Goodreads. You can read it here