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Favorite Metallica song from albums 1-5

06 Mar 2021 / Mihai Nueleanu

A list of my favorite Metallica songs, one from each album, from albums 1 to 5. As a disclaimer: I'm not saying with definitive conviction that this list is 100% reflective of my favoritism for all eternity. I think that all tracks on these 5 albums have merit, and it could very well happen that would feel differently on another day.

However, this post is about the songs that have really resonated with me, while listening to them over the years. And it's an attempt at describing (very shortly) the stories and the feelings that these songs bring out in me.

Kill 'Em All - Motorbreath

A real banger of a song. Electrifying and utterly overwhelming speed and energy. If it'd be a steak, it'd be so raw it still ran around in the field.

This song is simple and to the point: you do anything you want and you don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. Or you'll blast right through them. You don't give a fuck, you're young and are willing to risk it all.

I still get goosebumps listening to this song. It's a real kick in the guts.

Ride the Lightning - The Call of Ktulu

Last track of the album, and the most sophisticated they've ever put out, up to that point in a sea surrounded by heavy metal and trash. This instrumental takes you on a journey, or rather an emotional rollercoaster.

You start with quiet, ominous peace, diving into unsettling wonderment and then straight into bone-crushing struggle. Then the struggle turns to fight, and then you fight some more. It's relentless, it keeps pushing and pushing, and you push back.

Then comes the plot twist. You have a choice to make - do you have what it takes to make the final strike? You reflect, you look deep down into the abyss below your feet.

You reach absolution. Closure, the grand finale.

Master of Puppets - Orion

Fade in.

You're on a mission. Calculated, robotic, stepping towards the target. Stumbling, but you're still on your feet. A moment of intensity comes your way and you look it straight in the eye with cool composure, as you blast through unabated. You've become good at this fight, you've perfected it to the point of selfish pleasure.

Then, an interruption. A moment of purity, beauty; a moment of love. Tears roll down in awe of what's come across your path. All is harmony - nature, spirit, human. Keep moving forward and you will flourish, you think.

But over the edge of the cliff it goes and disintegrates you into pieces. You tumble down alongside. You feel the rage and it's back into the trenches with you. And so it goes... Fade out..

Garage Days Re-Revisited - Helpless

A cover album which is a bit of a throwback to Metallica's roots and inspiration. Helpless by Diamond Head, in Metallica's adaptation is a really tight track. It has energy, it has youth, it has ass-kickin'.

My favorite moment of this track comes right around minute 4:00, and this moment builds up to this absolutely explosion of double bass drums, which keeps the energy going and going, all until the bitter end.

...And Justice For All - To Live Is to Die

This song comes with a story. A story of struggle, tyranny and redemption. One of the most touching tracks I've ever listened to, and a really underrated gem.

It all starts peaceful. Harmonies are singing the tranquillity of existence. Natural order is queen, and human spirit is free.

Then tyranny shows it's ugly face. Man is subjugated, broken down, humiliated and ran down into the ground to his last breath. And then he's beaten down some more. The tyrant is cold, calm and composed. Tyranny strikes man again and again, with a punch, a snap, and a kick, slapped around a few more times. There's a push back, there's a fight. But regardless, it's all the same, tyranny won't loosen its grip so easy.

Tyranny is here to stay. Days pass, months pass, even years pass. All hope has been long forgotten. Or has it?

Man pulls himself up, once again - broken, beaten, scarred. His spirit is still inside, alive and kicking. One last stand, one last push. The resistance is rough, and with a blow to the head, man is disoriented, his heart is singing with hopes of tranquility once again, but his body's broken. Will he have the will to bring himself back again? Perhaps.

Man wipes the blood off his lips and looks up at the enemy of his existence. How much has he endured? How much has he suffered under tyranny? Man is determined, full of rage, and full of hope.

"When a man lies, he murders some part of the world. These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives. All this I cannot bear to witness any longer. Cannot the Kingdom of Salvation take me home?"

The fight moves on and revenge is boiling in the man's blood. Nothing can stop him, he's got nothing left, he's got nothing to lose. And the man pummels at the tyrant. The spectacle is gruesome. Man strikes away harder and harder, smacking tyranny out of his land and out of his soul. It goes on and on, revenge has finally come, and man can't stop the punching. Deranged laughter comes out in brutal joy as he strikes on onto the tyrant. He's prevailed, but it's not enough. It's a brutal show.

...

Tranquility has come over the land once again and the sun is rising now, after many years of darkness. Man is not the same. The fight has taken him across into the darkest corners of his soul, and has brought out the worst in his humanity. But his people are now safe and free. He may be broken and his soul may be in pieces, but he's guarded the future of his own kind. He's far from good, but he is at peace.

Fade out. Harmonies. Ominous harmonies.




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