METALLICA – Where Did They Go? Does Anyone Know?

Has anyone seen or heard where Metallica has been hiding lately? They used to create kick ass Thrash Metal like this album shown above. Please, someone, does anybody know?

METALLICA – Once upon a time, there was a Thrash Metal band that could tear the skin off your face with their blistering brand of speed and heaviness. Once upon a time this same Thrash Metal band put out three incredible Thrash Metal Classics in a row: Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets. Then, this Thrash Metal band took their inevitable legendary status and decided to make a song called… One. That song should have been titled: Ouch. That’s when it all started to get weird for me as a Metallica fan.

I did get a “hint” that Metallica returned with the commercially accepted and turtle neck applauding: Black Album. Just wasn’t the same though. Back in 1993 Live Shit: Binge & Purge came out and I longed for it. I couldn’t afford this pricey Metallica live box set for many years. I eventually won the VHS version at a silent auction, go figure. From 1994 to 2007, Metallica disappeared, yet they wound up being seen sharing high fives and smiles at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, apparently becoming inducted into that political clique. Weird.

2008 came around and look out! Metallica was back! Rumors were being thrown around that Metallica was returning to their “roots” and actually “cared” about the “old school fans” that made them Thrash Metal legends in the first place. Death Magnetic sounded damn cool to me. Death Magnetic sounded a “tad” vintage. Death Magnetic was super-duper produced. Still not the same though.

It is now nearing the end of 2011 and I’m still searching for the legendary Metallica. The Metallica that truly changed my Metal lovin’ life, being one of the select bands that made me the rabid Metal fan I am today. I, like so many others, was there at the very beginning. I went crazy in the pit as Metallica played a small club, with the mighty Metal Church opening. No one can ever accuse me of being a “band wagon” fan salivating over the release of …And Justice For All. Yes, The Big 4 sightings have been documented, still, a return to form in the studio and creating Thrash albums that fans really yearn for is lacking.

Just the other day, I overheard a Metal buddy say to someone: “If you’re looking for Metallica, a dude named Lou Reed knows where they’re at”. Whoa. Lou Reed? Why, why him? That same Metal buddy looked confused and weary when he turned to me and said, “Lulu”. I thought to myself, Lulu? Who is Lulu? What’s a Lulu? A Dr. Seuss character? A Saturday morning cartoon? This distraught Metal buddy of mine just kept mumbling, as he walked away… he kept mumbling… “Lulu”… “Lulu”. Lou Reed. Lulu. These code names do not help me in my quest to find out where Metallica has gone. I shall not give up though, Metallica has to return again someday. They just have to. I hope.


Rest In Peace, Cliff Burton.


18 Responses to “METALLICA – Where Did They Go? Does Anyone Know?”

  1. Coverdale Says:

    “money changes everything”

    • Metal Odyssey Says:

      You are right, only money never changed Slayer, King Diamond, Exodus, Testament, Megadeth, Satyricon, Cannibal Corpse… the list goes on with the number of bands that would never stray away from what “they are supposed to create” with their musical talents.

      Metal be thy name, especially in such a lousy economic climate we have right now, how could “Lulu” possibly generate sales? My advice to all: take the money you would spent on “Lulu” and use it to stock up on toilet paper instead.

  2. I haven’t seen them either, but I know what you mean. I first heard of them when they did a co-headlining tour with WASP and Armoured Saint as the opener. Master Of Puppets made me a true Metallica fan and they were superb when the opened for Ozzy. But I wasn’t sure of the direction they took afterwards. I like the Black Album and the last album is pretty good, but what happened?

    • Metal Odyssey Says:

      Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax should boycott any further touring with Metallica. That would send the message loud and clear that you just cannot sell-out and become so damn lame. “Lulu” is an embarrassment to the fans that pumped millions of dollars into this Metallica money machine.

  3. Mike DeCesare Says:

    I agree 1000%. When I first heard about the collaboration, I assumed it was some sort of publicity stunt or something. Then I heard the first song… At that point I honestly did believe it was a joke – but soon learned this was actually a legit album. Talk about jumping the shark! I support artists trying new things and exploring new musical directions for creative growth, but this is musical suicide. I hope they can rebound from this and salvage some of their loyal fan base.

    • Metal Odyssey Says:

      Thanks Mike. So many of us fans and bands have “diverse” interests in music, it’s a given. However, when a band or individual musician goes overboard like this, the word has to get out that it stinks.

      Heck, Metallica would have been better off making an album with Tom Jones… that living legend has a ton more Rock and Roll in his voice and step, both then and now! (I do own plenty of Tom Jones albums too… LOL)

      I just feel like we (the fans) have been taken for granted by Metallica and left abandoned, while they are off trying to impress god knows who?

  4. rbtaleman Says:

    Nice post. I wholeheartedly agree with you except that I really like …And Justice for All. Too bad they feel they have to prove they’re “real artists” Same trap bands like KISS fell into with “The Elder.” Really enjoy your posts and blog. Nice work man.

    • Metal Odyssey Says:

      Thanks bro. You made a terrific point with KISS and “The Elder”. It’s just too bad that Metallica keeps returning to the studio to make an album… for who?

      I appreciate the visits and compliment \m/

  5. The real METALLICA left the building when Cliff was taken!

    *first, they come into existence with razor sharp riffage and much collab. + direction from Dave Mustaine.

    *Then they even used some of that left-over material for album number two: “Ride the Lightning”. They did add to it mind you, but it was a natural extension as Cliff polished it and helped out in many more ways that never was publicized and or talked about much (by the mouth of Metallica – one Lars)….CLIFF is credited on all but two tracks on this LP.

    *Enter “Master of Puppets” (my fav. by a hair) and you have a more mature band who was firing on all cylinders, at their creative peak [and still graced by Cliff’s (even more this time) genius]!

    “Damage, Inc.”, “Orion” (Instrumental), “The Thing That Should Not Be”, and last nut not least, the massive title track “Master of Puppets”. Their skills were solidified further by playing all those great songs on tour as well.

    *EXIT Cliff…what to do now?

    *Enter “Justice” era. This album is nothing but a left-over riff fest with part after part after part that was strung together to form “songs”. I love Metallica riffs, but some of those songs are just way too long in the tooth and get boring really fast. What happened?

    I think it was partially because they did not have their extra set of “ears” (listening) in the studio! Who’s that?

    The producer Flemming Rasmussen [who had also “co”-produced the previous Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets albums]. *People often discount the enormous impact a good producer can have on young bands and how they help “shape” their sound, offer song writing assistance and or general guidance by having a set of “fresh” ears and or unique perspective.

    Unfortunately Flemming was unavailable this time around and so they attempted to re-create the puzzle themselves (mainly James and Lars) but with producer MIKE CLINK this time.

    So of course, a different sound + feel started to ooze into the studio and thus music writing and recording style + sound during this period. Add in a new bassist and that further changes things, wait you can’t actually “hear” much bass on that LP now can ya’? For the record, I am not blaming Mr. Clink either…

    Scratches head <—this is another key "decision" and or turning point for the band. Putting out a METALLICA record with little-to- no [audible] bass. Excuse me, but correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't BASS help make music "heavier"?…ugh

    Of course the Mike Clink production was short-lived and didn't work out and so they "hired" [i.e. begged] Flemming to come back and help try to salvage the project. I think it was too late though and he did his best [IMO James and Lars had already reeked much havoc on the project].

    Yes – there was some decent riffage throughout, but the album as a whole was a big-time let down for me. The general public didn't really notice as MTV was about to put "One" in full time rotation and that helped catapult the band onto the major stage and that pretty much was a game-changer for them.

    Yes – a video and somewhat "commercial" sound for the band was a weird turning point.

    BTW Cliff was still showing up with material during this era as well. This time with the excellent: "To Live Is to Die".

    I will put the breaks on this long-winded rant here [sorry fueled by much espresso!] as this is where all of the money, fame and other nonsense started happening. Way too much to keep track of.

    *How does this story go after that?

    Well, the Bob Rock "BLACK" LP era was good yes, but it was not the METALLICA I grew up with. However, that didn't matter as the band changed gears/slight direction yet again and was able to garner even more commercial success with more videos and a larger massive worldwide tour.

    When they came back from that – they were toast! But they were also bonafide "rock STARS".

    That's when I pretty much wrote them off – my FAV. band mind you!

    And they've never been able to find their way back to that place….and the only thing that is really different is that they've drifted farther and farther away from Cliff's brilliance, song writing sensibility and arrangement craftsmanship.

    Cliff is gone (R.I.P) and so is that era of METALLICA…gone forever unfortunately. Case closed.

    …End of [my] story.

    At least we have 3 amazing albums!

    P.S. For the non-believers out there, go listen to "ORION" Vs "The Shortest Straw", or "ORION" Vs "The Struggle Within" or pick any song…the feel, mood and musicianship is totally different.

    Just my #0.03

    Thanks for reading.

    Demolish Mag.

    • Metal Odyssey Says:

      Well said Kinger. I know that there are so many more of us that share in the disgust. What next? Metallica collaborates with U2 on a double album? A duet with James and Bono? LOL…

    • Kinger, you give an amazing and very accurate look into the history of Metallica. Well done! The only thing I can add is when you mentioned some of the songs from Master Of Puppets, you left out Battery. I bring this up because it is one of the greatest opening songs ever. When I saw them open with this song when supporting Ozzy, Metallica were fantastic. When I saw them a year later, they didn’t open with Battery and their performance suffered. So they should start every show with that song.
      On another point, Stone you also nail it when you point out that success never changed Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth. In fact, Anthrax went for a more thrashing sound after the success of Spreading the Disease. However, I was never to sure with their flirtations with rap.
      That’s my two penneth

      • Anonymous Says:

        Thanks for the nice words about my mini METALLICA rant “80’s Metal Man”.

        re: “The only thing I can add is when you mentioned some of the songs from Master Of Puppets, you left out Battery.”

        *that’s because I was only naming songs in which Cliff Burton was credited with (liner notes).

        other than that – yes sir, “BATTERY” is a killer song!

        —esp. the acoustic guitar intro….and then…rooooooooooooooooor!

        That is such a majestic/melodic prelude for what is truly coming next: which is a razor-sharp + crunchy thrash riff that runs over you like a freight train.

        On a side note, Lars even manages to contribute some “fast” [by 80’s terms] double-bass footwork from 3:45 — 4:00 (albeit it only lasts around 15 seconds before he peters out right on the tail-end of the fill)….ugh.

        Thanks for reminding of another great/classic METALLICA song. A type of song you will never, ever hear from these guys again.


        Demolish Mag.

    • Actually I was thinking along these lines a few days ago, Stone, while I was on the train listening to “Master Of Puppets” on my I-pod.
      Metallica have made a mockery of their legendary name of the ’80s!
      As Kinger said (The real METALLICA left the building when Cliff was taken!)…I think so too.
      “…And Justice For All” and the “Black” album are good, but not near the level of their first three masterpieces!
      Once Cliff Burton died, Metallica went downhill fast.

      I kept buying every Metallica album, though, hoping they’d find their way again. But “St. Anger” was the final straw for me!
      I gave up on Metallica.

      It’s obvious, Cliff Burton was Metallica (or, at least, a very integral part!)

      • Metal Odyssey Says:

        Right on Tokyo5. As I see and feel it, Metallica is too caught up in trying to impress the people that NEVER got them to where they are today. It’s been this way with this band for too long now.

        It’s unreal. Did Metallica actually think that their old school and loyal fans of generations were gonna dig “Lulu”? They couldn’t have and that is what’s so darn sad.

  6. I’m really looking forward to their next collaborative piece “Metallica and Garfunkle” and the corresponding movie “The Undergraduate” or maybe they go country.

    • Metal Odyssey Says:

      LOL! Great stuff Zipper! Metallica and Lou Reed have outdone Pat Boone with his 1997 cover song album: “In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy”. If I was to take a guess at the next “artist” that Metallica works with, my guess is: Jim Nabors… you know, the dude who played “Gomer Pyle”.

  7. There are two bands in music that I cannot bring myself to buy anymore. Metallica is one of them, for basically becoming the U2 of Metal. You know what Rolling Stone has no credibility labeling this Metallica album the best “Rock” album of 2012. Great Post Stone.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: