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Hardrock - Verschenen op 19 juli 2019 | Rhino Atlantic

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Metal - Verschenen op 27 januari 2017 | Rhino Atlantic

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Hardrock - Verschenen op 27 maart 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Metal - Verschenen op 17 oktober 2014 | Roadrunner Records

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Metal - Verschenen op 30 augustus 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

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Hardrock - Verschenen op 2 april 2013 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Metal - Verschenen op 1 januari 2009 | EMI

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Metal - Verschenen op 25 augustus 1988 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

As if coming up with a worthy successor to the incomparable monument Masters Of Puppets wasn't daunting enough, Metallica had to go through the loss of Cliff Burton, who was more than just a bassist: he was a kind of spiritual and musical guide. Although they would later call on the services of a psychiatrist (see the film Some Kind Of Monster), it was when they started work on this fourth album that Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett really needed the services of a shrink. Poor old Jason Newsted probably could have done with some help as well, coming to terms with becoming the group's whipping boy, especially on this album where he was simply "eliminated" from the mix. Although Lars and James swore that they'd never remix the bass back into ...AJFA it's clearly much more present on this remastery and on the numerous live tracks that feature on this re-release.Consciously or not, the three survivors of the tour bus accident that killed Cliff on 27 September 1986 were trying to record an album that the he would have liked. With Cliff, the group's horizons had widened, and they had become a sophisticated band whose tastes ran from Bach to the high-flying prog rock of Rush, King Crimson or Yes, from the bluesy hard rock of Thin Lizzy to the southern rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Allman Brothers… It's clear that Lars and James took Metallica forward in this period, but they pushed their convoluted compositions to their outer limit, with the result being that …AJFA feels like a gigantic cabinet with countless compartments and drawers. Throughout the development period of the nine tracks on this double album (which dates from the last halcyon days of vinyl), things were never easy for Kirk or Jason, which is made clear by the many offcuts and first drafts included in this re-release (running from James's first audio cassettes in 1986 all the way through to the sessions with the whole band from October 1987 to January  1988).While Cliff's shadow hangs over this album, which is surely Metallica's most "progressive" album, the group was soon to take a turn in another direction. After all, it would have been hard for them to go much further into experimental madness. The paradox is that …AJFA brought the four-piece their first "mainstream" success with One. The the cut-down version made it onto the airwaves and MTV thanks to Metallica's first ever music video. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz
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Metal - Verschenen op 3 maart 1986 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Onderscheidingen Best New Reissue
Metallica, a band stronger than The Beatles? Without a doubt if you consider sound power, but in terms of remastered editions featuring “a few” bonuses, the award might also go to the Four Horsemen if you compare the “Deluxe” edition of their third album to the Fab Four’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary (Super Deluxe Edition). In it, you’ll find the equivalent of no less than ten fully-packed CDs for this Master Of Puppets that many consider, rightly or wrongly, as Metallica’s own Sgt. Pepper's. Well, it’s true that you’ll struggle finding any defect in the armour of such a monument. And its lengthy gestation period, highlighted through archives at various stages of development, will no doubt reinforce the belief that the band was touched by grace at this very moment in their history.A few rare critics begrudge this album for not having been as surprising as its two predecessors. Indeed the general structure of Master… , as well as the majority of its titles, can be compared with Ride The Lightning from the first frantic title Battery, in the same vein as Fight Fire With Fire, to the epic final of Damage Inc., wildly evoking a sped-up version of Creeping Death. There is also a false ballad halfway through, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), reusing in essence the same ingredients as Fade To Black and the finely chopped instrumental of Orion, with a very vague similarity with The Call Of Ktulu… However while this third attempt can be seen as a synthesis of the previous two, Master… is by far the most accomplished in the sense that, for the first time, Metallica had the time and means to refine and polish their compositions to the point of almost perfection. Even when compared with recent productions, the album is technically inevitable and unrivalled.In detail, the value of this remastered edition is not so much the lifting done to the original work, but rather everything else around it. Ever since Metallica’s first official live album Live Shit: Binge & Purge, we’ve been used to them not doing things halfway. But this goes beyond everything you could have imagined, even when compared with the remastered versions of Kill 'em All and Ride The Lightning. The band emptied all their drawers and sorted them out to enrich the album − in every sense of the word. First and foremost you’ll be delighted with the numerous drafts, which can certainly be recommended to aspiring musicians. The same applies to demoes, at different levels of development, and instrumental versions, which reveal numerous hidden details. You’ll probably not listen to James (and his “wananananas”) and Kirk’s personal tapes or the “writing in progress” versions recorded in Metallica’s famous “garage” over and over again, but the two highlights of these archives − The Prince, in a quite accomplished first approach to the title borrowed from Diamond Head, and the cover of Fang’s The Money Will Roll Right In, which was abandoned on the way – are both worth several listens.The colossal album only brings division among fans when discussing its ranking among Metallica’s best albums − although it would always make the podium. The new approach offered here might sway a few more votes for the first position. But beyond a well deserved and convincing highlight of the quality of Master…, this album is also the undeniable accomplishment of the Cliff Burton era. An easily discernable period in the sense that the bass was beautifully put forward. And for good reason! Far from being a simple bass player, Cliff was both a driving force in terms of creativity and inspiration as and a generous and calm character, balancing and “harmonising” the relations within Metallica. As we’ll see later, his mediating role would have more than once been useful between Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Some even wonder if Kirk Hammett didn’t just stop getting better after this album, without Cliff’s mental and instrumental boosts.The bass player’s role is obvious in the concerts featured in this edition with, for some of them, an exceptional sound quality. It’s also worth noting that Cliff’s very last concert is featured in this edition, at Stockholm’s Solnahallen on September 26th, 1986, a few hours before the tour bus accident that claimed his life. In this instance no one will complain about the “bootleg” quality of the recording. No matter what Jason Newsted – whose auditions and first concert with Metallica are included – brought to the table, it’s clear the band lost much more than a simple musician with Cliff Burton. The main argument of those who place Master… at the top of their ranking is precisely what …And Justice For All and the “Black Album” (Metallica) are missing: Cliff Burton, period! With the great care given to this remastered version of Master…, it is obvious that Lars, James and Kirk wanted to pay tribute to the one who brought them so much. © JPS/Qobuz
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Metal - Verschenen op 26 juli 1984 | EMI

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Metal - Verschenen op 24 juli 1983 | EMI

Kill 'Em All is Metallica's debut album, and it is the cornerstone of what would be named soon after speed metal or thrash metal. Prior to July 25, 1983, no album had shown such an outpouring of energy, violence and extremes, right up to the album art. Initially entitled Metal Up Your Ass (rejected by the Megaforce label), the cover was going to feature a hand holding a dagger coming out of a toilet bowl. In the end, it featured a pool of blood with a hammer next to it and a hand trying to grab it. In both cases, the message is quite clear. The album opens with the hyper-rapid Hit the Lights, featuring a heady riff and wild bawling, with a punk touch in the execution as well as in the sound. Everything is too fast, too loud, like on Motorbreath, a song straight from hell with razor-sharp drums. The record also contains Seek and Destroy, the band's first real classic, as a tribute to the bands so loved by Lars Ulrich (drums) and James Hetfield (guitar/vocals), Diamond Head and Saxon. On steroids, of course. Kill 'Em All also has Dave Mustaine to thank, the guitarist who was fired from the band a few days before going into the studio and replaced by Kirk Hammett. The future leader of Megadeth was indeed the composer of four tracks on the album. A multitude of bands (Slayer, Exodus, Anthrax to name but a few) would follow in Metallica's footsteps after this release that would lead the Four Horsemen to the pantheon of metal. © Maxime Archambaud/Qobuz

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Metal in het magazine
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