The Kings of Heavy Metal, Metallica return with the second part of the ‘Load’ recordings, which was originally planned to be a double album, but ended up being released as two separate albums approximately 18 months apart, which allows them to (unintentionally you understand) do a money spinning world tour twice!.

Reload’ is a loud, intense, unrepentant, brash, positive, thundering beast of a long player (all 75 minutes plus) which starts off with the hard hitting in-yer-face ‘Fuel, a ball busting epic in the mould of what has become Metallica. The wondrous ‘The Memory Remains’ is a fabulous rock metal track which has Marianne Faithfull on husky background wailing accompaniment which adds a new dimension to the song and the whole concept of Metallica. ‘Devils Dance’ is one of the albums poorer inclusions, but normal service is resumed with the prodigious ‘The Unforgiven II’, a worthy namesake successor/twin to the 1991 ‘The Unforgiven’ which includes several musical uplifts from the original, but is a heavier song in this release. ‘Better Than You’, ‘Slither’ and ‘Cape Diem Baby’ continue the apocalyptic sound, while ‘Bad Seed’ is a glorious piece, followed by the awesome ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ which it’s grinding guitars shining against the backdrop of Lars Ulrich’s pounding drumming. The scurrying ‘Prince Charming’ is succeeded by the outstanding ‘Dead Man’s Lyric’, a song that is the most relaxed and easy listening on the album, with a hurdy gurdy and violin being added to the family of new instruments utilised by the band.

James Hetfields growling, snarling vocals are precise and toned down to complement the whole overall aura of the song to rival the brilliance of the likes of ‘The Unforgiven’. Along with ‘The Memory Remains’ and ‘The Unforgiven II’, ‘Dead Man’s Lyric’ completes the trio of exceptional compositions on this album.

Finishing off with the orthodox metal of ‘Attitude’ and ‘Fixer’ (yes this is how it’s spelt kids); this album is what you would expect from Metallica, with the added pleasant addition of unexpected twists and turns. You should know if this is or is not for you, so the choice is yours – I enjoyed it though.

Taken from Scotland Calling (Scottish Music Network)

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