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Classic Albums: Metallica - 95%

samshroyer, August 20th, 2006

I own the VHS Copy of this and I don't know if the VHS and DVD are any different, so I'm just going to review the VHS copy.

This video was originally broadcasted on VH1, and along with many other albums VH1 did stuff like this with, it was released so any fan can own it. This video is very interesting because it goes through the five singles of The Black Album ("Enter Sandman", "Holier Than Thou", "Wherever I May Roam", "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters") and the band members and other people who were involved in making the album talked about each of the songs. Everything from the Intro, to the Riff, to the Closing Bar, they talked about. They talked about how they didn't expect "Sandman" to be successful, how "Nothing Else Matters" was created, and how they expected "Holier Than Thou" to be the big hit. They show clips from the videos of the songs as well, while also showing clips of the band practicing them in the studio. I would have much rather have them talk about all 12 or 13 or whatever songs that are on the album instead of just 5, which is the only reason I gave it 95 out of 100.
So, all in all, this is worth all 5 Bucks you can pay for the VHS Brand New in FYE, actually, alot more. So if you are a true Metallica fan, a big fan of The Black Album, or just some random person reading this review, go buy this VHS. You will find it very interesting and will have a good time watching it.
Sam Shroyer

Not a Must-Have, but fairly informative. - 77%

caspian, August 15th, 2006

The black album is probably my least favourite Metallica record. It's the only album, in my opinion, that Metallica just went "Screw it, lets write a record that will sell lots". Still, it was cheap, and I've always wondered how on earth it was produced so well, so I decided to buy it. A good choice, in the end.

The DVD goes through most of the bigger tracks, eg. Sandman, Sad but True, Nothing Else Matters, etc. There's some pretty interesting tidbits in here, like the original version of Sandman, with the alternate riff (it sounds real crappy!), the usage of 30-40 room mikes for the drums (!!!) and the demo versions of all the songs, which is interesting. There's also extra guitars in the Unforgiven, the Elevator Version of Nothing Else Matters, alternate bass parts on My Friend of Misery etc. Quite a lot really. A lot of information is given on the production, recording and mastering of the album too, which I found particularly interesting, because for me, this album is one of the best produced Metal albums out there.

WHile I don't have A Year and a Half.., and can't say how much footage was recycled, I found the whole DVD fairly educational, and pretty interesting. There's probably not much here if you're not a big fan of Metallica, but if you are a fan, you'll probably find this fairly informative and entertaining. Recommended.

Revisiting the classic - 84%

langstondrive, December 20th, 2003

This DVD basically tells the story of how Metallica's classic "The Black Album" was created. The main focus is how each of the 5 singles from the album (Enter Sandman, Sad But True, The Unforgiven, Holier Than Thou and Wherever I May Roam) were conceived, along with Nothing Else Matters. Along with the typical interviews (some of which are funny as hell, especially the ones with Lars), demo versions of some of the riffs/songs are showcased, such as the original riff from Enter Sandman (which isin't nearly as good) and a really nice harmony over the chorus of Sad But True. They also show a version of Nothing Else Matters with an orchestra, curtosy of Michael Kamen (who later worked with them on the decent S&M). It is very interesting to see the attitudes of the band while they were recording, as they were usually very pissed off the whole time. There is also a special features section which showcases a few more interviews, as well as the original version of "My Friend of Misery" and an explaintion for "The God that Failed". Finally, included is a very pointless discography. A very good buy.

"Then Bob came up to us and said "I've heard you live, and I just don't think that the sound on your albums really captures your live show", and we were like...Excuse me?? Who the fuck are you??" - Lars Ulrich

Retreading the past - 77%

The_Philosopher, August 2nd, 2003

This dvd tells the story of how the infamous Black Album was made. There's not a lot new here, save for a few stories. Basically, it just goes over how the singles of the album were recorded, and how they were written, etc. Basically, if you've seen Part One of A Year and a Half in the Life of... you know most of the story on the making of.

The only new thing here is in the extra features. This showcases James and Lars talking about the pre-porduction of the album, how they recorded the demos and where, etc. We get to hear some parts of those demos. We also hear the alternate version of Nothing Else Matters titled "the elevator version". We also hear some backstory on how they rushed to finish the album, and how Bob Rock knew he should work with Metallica.

If you've seen past Metallica documentaries, in particular, A Year and a Half...then there is no need to view this DVD.