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You can't expect a 5 minute metallica single to rule, especially considering what their last output was. In AJFA, metallica were left with fringing riffs to use which were repeated a trillion of times. Looking at the song construction of AJFA, it was clear that those guys were out of ideas. But at this point, the ideas were totally zero and so Metallica quit playing thrash metal music altogether. Not a bad thing, as long as they keep things intresting.
The principle problem with this single is the same as what happens to all bands when they are out of ideas. The song sounds good for first couple of listens, but then it gets boring. The song starts with an acoustic guitar riff ( as expected ) which is OK, definitely better than Battery. But after the build-up Battery contained excellent pace and blazing riffs. Enter Sandman is midpaced and contains only two or three midpaced riffs.
The verses are OK. The chorus is somewhat good, but after a few listens it gets on the nerves. The riff work is poor. Metallica always had a problem in writing mid-paced rifs. Leper Messiah need I say more? The lead work is so-so, not too inspiring. The drum work is non-eistent at best ( it's Lars Ulrich, what else can you expect ). In the middle section there is a chanted prayer by Hetfield which tries hard to be creepy, but in the end becomes a complete joke. Judas Priest, Nightcrawler, this is not.
The song is OK for a listen or two. The problem doesn't lie in the abandoning of thrash, but in their inability to keep things intresting. Technical individual performances? We don't find them in a Metallica song. If you like ACDC, you will like this. If you like Guns n Roses, you will like this. If you like abominations like Van Halen and Aerosmith you will like this. The rest please stay away from it.
“Enter Sandman” was Metallica’s first single off their commercially most successful album that was named after the name of the band itself. It is lyrically about a child facing his nightmares and a music video was made for the track, which revolved around the lyrical theme of the track. It was later disclosed that this track went on to become one of the most demanded and most played tracks on the radio following “Paranoid” and “Stairway To Heaven”.
This track features Kirk’s first riff with his work with the band. It originally consisted of a two bar riff but as suggested by Lars the first bar was repeated thrice and it was this version that appeared on the album. (That can be seen in Metallica’s documentary “Classic Albums”). The track clocks in at over 5 minutes and the whole song revolves around the base provided by Kirk’s riff. The whole track is clean and simple with no complex parts in between as wasn’t the case with Metallica’s previous releases. James’ voice is nothing less than perfect and Bob Rock has done a great job with the production. Full marks for the excellent production.
Along with this track there is also a cover of Queen’s track “Stone Cold Crazy” but I refrain myself to comment on it because it has already appeared on Metallica’s cover album, “Garage Inc.”
The setbacks to this track are that the song is too damn repetitive and has a weak solo. Also being the first track off this album it disappointed a huge number of Metallica’s fans who were expecting signature Metallica style thrash, whereas they were handed this radio friendly less aggressive version of Metallica.The only way to enjoy this track if you were a long-standing fan of this track is if you are an open-minded metal head. If you are looking for something that sounds remotely as the band’s early works then this is NOT for you.