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"King Nothing" is one the best track on the highly underrated "Load" album released in -96. The track is heavy and catchy, just like "Enter Sandman", and the song actually ends with the same words; "Off to never-never land." The riffs are awesome and the bass is loud, Jason Newsted always has a great bass tone, too bad you didn't get to hear it on the "Justice" album. Kirk's solo is great and I actually like his use of the wah-pedal on the "Load" and "Reload" albums, before it got out of hand. This solo is the best on the album after "Bleeding Me". The drumming is nothing impressive, but that doesn't really matter.
The song is about people who devote their entire lives to be successful and earn money until one day, they realize ("then it all crashes down") that all their money has gotten them nothing worthwhile. They have wasted their whole life in pursuit of money and status instead of living and being truly happy (where's your crown, king nothing?). Hetfield's vocals on this five minute track, just like throughout most of the record, is fantastic and the lyrics are easy to sing along to.
My overall impression of this song is that it's one of the best songs from all three album released by the band in the 90's. "Bleeding Me" and "The Outlaw Torn" are the only better songs from the "Load" album, and most people that doesn't like this album, tend to like "King Nothing." Although the underrated "Load" and "Reload" albums are disliked by many fans, it shows Metallica's diversity and creativity in songwriting, as well as Hetfield's best singing of his career. "King Nothing" is a perfect example of that.
Let me start by saying that "King Nothing" is the best track on the mediocre "Load". The track is crushing, reminiscent of Metallica's earlier "Enter Sandman". Both songs have a similar structure and style of lyrics writing. The lyrics and vocal style remind me of something made by Motorhead and Lemmy. Hetfield's vocals are commanding as he screams "Then it all crashes down...". The Lemmy Kilmister influences are heavy here. The instrumentals are heavy and thick, similar to other tracks on this album. The drumming is solid but nothing too technical, just focusing on force. Kirk has a good solo towards the end, probably his best in the forgettable Load era. This is probably Jason Newsted's best performance ever as it is his bass riff which progresses into the main guitar riff.
At about five and a half minutes in length, this is unlike the other overlong songs on this album. If you like grunge, or just dark hard rock. The King nothing single is certainly worth a buy. This is certainly the best song in Metallica's Load era.