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One year after the release of Load, which was a quite average album, Metallica released another bastard, called Reload. Reload wasn't more than the b-side of Load, so to say, the tracks that weren't good enough to appear on Load. That's a bit strange, because there are a lot more 'metal songs' on Reload than on Load, so it seems that the band really chose to release a hardrock album with Load instead of a metal album.
Despite it's a B-side of Load, Reload isn't much worse than Load, but it certainly isn't better. One of the improvements is the amount of thrashing songs, that lacked on Load. Also James' vocals are a lot more harsh than on Load, and Lars' drumming is faster and better. But the songwriting is less from perfect and is quite uninspired. While on Load the songs were well-structured, on Reload isn't that the case at all, with exception from 5 tracks.
The album starts with the killer 'Fuel'. The first time you listen to this song, you'll probably say that this is a nice and fast thrash metal song, which you can compare to 'Ain't My Bitch'. But after a couple of listenings, it gets as boring as hell, even irritating.
The next song, The Memory Remains, is a slow, melodramatic track, that gets softer with the minute and becomes really terrible when Marianne Faithfull starts singing at the end of the track.
Devil's Dance is, as well as The Unforgiven II, just an average, mid-tempo metal track. But then it gets better in my opinion. Better Than You is a fine, fast, thrashing song with a rolling drum tempo. Also is Bad Seed, but this song tends more towards pop music, which is a pity.
Than Slither, just like Where the Wild Things Are and Carpe Diem Baby, is a more modest and calm song, but it's very well structured, so it never becomes boring. You can compare these tracks to songs like Bleeding Me or the Outlaw Torn, but than less good though.
And then, things become just the same as the first 4 tracks of this album. Prince Charming is pobably the most horrific and poppy song Metallica has ever made. I can't find any good parts in this song and also the lyrics are just horribly silly. And What about Low Man's Lyric? Well, it would have been a good song if a band like Thin Lizzy made it, but in Metallica's way, it sucks. This track is filled with horrible bagpipes and violins and they keep dragging on during the whole track.
Attitude is a song like Better Than You, but I don't know why, but it becomes boring and irritating after a while. And I still don't know what to think about the last, and very long track, of this album. Fixxxer hasn't convinced me yet in this 5 years that I have this album, and I don't think it ever will.
So, this isn't a bad album, due to the fact of songs 5 to 9. But of course, 5 good tracks of 13 in total isn't good enough for a band like Metallica. But, to end with a positive note, if you find Load too soft than you can give Reload a try.