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From the primordial swamp of early metal ala Motörhead, several members of the NWOBHM, and the fringe extreme representative Venom, the phenomenon now known as Metallica and with it the beloved sub-genre of thrash was born. Moving beyond the simply sped up rehash of darker rock in the 70s, this music sought to refine the evil sounds of Black Sabbath and a few others and present a truly menacing style. “Whiplash” is among the better representations of how the newly forming genre began to move away from the safety of mid-tempo land and introduced a heavier riffing style that would be further explored on Slayer’s “Haunting The Chapel” and consequently, further darkened.
For those who have already picked up a copy of “Kill Em’ All”, there is very little to be heard here that is new or different. One exception is some crowd noise on two of the songs, which is admittedly nothing more than a studio trick added on to a studio recording. While some have viewed this as a dishonest method of recreating a live experience on a record, it was not an unheard of practice in some circles, and even Helloween decided to give it ago not too long after. The other, and perhaps the only real point of interest here is the remixed version of “Whiplash”, which is actually a slight improvement as the additional reverb and consequentially distant sound of the whole all but fully recaptures that stage-like character of early Mercyful Fate.
Ultimately, not a really essential purchase, but an interesting footnote in the early days of Metallica. It’s a little interesting to hear everybody cry “Fake!!!” at the versions of “Seek And Destroy” and “Phantom Lord”, but I can’t really get too upset over it. As that famous and highly ironic quote about Hollywood movies in the film “Simone” says, "we don’t mind that you created something fake, as long as you don’t lie about it".
The Whiplash EP was a pretty decent EP for Metallica. It consisted of three original songs (Jump In The Fire, Seek And Destroy, and Phantom Lord) and also the special Neckbrace Remix version of Whiplash. I thought that Whiplash was a pretty amazing song to begin with, so when I heard that the Whiplash EP had a remix version of the song, I just had to check it out.
There really isn’t much of a difference in the song. The lyrics are all the same, and so is the instrumental. When you listen to it though, you notice that the sound of the song is different. More reverb was added to the Neckbrace Remix. This created a greater echo effect when James Hetfield was singing. It was actually pretty cool to hear. Sadly other than that, there is nothing different from the original. Even Lars Ulrich has stated that there is no difference.
I think that the Whiplash EP is a pretty cool EP. If you have the Kill ‘Em All album, you’re really not missing out on anything. If you are a serious fan like me though, you definitely won’t regret buying this EP.