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But why? - 58%

EzraBlumenfeld, February 11th, 2018

Making a 27-song cover album is a bad idea for any bad; but it was an especially poor choice for Metallica, who were already at the low point of their career. Having just released the perpetually disappointing Load and Reload just a couple short years earlier, and half a decade before releasing their nadir album St. Anger, Metallica was like "hey, all our fans hate us so let's do some covers!" While maybe it could have been pulled off successfully, the result was extremely disappointing.

While most of this album has Metallica's classic Justice-era sound (plus bass) throughout, it's really not that big of a deal considering that they wrote 0% of the material on it. To cover classic metal and punk songs in the grungy alt-rock style of their preceding albums would have been to prove themselves as sellouts. So instead, they took a collection of covers they had already released, recorded a handful more, and then bundled it all up and disguised it as an album. Some of the covers, of course, are classics, such as "Blitzkrieg" and "Am I Evil?" and the whole Garage Days Re-Revisited EP, all of which is inserted in the dead center of the album. But much of it, such as their cover of Blue Öyster Cult's "Astronomy," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone," and Black Sabbath's "Sabbra Cadabra" fail to inspire. The rare standout is a slightly touching version of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page," but replacing the emotional horns section of the original with Kirk Hammett's repetitive lead guitar nonsense didn't really help the song much.

As I sort of mentioned before, a lot of the covers on here were originally non-metal, meaning this album could be partly responsible for the modern craze of turning every song imaginable into a metal song. Besides the oddball classic rock covers on here, there's plenty of punk, including bands like The Misfits and Discharge. However, all these songs are ruined by James Hetfield, who seems incapable of doing any style of vocals besides his usually high-pitched yelling.

Meh. This album is barely decent at best. Providing the listener with mediocre covers, this could only be enjoyed by someone who had never heard any of the originals or who is a complete metal novice and just wants to buy every Metallica album (so my 11-year old self). Most of the songs on here are a poor imitation of the original. This album is probably not worth a listen all the way through, since it's over two hours long. It's probably best summed up in Hetfield's failure to properly express emotion in their cover of Thin Lizzy's "Whiskey in the Jar." But it sure as hell is better than St. Anger.

Surprisingly Faithful - 83%

psychoticnicholai, January 11th, 2018

Getting something like this out of late 90s Metallica was a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant and much needed one at that. Garage Inc. is a 2-disc collection of covers from Metallica's vast array of influences spanning 70s rock, NWOBHM, and hardcore punk among other styles. It also blends together some newer covers together with the old Garage Days Re-Revisited EP for a full-featured experience of surprisingly kickass and faithful covers of the original source material. For the most part the songs chosen to cover are great, as is Metallica's rendition of them. with a nice crunch and sometimes a unique approach for the ones that are pretty far from metal or punk. I know a lot of us treat this as more of a side deal than a fully-fledged Metallica album, but given when this came out, and the sheer scale and scope of the album, I say Garage Inc. is actually pretty important if you want to know what songs helped influence Metallica to be Metallica.

Right out of the gate the guys decide to hit you with one of the most aggressive pieces on here, a Discharge cover. If that's anything, it's a sign that Metallica are going to give us a refreshingly heavy, punchy, sometimes thrashy take on these songs. Now, that isn't the only style of cover that's done, but it's the most prominent one, as of course Metallica play thrash metal which isn't very far removed from the speed metal, punk, and NWOBHM that makes up the majority of the covers so it only makes sense to play it close and faithful, but give it your own spin. A lot of these covers are high-speed experiences with a lot of octane being put in the tank. It's the sort of music to rack up speeding tickets to. For the covers of less metallic songs, Metallica decide to get a little more creative in how they bring such tunes into their genre. Radio stations are already in a habit of playing the Bob Seger cover "Turn the Page", but that's probably because it's Metallica doing the Load/Reload style of dusty southern-tinged metal, but doing it very well with a lot of character and atmosphere which is more than can be said of a good 4/5ths of those entire two albums' original songs. Indeed, Metallica feel very much alive and in the spirit while playing these covers, regardless of their original genre.

Most of the covers on here are great renditions of already great songs, but there are some variances in performance that lead to this having (for mostly better and sometimes worse) a lot of variety on the album. Some stuff ends up being really solid despite being very different from the normal Metallica fare which can vary from soaring and melodic, to ripping and angry, to creeping and gloomy. Sure there are a few lame ones like the perennial radio darling "Whiskey in the Jar" which just feels a bit too silly and jaunty, but the lameness is always mild and usually swift to come and go. There are also the times when James tries to cover vocalists who clearly have a better range than him, but that's also a minor complaint as he still fits well with Metallica's renditions of the songs. Some of what gets done on here is actually pretty impressive considering "Tuesday's Gone" features Metallica plus members of Primus, Corrosion of Conformity, Blues Traveler, Faith No More, Alice in Chains, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the very band Metallica was covering. I'm not super into the song with it being full-on southern rock, but i'm still impressed at the sheer number of contributors and how much harmony everybody has during it. Most of what you get on the rest of the album is shredding, speedy, old-school metallic hecticness, but it is interesting to see this kind of variety play out on an album such as this. It shows the lengths that Metallica were willing to go to make their covers seem faithful. Garage Inc. provides some pretty good insight into the varied influences of Metallica and if anything serves as a great segway into some really killer lesser-known acts who probably deserve more attention than they get.

Garage Inc. is a solid piece of Metallica's "side" discography that showcases their influences, their talent, their flexibility, and gives us some gnarly-ass tunes and some new ideas about which bands to check out next. This album probably served as a beacon of hope for Metallica fans in the late 90s who wanted a bit of the old intensity back and it seemed like they were getting some of that with Garage Inc... only for St. Anger to blast that hope into smithereens just a few years later. Still, this was a series of intense, faithful covers that Metallica was very much in their right minds to create.

Arguably a cash grab, but has its worth - 70%

Chainedown, December 25th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1998, 2CD, Vertigo

Bands talk about their influences all the time, whether they’re asked to or not. But few decide to dedicate an entire release to the bands they love as Metallica did with Garage Inc.. This is a curious release, and it’s hard to defend Metallica for the criticisms this album receives. Although I personally enjoyed it in the past, it does feel like an embarrassing attempt by a celebrity band to reconnect with their underground roots, and as a result, it also feels like a cash grab (more on this later). Nonetheless, this album certainly merits a listen from any fans of the extreme music.

Garage Inc. is a beast with two separate heads. The first disc sounds like a mature, sophisticated big brother, where the band tries to sell you how diverse their taste in music are, bringing songs from bands like Bob Seger and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds into the metal and punk mix. On the other hand, second disc is the brash, younger Metallica, focused solely on generally fast, abrasive tunes. The fact that you get 16 minutes of Motorhead, and the fact they covered “Stone Cold Crazy” of all the Queen songs, are quite telling of the second disc’s intent. With disc one and two combined, Garage Inc. works well as a curation by Metallica circa 1998.

In all fairness, Metallica deserves a big praise for the fact that they drew a good amount of songs from bands that are rather obscure. Many of these bands are probably unrecognizable especially to those who haven’t really begun their journey deep into heavy metal; and let’s be honest, even if you frequent Metal Archives, when have you ever heard of Sweet Savage? Not only are Metallica showcasing their genuine love for the underground bands that inspired them over the years, they are also leveraging their mainstream celebrity status to help their favorite bands get noticed by a wider audience - for example, Diamond Head has publicly stated that their career revival and elevated recognition is due, at least partially, to Metallica covering their songs on Garage Inc.. Metallica did do a great service to the metal community with this release, in a way that 99.9% of other bands can't.

But beyond their eclectic selection of bands to cover, it’s hard to praise the band over the execution of the music. Performance in and of itself is as good as you’d expect from Metallica, and I especially enjoy how Kirk Hammett nails all the solos and licks (case in point is Kirk playing a line originally played by a saxophone on “Turn the Page”). I'd even argue this is the best album Metallica put out this side of the self-titled album. And while production quality varies depending on when they were recorded - mid 80s on a cassette to late 90s in a studio - they are also decent relative to the context of each recordings.

Where Metallica disappoints is the fact that they just played all of these songs very literally. Covering songs is a great opportunity for a band to show off arrangement skills and add your own twist/flavor to it, and to my knowledge (i.e. I listened to many of the original songs over the years), Metallica spectacularly missed that opportunity. Garage Inc. would have been so much more than meets the eye if there was at least a song or two that Metallica managed to turn into some kind of a different monster, much like the way Marilyn Manson did with “Sweet Dreams” or Johnny Cash did with “Hurt”. This is why it Garage Inc. feels like a cash grab - there’s very little artistic value offered here. Unless James Hetfield’s signature “oooh”s and “nyagh”s peppered throughout the music count as an artistic arrangement.

While I firmly disapprove the lack of the band’s attempt to give new life to any of these songs, it is also arguably forgivable since Metallica's intent is clearly to have fun above all else. This is evidenced particularly by the acoustic, campfire fun on “Tuesday’s Gone” from the first disc, where the band is joined by a bunch of friends. Garage recordings from 80s on the second disc, and Mercyful Fate medley are another examples of them having fun. Metallica is having a damn good time, and crucially, that feels genuine across the entire album.

Garage Inc. lost its appeal for me over the years because of it lacks artistic originality, but I still enjoy it on occasion, and I’m glad I got to listen to it back when it came out. It opened the door to some great extreme music for me, which was significant in the pre-internet days when I didn’t have friends with similar taste in music. While I generally want my kids discover music on their own, Garage Inc. will be one of those records I am going to openly encourage them to listen to.

Lars ain't fixing my car! - 62%

Brainded Binky, November 17th, 2014

There has been quite a lot that has influenced Metallica. Punk rock, NWOBHM, and even classic rock, so when the band decided to give a shout out to all three of those musical genres, they released "Garage Inc.", an album consisting mainly of covers of the bands that inspired them. What we get here isn't so much an album which contains songs of praise to any of those bands covered as they are giving them a big middle finger, and you would have to listen to hear for yourself.

Everybody knows of Metallica's love of Diamond Head. Yes, there's the song "Am I Evil", which we all know so much about, so I'm not going to elaborate on that so much, other than the fact that the guitars are heavier than in the original, typical of Metallica. What really gets me, though is their rendition of "It's Electric". Okay, I admit, it's kind of a hokey song, but it's kind of what you'd expect to hear in a NWOBHM band like Diamond Head. Metallica just decided to not only make the guitars heavier, but also put their version of the song down a half-step. If it was a live version, I wouldn't mind so much, since bands tend to tune their songs down a half step when playing live, but this is a studio effort. You don't expect studio efforts to be bogged down like that, I mean, the guitars on the cover of "Am I Evil" aren't tuned down, and they're still heavy.

And now let's talk about "Blitzkrieg", a song that not so much of us are familiar with. It's actually a pretty decent cover, all things considered, as it is a little faster-paced, and of course, a little heavier, but I still consider the original to be better. After the solo in the original, we hear a guitar whammy bar producing a low, eerie, air-raid siren-like sound effect that punctuated the song's subject matter. In the cover version, Kirk just fools around with his whammy bar and produces typical whammy bar sound effects. Yeah, that's quite riveting, Kirk. The burping and Lars talking at the very end of it doesn't help so much either, but I digress.

Then there's their Mercyful Fate medley. Now I'm just speaking my own opinion on this, but I kind of feel that it isn't the same without King Diamond as a lead vocalist. Yeah, I know, there are a lot of people out there that don't like King Diamond's vocals, and that's fine, I can understand. His high falsetto voice just doesn't sit well with everyone. In my opinion, though, his voice is part of the charm of the Mercyful Fate songs covered here. When James Hetfield does it, it just isn't as effective, at least not in my opinion. James and King Diamond have two completely different voices, the complete polar opposites of each other. If anybody likes this medley better than the originals, fine. I know the reasons why. But I just like the originals better. That's just me.

There are also cover songs that are just downright baffling. Nobody could expect the band to cover Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone", a southern rock ballad. I mean, Metallica and Skynyrd are as far away from each other as music could possibly get, and that's a fact. Don't forget their ill-concieved rendition of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page", the original version of which, actually had a saxophone play that riff! Metallica was never meant to cover such songs, 'cos it's like Judas Priest covering a Chuck Berry song, and believe it or not, that actually happened! A more usual candidate for a band Metallica would cover would be Thin Lizzy, but why they chose to cover "Whiskey in the Jar", originally an Irish folk song, is beyond me. When hearing the original source material, you just don't hear Metallica at all, you hear something completely different. What's next, a cover of a Grateful Dead song? Knowing the direction Metallica's been taking, I could totally see that happening.

Then we have their rendition of Blue Oyster Cult's "Astronomy", yet another head scratcher. The cover version doesn't even have all of the things that made the original sound so mysterious and eerie, they just played it with the guitars and called it a day. The original had a piano/synthesizer, that created a haunting, bleak sound, but the cover version? Nope! Just James and guitars. Though, to be fair, James does seem to have a voice similar to that of Eric Bloom's. Both singers seem to have that tenor baritone voice, and they almost sound like the exact same person. That said, the cover would never top the original, cos the former lacks quite a bit. Just saying.

I have no idea what Metallica was thinking when they came up with this (other than to sell records). Don't get me wrong, Metallica isn't a horrible band, it's just that they seem to have been taking a very odd turn in terms of musical styles, and I could say that "Garage Inc." proves it. Then again, there have been worse things Metallica's done, but I don't need to remind you of those.

No "Tabaluga tivi" on James' stereo - 45%

kluseba, October 28th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1998, 2CD, Vertigo

Metallica's "Garage Inc." is only interesting for collectors and die-hard fans as it's a rather odd mixture of newly recorded cover songs and cover songs recorded over more than one decade prior to this release. Even though these are cover songs, they are witnesses of the general controversial development of the band.

The most interesting tracks on here are actually the first recordings with Jason Newsted, released eleven years earlier as "The $5.98 EP - Garage Days Re-Revisited". These five songs are clearly the best on the release. James Hetfield's vocals are mean without overtly employing the strange pronunciation he would later use. The bass guitar is actually audible on here and Jason Newsted proves that he has a lot of technical talent but that he can also play with unchained energy. The guitar riffs are raw and the soli don't overuse the wah-wah pedal yet. Even the drum play is precise and tight. I really wish Metallica had recorded some original material with this raw production and energizing performance as this could have potentially become the best Metallica release ever. These five songs are simply fun to listen to.

The other songs on the second disc go downhill as the timeline passes by. There are a few highlights such as the famous Diamond Head covers "Am I Evil?" and "The Prince" or the angry Anti-Nowhere League worship on "So What" but the rest is rather generic. It would have been alright to cover one or two Motörhead songs but to put four covers of this band at the end of a record wasn't a brilliant idea. Motörhead is not exactly known for its diversity and originality. This is a general problem of this record as some artists are covered several times. Metallica missed the chance to introduce us to a few more obscure bands that influenced the band's early years. In addition to this, the sound of the more recent tracks is by far not as energizing and mean as the tracks recorded in the eighties.

The first disc includes only new recordings and they are pretty much hit and miss, just like the "Load" and "ReLoad" records that both moments of sheer experimental brilliance and headless redundancy. Some more courageous covers are actually grabbing my attention on here. The dark and plodding "Loverman" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is hard to sit through at first contact but has that special gothic atmosphere which I like a lot. The live rendition of the southern rock classic "Tuesday's Gone" by Lynyrd Skynyrd with banjo and harmonica is a nice experiment even though this kind of music is usually not really my cup of tea and also far too long with a running time above nine minutes. The cover of the old Irish folk song "Whiskey in the Jar" is probably the catchiest tune on here and the obvious single choice. Metallica really managed to make this song sound like one of their own. It would have fit and been a highlight on any of the two previous releases. The only slightly annoying thing is that the old-fashioned chorus coincidentally includes a mildly amusing pronunciation that suits James Hetfield's style of singing since the nineties. As a child, I always imagined James Hetfield singing that he doesn't want to listen to "Tabaluga tivi on a stereo" in the chorus. But back then, I also thought that that land mines had taken James' herring and not hearing on "One".

Anyway, several of the new cover songs are quite uninspired and boring like the repetitive Discharge's "Free Speech for the Dumb" or Misfits' "Die, Die My Darling" that sound like hastily recorded jam sessions where Metallica didn't put anything unique into the adaptions. I don't mind faster, simpler and straighter songs at all but these songs don't have the passion and unique twist that similar songs on the second disc have. Metallica sounds like a more or less talented punk cover band on here and it doesn't suit them at all. Some negative examples also tend towards the other extreme. As much as I respect Mercyful Fate, a medley consisting of five songs and a running time of over eleven minutes is just an overkill to me. Half of it would have been more than enough for me. I've never been a fan of medleys which are something that might be used in discotheques where people don't really listen to the music anyway but not on a metal record. While the shorter songs are too simple to leave any deeper impression, the longer songs really drag on for far too long.

All in all, this album is a lot of hit and miss to me but I must admit that there are more misses than hits. Ultimately, this release is saved by the inclusion of the legendary "The $5.98 EP - Garage Days Re-Revisited" songs. If you can grab the original, you should completely ignore this release. Otherwise, I only suggest you to grab this record if you see it for a very low price. This album is not as bad as the overlong "Lulu" or the extremely overrated "Metallica" but it's not far away from the latter either. I dusted this release off my shelf to give it a few spins after ten years or so and I completely understand why I haven't listened to this record for such a long time. It's a really unspectacular and unnecessary filler compilation with a few hidden gems. This record was ordinary back in the days and it definitely didn't age well either. It would be best for most metal fans to just ignore that this ever happened. This is for truly dedicated fans only.

Metallica: Covering Their Favorites. - 85%

erickg13, November 13th, 2006

After years of success, critical acclaim, personal loss, and fan backlash Metallica had seen it all. It also seemed that they had done everything they had really wanted to do. So the question was quite simply: What to do next? Easy, make a covers album!

Garage Inc. has no new material by Metallica, unless you count the new covers. Sadly, this is the best thing that they might have done in the 90s since the “Black Album”, maybe because Hetfield or Ulrich isn’t on any of the writing credits.

Going back to the new covers of the album, all on disc one, are generally really good, but the choices of the artists to cover is somewhat suspect. For example, although I enjoyed the song, “Turn the Page” is originally by Bob Seger, and somehow for a band that for 10 years only talked about obscure NWOBHM bands, Seger seems to be a bit of a departure from that. But one thing that they should be given credit for is that for the bands they did cover, they did some of the lesser known songs. Also a decent guest heavy cover of Lynyrd Skynyrds “Tuesday’s Gone” is on disc one. Despite its oddity of covers ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Mercyful Fate, this range adds a lot of character to the first disc, it might otherwise not have.

Choice cuts of Disc One: “Turn the Page”, “Mercyful Fate”, “Die, Die My Darling”, and “Whiskey in the Jar”.

Disc Two contains previously recorded covers, which might not have the same production quality; it has so much more energy and vigor. It contains Jason Newsted’s Metallica recording debut in “The $5.98 EP – Garage Days Re-Revisited” which is a good value and really increases the value of “Garage Inc.” if someone doesn’t already have it. Another value booster is the inclusion of the “Creeping Death” b-sides “Am I Evil?” and “Blitzkrieg”, both very good examples of exuberant young Metallica honoring their NWOBHM heroes. Of the “B-Sides and One Offs” section my favorites are “Breadfan”, which is better than the original by Budgie, hands down, along with “Stone Cold Crazy”. And wrapping up disc two is the “Motorheadache ‘95”, Motorhead tribute, “Overkill” being my favorite.

Choice cuts of Disc Two: “Breadfan”, “Stone Cold Crazy” and all “The $5.98 EP”. This disc will be enjoyed more by fans of their 80s material.

Overall, Metallica’s “Garage Inc.” is quite an interesting little insight into the influences of Metallica. Also it is quite interesting, is what they do to modify each song to fit them. “Garage Inc.” is best suited for fans that might not have the budget or time to track down all of these separate releases.

The best covers disc ever done? - 93%

caspian, December 10th, 2005

I must admit to being biased towards this disc. THis is the album that turned me onto real metal, the album that opened up my world. I was at a friends place and he put The Prince on, and I was stunned by the fast riffing and the great singing/growling thing James was doing. I went out and got all the metal I could find.

7 Years later, and most of the early stuff I bought is at the bottom of my CD collection. This album still gets regular spins though, basically because there's two awesome but very different CD's on offer here. The first CD, full of the new covers, is full of experimentation and just a bit of goofing around. The seconds CD, the one I guess you're all looking for, is just full of straight up, ass whooping thrash.

I'll start with the first CD. Let me jsut say right now that most of you will hate this CD. THe only bands that make sense to me would be Sabbath, Diamond Head and Merciful Fate. Still, there's a lot of quality cuts on here. The album starts off a bit weakly, with the punky blast of Free Speech, but the next two songs are really, really good. It's Electric and Sabbra Cadabra are bursting at the seams with energy, and James seems to really enjoy singing these songs. His performance in Sabbra Cadabra is pretty happy and stuff, it's a nice change. There's a bit of misstep with Turn the Page next.. I think it's a decent cover, but not Metallica cover. Then there's the epic, brooding Loverman. Personally, I would've prefered someone else to do the spoken word parts (Nick Cave should've guested!) But it's still a cool song, unlike anything Metallica have ever attempted.

I'm not going to go through all the songs in that much detail, but there's two more tunes that really stand out. Astronomy is a really, really good power ballad, and why it wasn't the first single confuses me. Great verse and a cool, heavy chorus, with a very melodic and catchy solo to finish the song off. Met's best ballad since One? Maybe. The Merciful Fate tune stands out as the most metal thing MEtallica have done since AJFA, and there's some really, really great leads and riffs here. Top stuff.

The second disc is the one you are all looking for, and I don't blame you, because all the songs here are really, really good. The songs aren't as diverse, but you know what you're getting here, that is, super heavy and raw thrash. Helpless has a great bridge and some fairly techincal riffing, Small Hours is slow, punishing doom metal,. But my favourite is THe Prince, the heavy, almost punky kinda song. THe song that got me into Metal, it will always have a place in my heart. Am I Evil too... Damn, what a solo. This record really shows how damn good Metallica were/are (cross out whichever one seems most valid to you). They also deserve a mention for the production, because while it is raw and heavy, it's also really clear. Some of the songs are short on bass, but overall, this is heavy, raw and clear production, the best kind there is IMO. Why can't more bands do covers this good?

Damn, this is one amazing covers disc. One CD full of cool, diverse tunes, the other one full of ballsy thrash. It losses 7% because of a few dodgy parts in the first CD. Overall, you won't find many better cover albums then this. Essential listening for the Met fan.

Thousands of spins, and still great - 90%

OlympicSharpshooter, January 10th, 2004

While I am a fan of everything Metallica has released, I can honestly say that no album of theirs has held my interest as long as this one. I have to be in the right mood for most albums, but this one is an evergreen.

Metallica has always enjoyed playing covers, and this collection is a nice salute to their long career and the bands they enjoy listening to. I would argue that Blue Oyster Cult wasn't a huge influence on the band, but I don't think that disqualifies them from being covered. They don't do Maiden and Priest because those are obvious choices. Even four covers in, most people have no idea who Diamond Head are. Same for Discharge and Mercyful Fate. And nobody would expect a Nick Cave or Bob Seger cover. About the only ones you might expect are the Motorhead covers, and those were done for a Lemmy tribute show. Metallica enjoys surprising people, and that's what they've done here.

The electric opener is "Free Speech for the Dumb", the first of two Discharge covers, and it thrashes along like nothing they've done since uhhh, "Through the Never" maybe. It's dead simple, but you can tell they're getting a kick out of it. "It's Electric" contains some of Diamond Heads dumbest lyrics(well, "Sucking My Love" is worse) but that riff is infectious, and it's fun to hear James hamming it up like a 70's hero. Oh, and I love that multi-tracked sustained note in the chorus.

"Sabbra Cadabra" is my least favourite number here. The Sabbath original was a trippy almost honky-tonk metaller with a nice bluesy piano line and a real sense of boogie. The Metallica version strips it off this and makes it come off as a "Load" reject. However, major points for a truly metal grafting of "A National Acrobat" into the middle of the song.

"Die Die My Darling" beats the stuffing out of the original. It's one of the more grim songs in punk history, and Metallica infuses it with coiled menace and some very impassioned vocals. "Turn the Page" is a nice chugging Bob Seger cover. I'm a huge fan of Bob, and this cover can't beat the originals moody atmosphere, but they certainly give it the ol' college try. A nice fuzzy Hammett solo, and the song has a great rock out section the original seemed to build up to, but never released.

Here we have a truly epic cover, along the lines of "Fixxxer" or "The Outlaw Torn". The verses are all classic Cave doom and gloom, and the lyrics are perfect for James who really shreds his vocal chords on that titanic chorus. It's odd how the term "epic" can be put on something this personal, but it's both. James rambles like he's playing in a bar in front of twenty or thirty people, and you are almost soothed by the quiet before he goes back into that brimstone n' bells scream. "LOVERMAN!"

The Mercyful Fate medley is a classic speedy metal cover, and I can picture people crying with joy at it (the kind who piss on their 90's records mostly), It's got some of Fate's best early tunes, most from Melissa and the Mercyful Fate EP. It's comprised of the following: 1. "Satan's Fall" (a song that's actually longer than the whole medley) works well, and it's hilarious to hear Metallica doing straight up "hail Satan" lyrics 2. "The Curse of the Pharaohs" is even better than the original version. The guitars are heavier, the bass superior, and although James ain't King Diamond, this song wasn't one the King's tougher to perform anyway and doesn't suffer from the change. Also fun to hear Kirk do more than one solo in the same song for once. 3. "A Corpse Without a Soul" is one of the best vengeful zombie stories in metal (how many are there?), and it's a smooth segue from "Pharaohs" to 4. "Into the Coven". "Come come/Into the Coven/and become Lucifer's Child!" Ah, I love this part. James seems to know of what he speaks, and although the King is wailing away on this with all his might, James makes his point felt. 5. Last is "Evil", and I really wish we'd gotten more of this one because it's a damn good song.

"Astronomy" is the third homer in a row, with the band ably honouring one of the Cult's most magical songs. James emotes well, and the band seems to thrum like a tightly wound string before snapping back on another titanic chorus. Gotta love those enthusiastic "HEY!"s over a winding medieval piece of castle rock par excellence. Then back into the verse, nice Hammett solo, and another big payoff and ride-out solo.

"Whiskey in the Jar" was a big hit and deservedly so, but I think that they could've picked a better Lizzy tune. Nothing special here. "Tuesday's Gone" is an oddity in that it was recorded live for an acoustic jam, whereas the others are all new studio tracks. It's one of Skynyrd's best songs, a beautiful lonesome ballad that, like "Turn the Page", perfectly evokes the feeling of the road. Obviously those haters of "Metallicountry" won't find much to like here, but them's the breaks. Not sure why we needed seven guest musicians here, but I'm a big fan of AIC, CoC, and Primus so I won't complain that they are represented here.

"The More I See" is another dead simple Discharge number, and a fitting close to disc one. Stay tuned for a little guitar and bass doodle bonus track thingy.

Disc 2 is even better in my opinion. I reviewed the Garage Days EP earlier, so check that for my thoughts on tracks 1-5. Suffice to say, all of em are great, with "Helpless" and especially "The Small Hours" being stand-out tracks.

"Am I Evil" is the greatest Metallica song they didn't write. Much as I love Diamond Head, Metallica blows them away on this song. This is Metallica playing straight up evil like they rarely do, and it's great. Huge epic riffs, some of James' best howls, a solid "Paint it Black"-like military march drum beat from Ulrich, and solos solos solos! This, along with "The Prince" really shows how much compositional influence these NWOBHMers had on Tallica. It thrashes it grooves and it crushes.

"Blitzkrieg" is a fun dumb proto-thrasher from a band of the same name, but lets be honest here, the Tallica version is worlds better because they are far superior players. This is a real toe-tapper though, with a nice riff, some cool Burton bass work and just a real fun NWOBHM cheese metal feel. Also gotta love the "fucked up in one place" sound bite from Ulrich at the end. These two tracks were from the classic "Creeping Death" single originally, just as an FYI, and comprise the very first Garage Days chapter.

"Breadfan" is another classic, a hyperspeed update of an already hyperspeed song by loveable underdogs Budgie. This was high metal science back in '73, and it still rocks like a mofo today. Gotta love the pretty interlude with what is in actuality one of Kirk's better solos. A comparable section in "Crash Course in Brain Surgery" was axed and replaced with hilarious drunken bellowing, but luckily it's still present here. Of course they axed it and made it even more frenetic live, but what the hell. Also features one of the more challenging lyrics in the Metallica cannon because of the speed and length of the verses. I still wanna know what the hell is up with the "fluffy" line at the end though.

"The Prince" was one of the first true Bay Area Thrash songs. None of the stump-dumb structures of Anvil or Motorhead here. Dizzying speed, tons of tempo changes, and one of the most unforgettable lead breaks ever. If Diamond Head had had a singer like James Hetfield, they would've been unstoppable.

"Stone Cold Crazy" is a faithful update and it sticks close to the roller coaster riff-and-rolling original (how could it not?) the only difference really being a slight tempo increase an a more intimidating vocalist. To be fair to Freddie though, I'd like to see James try "Somebody to Love" for example. "So What?" is a ludicrously obscene anthem from goofy punks Anti-Nowhere League. It's a fun tune, and the production is easily the best on the second disc. Even though it's from mid-career Metallica, this is one of the first modern Hetfield vocals. Keep it simple stupid.

One of the very first Metallica covers, "Killing Time" is somewhat unremarkable except for James' quirky drill sergeant vocals (odd counterpoint to "Disposable Heroes") and the quick pace. Really little to say here.

Now we have the Motorheadache set. These stick right to the book, and it's fun to hear Metallica just fucking around in the studio. Watch for some massive miscues and flubs, and some really cheap production, but who cares? Just fun fun fun, and some of the 'Heads best tunes as well. Refreshing to hear a Motorhead set without "Ace of Spades".

And that pretty much covers it. One of my very favouritest albums, and one that refuses to get tired for me.

Stand-Outs: "Am I Evil?", "Astronomy", "The Small Hours"

What can be said Metallica & Lynyrd Skynyrd???!!!! - 62%

CrashCymbol, June 25th, 2003

To listen to Metallica before they sold out is a true experience, you received music that had meaning, purpose, and life really. The band has long been a gateway into the world of metal and for this reason I purchased this album, purchased it with expectations of them covering songs with quality work. Metallica alas did not meet these expectations.

A 2-disc set of Covers Garage Inc. offers the listener songs that reside on the fringe of Metallica’s normal scope of music. Sadly this venture into new territory, or should I say attempt to honour the bands which influenced them was a horrid miscalculation.

The bands/artists that Metallica chose to cover for this album were; Diamond Head, Black Sabbath, Bob Seger, The Misfits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seed, Mercyful Fate, Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Discharge, Holocaust, Killing, Joke, Budgie, Blitzkrieg, Queen, Anti Nowhere League, Sweet Savage and Motorhead.

Looking through the bands/artists above one can only wonder why or how Metallica could possibly think of covering songs by them! The mere thought of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Metallica functioning on the same wavelength sickens me. I mean for the love of god, if you are going to cover a song… DO IT FUCKING RIGHT! Not only does Tuesday’s Gone have nothing to do with metal, but the instrumentals and vocals WERE TERRIBLE.

The first CD offers semi-quality music with adequate vocals and instrumental work, though Lars Ulrich sounds incredibly lazy on certain songs. Over all this CD was a let down, rather unimaginative and no Metallica added to the works whatsoever.

The second CD offered a new level of craptacular work from this once decent band. Though Lars seems to have recovered some energy for these songs, the overall feel of the instrumental work on this CD left me searching for a Punk CD, BLECH!!!!

This is an all in all terrible effort by Metallica to leech more money than ever out of listeners out there. The cost was outrageous for what is delivered and leaves me as a buyer wanting a hell of a lot more for my $34 CND which is probably about 25 USD or so, either way it’s a waste of money that could have stayed hidden in your couch. A suggestion to prospective buyers, download this album first and listen to what you were about to waste your money on… if you still wanna buy it, go ahead. But I warned you.

Covers that thrash....well kind of! - 75%

PowerMetalGuardian, March 1st, 2003

This album really isn't all that bad! Yes I know I am a metal head and saying new Metallica is good is blasphemy! But fuck that, okay I will admit they have lost there thrashy edge, but it is still good for being hard rock! Garage Inc. was acually one of my top favortie albums of that year. Let me start with the first disk! okay some of these songs are pretty stupid:

Free Speech For the Dumb, The More I See, Loverman, these are all skippers. Yes I realize that these songs have been recorded in the "new" age Metallica but there really not that bad. Covering everything from Black Sabbath's Sabbra Cadabra and Diamon Head's Its Electric. These are the bands that influenced Metallica greatly. Even Turn the Page is done good, not great, but not butchered. The Mercyful Fate melody is the best melody ever, taking all the great Mercyful Fate songs and cramming them into one. Kirk even manages to throw in some well copied solo's of MF. And the BOC cover! How can this album not be great, the riffs of these original songs are done heavier for a more modern age of listeners. The last couple of tracks were taken from the original Garage Days... EP!

The second disk is even better. Most, if not all of this is the old recording. Thrash??? Fuck yeah, Motorhead, Misfits, Diamond Head, come on this is what motivated these guys to come up with some of the greatest albums of all time (ie. Kill 'Em All, Master of Puppets, etc.) Once again, the riffs are nicely taken from the originals and played either at the same level or pumbed up with killer thrash speed! Tired of Metallica's new age and want them to go back to their roots? This disk is there roots!

This album is very important to any Metallica fan. Not only are these covers great, but they are nicelt performed, with little difficulties and crappyness. Over all blend is great, vocals good, guitars good, can't go wrong. And this my fellow metal heads is what got Metallica going! Their influencers! That is why cover albums kick ass, because they open you up to a whole bunch of other kick ass bands!

Ignore the first CD - 39%

UltraBoris, August 3rd, 2002

There are some worthwhile selections on this 2CD compilation, but the signal-to-noise ratio is quite low, as most of the first album, and even a bit of the second, is utter crap.

The first disc is all new stuff recorded in and around 1998, so one can only imagine the quality of the selections. Some of the songs begin questionable, and some end up butchered by James "Waylon Jennings Fan" Hetfield and friends. There are two Discharge covers, and a Mercyful Fate Medley (Metallica have always been big on medleys, especially live - apparently, they don't remember how to play a whole song!) Those are the highlights, the rest is pretty much commercial crap ("Whiskey in the Jar", "Turn the Page", and then "Tuesday's Gone", which is complete shit even by Lynyrd Skynyrd standards... where's fucking Freebird with its gonzo soloing? Oh that's right, Kirk can't play the part of one guitarist, never mind four).

The second disc is what makes this almost worthwhile, though it is probably far more rewarding to either hunt down the originals, or to really sock it to this band and get the songs on mp3! Disc Two is more a b-side collection than anything else, and thus omits anything that never made it as a Japanese bonus track, EP song, or album - therefore it is woefully incomplete. There are no jam sessions with Mustaine from 1982, the Metal Massacre I version of Hit the Lights is missing, as is the original Killing Time cover from 1982, and certainly there is no Let it Loose or Dirty Money (both Savage covers... Dirty Money was played live once in 1982, and no recording of it is known to exist, but that should not stop the band themselves from having and releasing a copy.) I could go on, a REAL compilation would be at least 3 CDs, and that is only the stuff I know of...

Overall, it's not bad, but it is definitely not as fan-oriented as they could claim. Yes, the Garage Days Re-revisited EP is here, but that wasn't all that rare to begin with... it's really yet another sellout effort, and not worth the $26 or however much a 2CD set goes for nowadays.