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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.