Latest reviews


10 Things We Learned at Lars Ulrich's 'Front Row' Summit

March 3, 2016

Metallica got their start in the East Bay community of El Cerrito in the mid-Eighties after relocating from L.A. to play with bassist Cliff Burton. They went on to become one of the biggest rock bands in history. In February, they played for...

Live Review

Metallica Provide Heavy Close to Rock in Rio's Weekend One

May 10, 2015

 The inaugural weekend of the Rock in Rio festival on the Las Vegas Strip ended with a two-hour blast of Metallica last night, in a concert that was streamed around the world via Yahoo! Live. "Is Vegas rocking today?" singer-guitarist...

Live Review

Metallica Honor Ozzy With Rare Acoustic Set

May 13, 2014

Last night in Los Angeles, Metallica performed a rare acoustic set in honor of Ozzy Osbourne at the 10th anniversary MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert for addiction treatment. "Music does care," singer-guitarist James Hetfield said to the crowd...

Album Review

Death Magnetic

September 18, 2008

In the Eighties, thrash metal wasn't a scene, it was an arms race: riffs kept speeding up, drum kits got bigger. But with 1991's Black Album, Metallica opted for unilateral disarmament, slowing their tempos, shortening their songs and smelting their chugging...

Album Review

St. Anger

June 3, 2003

Metallica released the best-selling album of their career, 1991's Black Album, in the middle of an identity crisis. That same year Nirvana released Nevermind, a disc that immediately made the previous decade's worth of metal seem kitschy and outdated....

Album Review

Garage Inc.

November 17, 1998

Interpreting other bands' songs isn't part of the rhetoric of heavy metal. It makes the distance between musician and fan too negligible; metal heroes are supposed to be lords of the realm beyond good and evil, not librarian-minded record collectors....

Album Review


December 4, 1996

If heavy-metal fans are supposed to be such hardcore loyalists, what is it about a few haircuts, some eyeliner and a little songcraft that throws 'em into such a dither? Load — Metallica's very long (78 minutes and 59 seconds on the nose) goodbye...

Album Review

…And Justice For All

November 3, 1988

Take a look at the charts: metal rules. And as the metal heap has gotten higher, it has also widened to the point that it can include such disparate bands as Bon Jovi and Metallica. Some might see no difference at all between the two bands, but to your...

Live Review

A Night of Valor: On the Scene at D.C.'s Veterans Day Show

November 12, 2014

At Tuesday night's Concert for Valor on the Mall in Washington, D.C., Bruce Springsteen played a stripped-down blues version of "Born in the U.S.A." and Metallica rocked out with a stage full of head-banging military service members. The...

Album Review

Beyond Magnetic

February 23, 2012

The line between hot stuff and not-quite-right was mighty high when Metallica left these four hymns to the big oblivion, cut for 2008's Death Magnetic, on the outtakes shelf. "Hate Train" is old-school chop-and-charge with the dry, corrosive fidelity...

Album Review

Master Of Puppets (Reissue)

September 10, 2003

On Master of Puppets' "Damage, Inc.," James Hetfield lays out Metallica's business plan: "Go against the grain until the end," he bellows, gleefully adding, "Life ain't for you/And we're the cure." The target of the band's bottomless rage in the mid-Eighties...

Album Review


January 20, 2000

Metal warhorse Metallica invite the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra over and create the most crowded, ceiling-rattling basement rec room in rock. If the point of nestling Metallica's massive crunch inside a muscular swirl of chugging strings and ominous...

Album Review


November 20, 1997

Depending on who you talk to, Metallica either have kept metal alive by constantly updating their sound or have been responsible for killing off the music during the '90s in some sort of calculated, slow burn. Rock critics generally applaud the foursome...

Album Review


August 12, 1991

The first thing you notice about Metallica's new album is that it sounds great. The band's previous disc, . . . And Justice for All, seemed a model of hard-rock clarity and punch when it was released in 1988. Played back-to-back with Metallica, Justice...

Album Review

Master of Puppets

June 5, 1986
Not Rated

Metallica has taken the raw material of heavy metal and refined all the shit — the swaggering cock-rock braggadocio and the medieval dungeons and dragons imagery — right out of it. Instead of the usual star-struttin' ejaculatory gestures and...