Metallica's Lars Ulrich: My 15 Favorite Metal and Hard Rock Albums

Drummer goes deep on classics ranging from AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' to System of a Down's 'Toxicity'

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Black Sabbath, 'Sabotage' (1975)
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Black Sabbath, 'Sabotage' (1975)

I know for a lot of Black Sabbath people, it's Paranoid or Master of Reality. To me, the fucking one-two punch of "Hole in the Sky" and then "Symptom of the Universe," that's where it peaked for me, and then the deeper tracks: "Megalomania" is, like, a journey of just fundamental heavy metal. Side A, if you look at vinyl, is probably the strongest 20 minutes of Black Sabbath. And then "Symptom of the Universe" – the simplicity in the riff, the down-picking, the chug – it's obviously the blueprint for the core of what hard rock and metal ended up sounding like ... up through the Eighties and Nineties.

The first Sabbath record I got was the one before this one, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. I got it for Christmas in '73 when it came out. It was all scary. "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," the song, when it goes into that second part, "Where can you run to?/What more have we done?/ ... Sabbath, bloody sabbath/Nothing more to do." Fuck. Scary, crazy shit. This record had a little bit more of what I would call an uptempo energy than some of the other albums, so that's probably also part of the reason that it's my favorite.  Obviously their sound got a little more advanced as it went on. There's a simplicity to some of the earlier records, that I'm appreciative of, but sonically, Sabotage is the best-sounding record.

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