Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Metallica - 'King Nothing' from Load (1996)

'King Nothing' was the last video/single released from Load and in hindsight, maybe it should have been the first, as it is the most Black Album-sounding and in fact immediately referencing of anything off of Load. I do, however, respect Metallica's guts to represent Load's uniqueness with songs which forged new sounds and paths rather than advertising 'Black Album II'. I dig how 'King Nothing' opens with Jason Newsted's bass, a motif continued and built into the song, indicating that the staccato thrash riffery of past Metallica is undergoing serious modification even at its most traditional moments. Here, after establishing a churning, layered riff pattern, when they typically would have pulled back into James/Lars chord mayhem, there are instead bridging elements of classic-rock/Pantera-influenced smearing and elision which sets up a groove continuing nad increasing momentum rather than defeating it. This rules rather than sucks, and took years to learn how to do. Also, Kirk Hammett's wah solo is the best, for real. This video, too, with its snow-forest and rivers and fire and crowns seems rather like later big-budget Black Metal music video actions. I love Load so very very much. It is the album I want to listen to more than maybe any other single album, which seems crazy, but ultimately works in their favor of classic rock sounding better twenty years after release. Hail Metallica Hail!!!

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