What Critics Said About Metallica’s ‘Reload’ When It Came Out


1996 was a giant, sophisticated 12 months for Metallica.

The discharge of their sixth studio album, Load, got here with a lot criticism from followers and critics alike. Their headlining slot on the huge touring Lollapalooza tour was met with chagrin as many Lolla supporters thought Metallica have been too mainstream for the competition. And the bandmembers’ hairstyles immediately turned a speaking level within the rock group.

“The half I like most is we’re hated once more,” James Hetfield informed David Fricke in Metallica’s cowl story within the June 27, 1996, problem of Rolling Stone. “I form of miss that. Individuals like us an excessive amount of now.”

Listening to his bandmate make the remark about being hated, Lars Ulrich did not appear phased within the continued dialog about Load.

“This document and what we’re doing with it—that, to me, is what Metallica are all about: exploring various things. The minute you cease exploring, then simply sit down and fucking die.”

In Metallica: The $24.95 Book, Ben Apatoff succinctly acknowledged, “Metallica is known for not compromising or taking any shit,” and due to that, the band continued its explorations in 1997 as they launched their seventh full-length document, Reload.

Whereas many followers anticipated this to be a disappointing compilation of songs that weren’t adequate for Load, the band was adamant that it will stand by itself.

“Individuals will immediately hear that each one of those songs have been written and developed concurrently the stuff you heard on Load final 12 months,” Ulrich admitted in a 1997 interview on the tv present, Channel [V]’s Speakeasy. “[But the songs haven’t] been mendacity round and we’re coming again to it. It is stuff we knew we needed to develop … It is a double album unfold out over two separate data, unfold out over a 12 months and a half.”

Hetfield added in the identical interview, “I believe these songs are extra excessive…once we began recording Load, we went initially for the easier-to-record songs…then we ran out of time. These songs are form of extra wild, slower, heavier, sooner.”

By the point Reload got here out, Metallica had been making music collectively for 16 years. Now, 25 years after the discharge of the album—and greater than 4 many years into their profession—we have a look again at what critics and journalists needed to say when Reload hit the streets.

  • “Metallica sounds prefer it nonetheless cares”

    The Miami Herald, Nov. 14, 1997

    Howard Cohen, a workers author with The Miami Herald, appeared to agree with Hetfield’s stance on the songs that comprised Reload, an album he known as “heavier, brisker and bolstered by the aggressive “Fuel” and the slashing “Fixxxer.”” Whereas Cohen did not mince phrases and admitted that Reload did sound acquainted, he closed his overview by stating, “Metallica sounds prefer it nonetheless cares. Consequently, followers will, too.”

    George De Sota/Redferns

    George De Sota/Redferns
  • “The music kilos arduous”

    The Boston Globe, Nov. 16, 1997

    Jim Sullivan’s protection of Metallica’s Reload obtained a giant unfold in The Boston Sunday Globe; it did not damage that Sullivan had the possibility to talk with Jason Newsted concerning the album. “These are under no circumstances B-sides or the B-section or something like that,” Newsted reiterated to Sullivan concerning the songs on Reload. All through the dialog, it appeared as if Sullivan had nothing however reward to share concerning the album: “The music kilos arduous, and Hetfield nonetheless enjoys lurching down a darkish street … As time goes by, Metallica adapts … Metallica—all the time adept at difficult preparations and turn-on-a-dime tempo shifts—has mastered melody.”

  • “Metallica sounds as if it desires to be Aerosmith”

    The New York Instances, Nov. 18, 1997

    In a “critic’s alternative” column” in The New York Times, Jon Pareles reviewed releases by Celine Dion, Finley Quaye and Metallica. The latter obtained some…properly, we’ll simply name it back-handed reward. “Metallica appears like a skillful, brilliantly produced second-rank heavy steel band, reliving the Seventies with heftier guitars and extra delinquent instincts.” Pareles ended his ideas by calling the album “commonplace blues-rock that is performed with skilled muscle,” in the end making the declare that “Metallica sounds as if it desires to be Aerosmith.”

  • “A step in the fitting course”

    Fort Price Star-Telegram, Nov. 18, 1997

    Whereas Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s pop music critic Dave Ferman argued Reload was “a step in the fitting course” following Load, he led readers towards his final declare: “The reality could merely be that Metallica’s greatest days are previous, and that any longer we’ll need to content material ourselves with hit-and-miss efforts like this.” Sadly, Ferman did not permit the 16 years that led to Reload to affect his prediction for the band’s future, one which no one will ever describe as “hit-and-miss,” at the very least not with a straight face.

    Ron Galella Assortment, Getty Photographs

    Ron Galella Assortment, Getty Photographs
  • “Apocalyptic steel sound”

    Rolling Stone, Nov. 20, 1997

    Lorraine Ali assured readers that Reload rocks and needed them to know that it doesn’t matter what departures would possibly exist on the album, it “is strongly rooted within the group’s apocalyptic steel sound.” Even so, Rolling Stone solely gave the document three stars (out of 5), although Ali appeared a bit extra longing for the long run than a few of her friends: “Load and Reload are simply steppingstones within the ongoing Metallica legacy.”

  • “Contemplate your self rocked”

    Leisure Weekly, Nov. 21, 1997

    Entertainment Weekly has all the time stored their opinions brief and candy, and in 1997, that remained true for his or her ideas on Reload. Receiving a good “B” grading, Dan Snierson admitted that the album confirmed the band had misplaced a number of the “gut-clenching heft” that followers had come to anticipate; “Nonetheless, take into account your self rocked.”

  • “Hetfield nonetheless would not give a fuck”

    Guitar World, December 1997

    Within the December 1997 problem of Guitar World, Jon Wiederhorn joined the band of their studio to talk about Reload. Speaking about certainly one of Hetfield’s guitars, Ulrich laughed and stated, “He used to beat the shit out of that factor once we have been on the tour for Kill ‘Em All. That was again when he simply did not give a fuck.” Wiederhorn shortly acknowledged, “In some ways, Hetfield nonetheless would not give a fuck … whereas Load embraced boogie-blues licks, swaggering rock rhythms and swirling melodic hooks, Reload is extra experimental.” Weiderhorn needed followers to know that it doesn’t matter what the experiment seemed like, “Metallica have not misplaced their penchant for crunching distortion and surging energy; they’ve simply couched it with extra textural and dissonant gildings.”

    Gie Knaeps, Getty Photographs

    Gie Knaeps, Getty Photographs
  • “Begin of the top of a really nice band”

    The Morning Name, Dec. 13, 1997

    Gary R. Blockus was not a fan of Load or Reload, and he made certain the readers of Allentown, Pa.’s The Morning Call knew it. “Reload is one stroke too many within the improper course, protruding like a clear, straight line in a Renoir … Reload could sign the beginning of the top of a really nice band that survived and thrived even after the exit of knowledgeable axman Dave Mustaine within the early days.” Blockus heard nothing exceptional on the album, aside from “Low Man’s Lyric.” As most followers knew then and know now, Reload was removed from the start of Metallica’s finish.

    Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Photographs

    Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Photographs

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