Load (album)

Infobox Album
Name = Load
Type = studio
Artist = Metallica


Released = June 4, 1996
Recorded = May 1995 – February 1996 at The Plant Studios, in Sausalito, California
Length = 78:59
Label = Elektra
Producer = Bob Rock, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|2.5|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:25rp282t05oa link]
*Robert Christgau C+ [http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=metallica link]
*"Q" Rating|3|5 (7/96, p.119)
*"Rolling Stone" Rating|4|5 [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/metallica/albums/album/194250/rid/5941470/ link]
Last album = "Metallica"
(1991)
This album = "Load"
(1996)
Next album = "ReLoad"
(1997)

"Load" is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released June 4 1996. According to drummer Lars Ulrich: "this album and what we're doing with it - that, to me, is what Metallica are all about: exploring different things. The minute you stop exploring, then just sit down and fucking die." [http://www.metallicaworld.co.uk/Interviews/1996_pretty_hate_machine.htm]

To date, the album has sold over 5 million copies in America, [http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?resultpage=4&table=SEARCH_RESULTS&action=&title=&artist=Metallica&format=&debutLP=&category=&sex=&releaseDate=&requestNo=&type=&level=&label=&company=&certificationDate=&awardDescription=&catalogNo=&aSex=&rec_id=&charField=&gold=&platinum=&multiPlat=&level2=&certDate=&album=&id=&after=&before=&startMonth=1&endMonth=1&startYear=1958&endYear=2008&sort=Artist&perPage=25] and is certified Gold in the UK, having sold over 100,000 copies. [http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=21427]

History

Released approximately five years after the international smash success, "Metallica", "Load" saw the band embrace a collective sound and identity closer to traditional heavy metal and different from their thrash metal roots. As on previous releases, the fourteen songs that would eventually make up the album began as rough demos created by principal songwriters James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich in Ulrich's basement recording studio, "The Dungeon." The band took over 30 demos into The Plant Studios in the spring of 1995 where they would work for approximately the next year. Once again, Metallica teamed up with famed producer Bob Rock, who had been at the helm during the recording process for "Metallica".

The songwriting dispenses almost entirely with the thrash metal style that characterized the band's sound in the 1980s. In place of staccato riffs, Hetfield and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett experimented with more blues-based tones and styles. Additionally, Ulrich adopted a minimalist approach to his drum recording, abandoning the speed and complex double bass patterns of previous albums. Hetfield displayed a lyrical evolution as well, writing what many feel to be his most personal and introspective lyrics. "Until it Sleeps," the album's lead single, addressed his mother's losing battle with cancer, and "Mama Said" also explored his relationship with his mother. All of this marked a departure from the political and social overtones of albums like "...And Justice for All" and "Master of Puppets".

The album also marked the first appearance of a new Metallica logo, rounding off the stabbing edges of the first and last letters of the band's earlier 1980s logo. The M from the original logo was used to make a shuriken-like symbol known as the "ninja star" which was used as an alternate logo on this and future albums as well as other related artwork. The album featured an expansive booklet which contained many photos of the band. The booklet only contained select lyrics from each song in contrast to Metallica's previous studio albums which included complete song lyrics. Additionally, the interior artwork revolved around images of inkblots, a theme which would carry over to "ReLoad" and the covers for the singles released from the two albums.

The cover of the album is original artwork entitled "Semen and Blood III." It is one of three photographic studies by Andres Serrano created in 1990 by mingling the artist's own semen and bovine blood between two sheets of Plexiglas. [ [http://www.artnet.com/usernet/awc/awc_workdetail.asp?aid=424202827&gid=424202827&cid=74183&wid=425106400&page=2 Semen & Blood II ] ]

At 78:59 minutes, this was Metallica's longest studio album. Initial pressings of the album were affixed with stickers that boasted its long playtime, simply reading "78:59."

"The Outlaw Torn" had to be shortened by about one minute to fit on the album. The full version was released on a single for "The Memory Remains" as "The Outlaw Torn (Unencumbered by Manufacturing Restrictions Version)" with a running time of 10:46. An explanation was given on the single's back cover:

This was also the only Metallica studio album on which the band's bassist (Jason Newsted for this album) did not have a writing credit. It was also their first album for all tracks to be drop-tuned a half-step; they had, however, previously tuned down on "Master of Puppets" on "The Thing That Should Not Be," and on "The Black Album" on "The God That Failed" and "Sad But True", and some cover songs, after that album, including the Motorhead songs that they covered before recording Load.

Reception

"Professional reviews":
*"Rolling Stone" (7/11-25/1996, p.85) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...with Load, the foursome dams the bombast and chugs half-speed ahead, settling into a wholly magnetizing groove that bridges old-school biker rock and the doomier side of post-grunge '90s rock."

*"Entertainment Weekly" (6/7/96, pp.56-57) - "...captures the band's earnest pursuit of its Sisyphean mission: to create hard rock that reaches grown-ups and basement-dwelling teens." - Rating: B

*"Q" magazine (7/96, p.119) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "These boys set up their tents in the darkest place of all, in the naked horror of their own heads....Metallica make existential metal and they've never needed the props....Metallica are still awesome....What is new is streamlined attack, the focus and, yes, the tunes."

*"Melody Maker" (6/8/96, p.49) - "A Metallica album is traditionally an exhausting event. It should rock you to exhaustion, leave you brutalised and drained. This one is no exception. It is, however, the first Metallica album to make me wonder at any point, 'What the f*** was that?' It's as if the jackboot grinding the human face were to take occasional breaks for a pedicure."

*"Musician" (8/96, p.85) - "The smoother, broader sound that distinguished...1991's METALLICA is even more apparent here, as is the tendency to write accessible tunes....the exploration of new sounds does nothing but good for the guitar duo of [James] Hetfield and Kirk Hammett."

*"New York Times" (6/2/96, Sec.2, p.28) - "On Load, Metallica has altered its music, learning new skills. Hetfield has committed himself to melodies, carrying tunes where he used to bark, and he no longer sounds sheepish when he sings quietly."

*"NME" (6/1/96, p.44) - 7 (out of 10) - "...like triumphant warriors returning into a world changed beyond all recognition...Metallica emphatically prove they are still unsurpassed in their self-created genre of stadium nihilism."

Track listing

tracklist
writing_credits = yes
title1 = Ain't My Bitch
writer1 = James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich
length1 = 5:04
title2 = 2 × 4
writer2 = Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Ulrich
length2 = 5:28
title3 = The House Jack Built
writer3 = Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich
length3 = 6:39
title4 = Until It Sleeps
writer4 = Hetfield, Ulrich
length4 = 4:30
title5 = King Nothing
writer5 = Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich
length5 = 5:28
title6 = Hero of the Day
writer6 = Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich
length6 = 4:22
title7 = Bleeding Me
writer7 = Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich
length7 = 8:18
title8 = Cure
writer8 = Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich
length8 = 4:54
title9 = Poor Twisted Me
writer9 = Hetfield, Ulrich
length9 = 4:00
title10 = Wasting My Hate
writer10 = Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich
length10 = 3:58
title11 = Mama Said
writer11 = Hetfield, Ulrich
length11 = 5:20
title12 = Thorn Within
writer12 = Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich
length12 = 5:52
title13 = Ronnie
writer13 = Hetfield, Ulrich
length13 = 5:17
title14 = The Outlaw Torn
writer14 = Hetfield, Ulrich
length14 = 9:49

Personnel

*James Hetfield – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
*Kirk Hammettlead guitar
*Jason Newstedbass, backing vocals
*Lars Ulrichdrums

Production

*Bob Rock, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich – producers
*Brian Dobbs, Randy Staub – engineers
*Brian Dobbs, Jason Goldstein, Kent Matcke – assistant engineers
*Mike Rew, Randy Staub – mixing
*Curry – mixing assistant
*George Marino – mastering
*Paul DeCarli – digital editing
*Mike Gillies, Chris Vrenna – digital editing assistants
*Chris Vrenna – programming
*Andie Airfix – design
*Andres Serrano – cover design
*Anton Corbijn – photography

Charts

Album

References

succession box
before = "The Score" by Fugees
title = "Billboard" 200 number-one album
years = June 22July 19 1996
after = "It Was Written" by Nas
succession box
before = "Older" by George Michael
title = UK number one album
years = June 16 1996June 22 1996
after = "18 til I Die" by Bryan Adams
succession box
before = "Down on the Upside" by Soundgarden
title = Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
years = June 16June 29 1996
after = "Hourly, Daily" by You Am I


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