Classic Albums: Metallica
Eagle Vision/Times Music
Yes, Metallica’s newest album, Death Magnetic, is topping the charts across countries today. But the band’s popularity wasn’t always like this. Perhaps, the one album that really thrust Metallica into the realm of mainstream recognition was 1991’s self-titled scorcher, more commonly called the Black Album. This Classic Albums DVD, though originally released in 2001, has come to India just now, and revisits the making of what has since become a landmark album in metal history.
A series of interviews with all four band members ”“ Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Jason Newsted ”“ throws light on the album as never before. They speak at length about the making of the album: everything right from coming up with a riff (did you know that the crushing ”˜Enter Sandman’ riff is a result of Ulrich modifying Hammett’s original idea?) to putting the finishing touches (apparently, the band was in for a major jolt right before the release when some digital clicking turned up on the mix ”“ the album then had to be remastered).
Joining the guys on this nostalgia trip is album producer Bob Rock, with many thanks to the mixing console: Rock isolates individual parts on the multi-tracks for the album, in the process bringing to the forefront lots of sonic details that would have missed our ears all this while. They do this for five singles off the album ”“ ”˜Enter Sandman,’ ”˜Sad But True,’ ”˜The Unforgiven,’ ”˜Wherever I May Roam’ and ”˜Nothing Else Matters.’ We also learn during the course of these interviews how Rock had to really earn the respect of a band that had so far been operating on the D-Y-I philosophy as far as production went, and how for the longest time after the production Ulrich and Rock couldn’t see eye to eye.
The main documentary at about 45 minutes is not the only thing on the DVD though ”“ also included as bonus material are additional interviews (most likely outtakes) that go into further details of the process of making the Black Album. And these are as interesting, if not more, as the main docu. All in all, this is a good package, regardless of whether you are a diehard fan or a casual Metallica listener (if such a thing exists), and an essential addition to your music DVD collection.