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Kill ’Em All

Music For Nations (1983)
Rating: 10/10

The debut album by Metallica has been a long time coming, but it’s definitely been worth waiting for as it’s a real killer! Certainly not for the faint hearted, each track is guaranteed for 100% brain destruction!!! Those of you that have heard the band’s demo tapes will be familiar with all the songs with the exception of ‘Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth’ (Cliff Burton’s bass solo). However, many of the other tracks have been revamped; most notably ‘The Four Horsemen’ (formerly known as ‘The Mechanix’). This new version has been extended to well past the seven minute mark and contains one moment of madness when it sounds as though the band are about to break into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama’!! The album’s opening cut ‘Hit The Lights’ is a far superior version than the one that appeared on the first Metal Massacre compilation album.

Metallica deliver their metal with such power, speed and precision that they make a lot of other so called heavy metal bands seem quite tame and feeble. Even the band’s ballad ‘Motorbreath’ will send a shudder down the spines of many ardent metal fans.

The final cut on side one ‘Whiplash’ is the pièce de résistance and is destined to become a classic of all heavy metal classics. Side two is equally as excellent as the first with the ultra-fast’n’heavy ‘Metal Militia’ rounding off 50 minutes of pure frenzied metal mayhem.

When it’s time to start compiling the top albums of 1983, then Kill ’Em All will take some beating. It’s certainly one of the most awesome, fastest and heaviest pieces of vinyl I’ve ever heard. I’d urge every heavy metal fan to grab a copy of this album, and if when you’ve heard it you dislike Kill ’Em All then you can no longer call yourself a heavy metal fan. You just don’t understand what heavy metal is all about. As rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist James Hetfield would say (scream!), “Metal up your fucking ass!!”

Bernard Doe

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 1 (1983)