Metallica’s 1983 debut, the explosive Kill ’Em All, taught a grateful world a lesson in unbridled thrashing fury. Since then, their sound has passed through numerous stages, but the guttural intensity that was the hallmark of the young Metallica remains the essence of the band today.
In an age where musical tastes are being shaped by technological innovations, where sensibilities are being assaulted by arsenals of Linn drums and Fairlights and Mini Moogs, it's downright refreshing to see someone playing straight from the gut again.
It’s probably not a coincidence that effects such as wah pedals and fuzz boxes started appearing en masse about the same time that recreational drugs like marijuana and LSD became popular with rock musicians.
It’s not unusual to find a guitar with a “hockey stick” headstock, but a guitar made out of actual hockey sticks is an entirely different matter. For luthier and lifelong hockey fan John Burgess of London, Ontario, it made perfect sense to build a guitar body out of the implements, although doing it proved more difficult than scoring a goal against Henrik Lundqvist.
Regarded by many as the three most vital purveyors of pure hard rock/heavy metal sonic evil, AC/DC’s Angus Young, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi have each forged a distinct, instantly recognizable guitar style and sound. After more than three decades of dedicated service, all three players continue to influence countless up-and-coming metalheads the world over, and an in-depth study of each guitarist’s distinct musical personality is mandatory for any aspiring hard rock player.
"We’ve been in the studio so long -- a war has come and gone, and we're still stuck in here!" A heavy weariness, quite evident behind James Hetfield's steely gaze, underscores the intense pressure that has been Metallica's constant as they labored over the past few months to record Metallica, their first album in over three years, and fifth overall.