Classic Albums: Metallica - Master Of Puppets

Classic Albums: Metallica – Master Of Puppets

Time for another new feature on Guitar Noodle. Classic Albums will be a weekly(ish) post about the albums I personally consider to be classics for whatever reason. Some will be the usual suspects, others will be ones many people don’t consider classics but they’ve had a big impact on me.

This week we start with a true classic.

Master Of Puppets by Metallica

Growing up with an older brother who listened to metal definitely shaped my musical influences. I’d heard bits of Iron Maiden pretty early on but it was Master Of Puppets which really grabbed my attention. I would have been around 6 years old when he came home one day with the picture disk. It looked amazing but the music was like nothing I’d heard before.

The first minute of Battery still sounds epic to this day, but to a young boy in the eighties, it was incredible. And then the main riff kicks in. The power, aggression and speed was a totally new experience for me. Add to that a kick-ass solo and I was hooked.

And then it’s followed up by the title track. Over 8 minutes of incredible music going through various changes along the way. It seemed like an album within an album to little innocent me. Of course, I had no idea what the lyrics meant but I knew they were saying more than anything I’d heard on the radio. Halfway through the pace and mood changes. I seem to remember thinking it was a different song at this point. And then another amazing solo.

I think it’s hard to appreciate the impact of an album 30+ years later. This album has influenced so many people. Music has become more aggressive and more complicated but when it was released Metallica had really taken things to another level with Master Of Puppets. Even more so to a kid who had never heard anything even close to music like this before.

Welcome Home (Sanitarium) was another surprise. The slower pace, the beauty, the sadness and despair. Again, I didn’t understand fully what it was about but I loved it. It also showed me the diversity bands were allowed to have within their music. Up until this point, I thought each band sounded a certain way and that was it. I didn’t realise they could mix it up like this. Little did I know that songs like Sanitarium were actually causing Metallica to lose fans because it wasn’t thrash.

Another big shock for me was Orion. A couple of minutes in, where’s the singing? 4 minutes in and the mood totally changes, but still no singing. 8 minutes and 27 seconds later it ends and there wasn’t any singing at all. Really? I hadn’t heard an instrumental track before so I didn’t even know it could be done. But what a great way to be exposed to instrumental music for the first time!

The final track on the album sealed the deal for me. Damage, Inc. blew me away. I didn’t know people could play at that speed. And the solo! My brother copied the album onto a cassette tape for me and I used to play the solo over and over again. That part of the tape definitely developed a wobble before the rest of it from being played so much. I didn’t know anything about guitar playing at that age but Kirk Hammett instantly became a god to me for playing a solo like that.

Master Of Puppets is pretty much considered a classic by the majority of metal lovers. I have no idea what kind of an impact it had on anyone else at that time but for a little kid like me, it was incredible. There were so many things I’d simply never heard before and I loved it. It was pretty much the only album I listened to for years and even when other albums started to be played I’d always go back to Master Of Puppets. All these years later, it still holds up. Master Of Puppets is the reason I love metal so much. Without it, I have no idea what kind of music I’d be listening to.

It’s a true classic.