ME­TAL­LICA

Metal Hammer (UK) - - REVIEWS -

Mas­ter Of Pup­pets: Re­mas­tered Deluxe Boxed Set

BLACK­ENED

Thrash metal mas­ter­piece gets a de­fin­i­tive makeover

oRig­i­nally Released in

1986, Mas­ter Of Pup­pets saw Me­tal­lica fine­tune the vi­sion of Ride

The Light­ning into an un­qual­i­fied mas­ter­piece, a pum­melling show­case of force and ve­loc­ity that boasted longer tracks, dizzy­ing tempo shifts and a stun­ning range of emo­tion. Be­hind a flaw­less pan­theon of hits that in­cluded the ti­tle track, Bat­tery, Wel­come Home (San­i­tar­ium) and Dis­pos­able He­roes, it be­came Me­tal­lica’s first plat­inum record, even­tu­ally sell­ing more than 10 mil­lion copies world­wide. It also marked their fi­nal al­bum with the late Cliff Bur­ton.

Rare is the re-re­lease that truly stuns. Most play out as cheap cash-grabs that serve up a few barely no­tice­able tweaks and a hand­ful of for­get­table ex­tras. But this is Me­tal­lica and un­sur­pris­ingly, they’ve gone all in with a wide ar­ray of for­mats, in­clud­ing this lim­ited edi­tion boxed set that’s burst­ing at the seams with suc­cu­lent good­ies. The re­mas­ters them­selves erupt with pierc­ing new vi­tal­ity. While taut, ul­tra­com­pressed riffs and speed­f­reak tem­pos dom­i­nated the sound of the orig­i­nal re­lease, these ex­pan­sive ver­sions sep­a­rate the tracks a bit more, un­veil­ing a crisp clar­ity and pre­vi­ously ob­scure dy­nam­ics that high­light the ma­te­rial’s as­ton­ish­ing depth. There are two discs of in­ter­views con­ducted around al­bum’s re­lease, in­clud­ing an ab­surdly en­ter­tain­ing one with an ornery Cliff Bur­ton, wherein he flatly says,

“Mas­ter…, I think, is the best Me­tal­lica song yet.”

Other discs con­tain rough mixes, the warts’n’all record­ings from for­mer bassist Ja­son New­sted’s first au­di­tion, four shows from the first leg of the Mas­ter Of Pup­pets tour and two discs of riffs, demos and re­hearsals. There’s a real fly-on-the-wall sense when lis­ten­ing to these archival mo­ments that cap­ture Me­tal­lica’s cre­ative en­ergy dur­ing their sem­i­nal era. Part time cap­sule, part re­mas­ter and part oral history, this is the de­fin­i­tive state­ment of one of the most im­por­tant al­bums in the history of rock’n’roll.

FOR FANS OF: DI­A­MOND HEAD, TES­TA­MENT, ME­GADETH

JOE DALY

When it comes to Mas­ter Of Pup­pets, more is all you need, and Me­tal­lica de­liver it

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