What I like best about Master of Puppets is the unconventional riffing. Many bands inspired by Metallica and the first thrash wave make skillful, heavy and qualitative riffs, but completely forget that the founders of the genre were creative and tried themselves about.
Often the riffs on Master of Puppets do not really end the way you think when they start. And often the riffs are playful and you hear how damn fun they had when they put these songs together. Let’s highlight the main riff in the title song. It’s such a damn stupid and simple riff really, but it becomes ingenious in this context and such riffs are not done in thrash anymore. I don’t have the space to bore you with more examples but there are several in almost every song here.
This is a masterpiece and contains some of the main numbers in metal history. The epic title track, Damage Inc, Welcome Home and my two personal favorites; the thrashy demolisher Disposable Heroes and the violent voyage of insanity that is Battery. The latter is one of the most powerful, intense and ruthless metal songs ever written. These songs carry Metallicas signature trademark of that time; innovation.
Because I really want to emphasize that the album’s historical significance begins and ends with its innovative vein. While Metallica was playing in a furious pace, no metal of this then modern caliber was so well written. The band wrote melodic driven songs, incorporated acoustic elements and stood out with the previously mentioned creative riffing.
For me this record in its role of significance is a clear 10/10, but that’s not how I rate albums. I hand out a number based on how much I like them, not how important they are. The Thing That Should Not Be and Leper Messiah are songs I am not particularly interested in listening to and there are many metal albums that suit my ears better and where I love 100% of the songs.
But no one can take away from Master of Puppets that it was at the absolute forefront, defined the metal of the present and the future and is as good today as it was 36 years ago.
Best songs: Battery, Disposable Heroes, Damage Inc.