When Metallica was unleashed upon the world in the 1980s they were thrash metal royalty. Each one of their albums more aggressive than the other. It wasn't until 1991's Metallica (The Black Album) where we saw a change in their iconic thrash sound to a more heavy rock sound.
In 1996 the band changed things up again. They reinvented their sound and look. Ditching the long hair and super fast riffs for a more melodic heavy sound they debuted Load. It was the band's furthest departure from thrash metal and it left many fans feeling alienated. The album features songs that are influenced by many different genres like blues, southern rock, and country.
Despite Load being an album where Metallica was exploring new sounds and styles, according to Lars Ulrich, it sold well over a half million albums in its first week. It also debuted at number one for four consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top 200 chart, and certified platinum 5x.
While at the time fans may not have loved the new Metallica, the album has grown on many over time.
It features hit songs "Until it Sleeps", and "King Nothing." It also features the beautifully written "Mama Said" and "Hero of the Day."
Yes, this album was different. However if a band isn't changing how they do things they never grow. Growing is all part of the art of music and at the end of the day, Metallica is musical art. They're arguably still, 24 years later, the biggest metal or rock band on the planet.
Today, let's sit back and listen to Load.