The sixth full-length studio album by the legendary American Heavy Metal band.
The album garnered backlash from a portion of the band's fan base because of a shift in tone from the band's previous efforts ("Load" features a Bluesier sound than the band's previous outings). This time it was more Heavy Metal album according to previous Thrash Metal albums.
For a hardcore pre-"Load" Metallica fan, "Load" will come as a bit of a surprise. The album sounds a bit insecure, because Metallica seem to be in unfamiliar territory, trying to get a bit deeper than they normally would. It also has a bit of a Western sounding feel to it, from songs like "Ronnie" and "The Outlaw Torn". However, there are some rocking songs on this album, that still have the essence of Metallica but still sounds different.
James Hetfields lyrics here are much more deeper and complex than other albums, which is a nice surprise. "Mama Said" for example is a touching song of James's feelings towards his dead mother, and is very personal. Fans who likes James' lyrics from previous albums may find these lyrics frustrating, seeing as there is more than the literal meaning to them. That said, songs like "Cure" see Hetfield trying a bit too hard to be poetic, but "Cure" is essentially the only to be trying too hard, the rest are of a higher standard than previous albums.
"Load" sold 680,000 units in its first week, making it the biggest opening week for Metallica and the biggest debut of 1996.
It's debuted (and spent four consecutive weeks) at #1 on Billboard 200. The album has sold over 5,000,000 copies in United States and is certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA.
This album is very far from the "Black Album", and some fans may be put off by this, however, it is still a fantastic album. The songs here are just as rocking as other albums, but wanting to dig a bit deeper, which is a good thing! Buy this album and see for yourself!!
CD includes 32-page booklet.
Vertigo, 1996 (532 618-2). Made in Germany. First press.
1. Ain't My Bitch 5:03
2. 2x4 5:28
3. The House Jack Built 6:37
4. Until It Sleeps 4:27
5. King Nothing 5:29
6. Hero Of The Day 4:21
7. Bleeding Me 8:16
8. Cure 4:53
9. Poor Twisted Me 3:59
10. Wasting My Hate 3:57
11. Mama Said 5:18
12. Thorn Within 5:51
13. Ronnie 5:17
14. The Outlaw Torn 9:48
Total playing time: 78:44