Everyone pretty much agrees that Metallica were great in the 80's, then they started going downhill. The band's decision making process has been called into question many times. Below are the Top 10 Ways Metallica has Let Fans Down:
10. Getting Haircuts
Although getting a haircut is something most people do monthly, for Metallica it was a sign of things to come...bad things. While the band was working on their 1996 flop 'Load', the band members began appearing in press photos sporting trimmed hair. The haircuts were more in line with the alt-metal and grunge scenes that were popular at the time. This even prompted The Gauntlet to do a scientific experiment.
9. Making a video for 'One'
‘One’ was the first Metallica song to get the video treatment. The video was based on an idea singer Hetfield had and it did what all videos are supposed to do, expand the bands fanbase. This took Metallica from a 'my band' to 'many people's band' status overnight which upset the hardcore Metallica fans. It also gave the band its' first glimpse of the commercial success to come.
8. Replacing Cliff Burton
When bassist Cliff Burton was tragically killed in a bus accident in 1986, many Metallica fans thought the band was done, and in many cases they were right. Cliff was a true artist weaving complex interludes with his bass. His replacement Jason Newsted was the new guy and despised by many fans.
7. Replacing the guy that replaced Cliff Burton
When bassist Jason Newsted shocked the world by walking away from Metallica, the band carried on. At first Bob Rock filled in on bass for the recording of St. Anger. Once the album was completed, the band went on and held auditions picking a more funky groove oriented bassist, Robert Trujillo. The match made little sense to Metallica fans who voiced their opinions the one place that matters, internet forums. Trujillo might have faster fingers, but I miss Newsted’s growls live.
6. Missing bass on '...And Justice For All'
The best way to prove to fans you picked the right bassist to replace Cliff Burton would have been to let him play on the next studio album. But that wasn’t the case for Metallica. If you listen to the Justice album, the bass levels are turned way down. When drummer Lars Ulrich was asked about this, he stated "We're [Hetfield and Ulrich] mixing, so let's pat ourselves on the back and turn the rhythms and the drums up."
Remember when Metallica lyrics were evil? At some point, James Hetfield decided he could sing, and it was around the same time, he decided he couldn't write meaningful lyrics anymore. Remember this from "Master of Puppets": "Pain monopoly, ritual misery
chop your breakfast on a mirror
Taste me you will see
more is all you need
you're dedicated to
how I'm killing you
Come crawling faster
obey your Master
your life burns faster
obey your Master"
Then post Black album the lyrics became like this on “Fuel”: "Gimme Fuel,
Gimme that which I desire,
A bad idea from the start. Metallica needs to learn their place in the metal-verse and it isn’t improvising the soundtrack to some babbling old man.
3. Poor studio production
The band has been plagued with poor studio production for the last 4 albums. When fans can get a higher quality version of ‘Death Magnetic’ from Guitar Hero than from purchasing the album, there are problems. Metallica needs a producer that isn’t afraid of them and will hold their hand through the entire recording process and not wander in from the pub when the album is complete to collect his check.
2. Sue the fans
Metallica was the first band to jump on the 'sue your fans' bandwagon several years ago to curb illegal downloading. Both Lars and James went on record calling their fans that downloaded their music criminals and thieves. The same fans that paid money for overpriced Metallica tickets and merchandise. While a lot of bands agreed with Metallica's position on file trading, they drew the line and taking fans and Napster to court.
1. Lars Ulrich
If there is ever a reason for the decline in Metallica, it should solely rest on the shoulders of one man. Lars Ulrich has been the elephant in the room for quite some time. He is the main reason for the bands shift in musical direction. When asked who his favorite band was a couple years ago, Ulrich stated the Arctic Monkeys. He can listen to whatever, but when that is your favorite band and what you say inspires you, expect your credibility to take a musical hit. You can’t go into the studio and make a thrashing album after listening to Arctic Monkeys. Lars was the driving force behind the Napster debacle and pretty much everything on this this.
One more thing
I can’t stand seeing tRobert Trujillo’s crab walk. I expect it from some -core bands, but not Metallica.