Load, the follow-up to Metallica’s squillion-selling Black Album, was widely considered to be a bit of a letdown when it came out 25 years ago. That’s not exactly a fault of the band, look at any other landmark effort in an artist’s catalog and the LP that came after it rarely lives up to the precedent set. But while the Black Album could conceivably be looked at as an evolution from the thrash metal roots of the group, Load was a complete left turn into bluesy, more relaxed sonics.
Over at Ultimate Classic Rock, I sat down with some fellow writers to look back on what was such a weird period for Metallica. So heavily were they under the microscope that even the haircuts the band got were scrutinized endlessly. We looked at that aspect and how it tilted public perception of Load, the record itself in retrospect, what songs should’ve been cut to reduce it to just 45 minutes instead of the 78 minutes it ended up being and much more. Head over to UCR to check out the roundtable, and below view a video for one of the singles from the album, “Hero of the Day.”