The first half dozen or so tracks on this arena rock anthems collection are great, rockin', groovy tracks. "king nothing" is one of Metallica's finest singles, on par with Enter sandman for hooks, "hero of the day", picks up after a plodding intro to deliver a fine cowboy inspired vocal performance.
If the album continued to deliver the same quality in the second half as it did in the first all would be well. But the album begins to spiral into a lack of direction which produces forgettable, moments and songs. This is probably due to the predictability of the songwriting. Lars' drumming seems as if its a necessity, ploughing through the songs and Kirk's tendancy to rely on a single lick or blues scale throughout a song gives the impression of an amateur guitarist gone mad with a wah pedal glued to his foot, lazy playing from an excellent soloist, not his finist studio performance. Musically, man of the match goes to Jason Newstead who seems to excell in this era of Metallica providing the better of the riffs and intros on the album, a benefit to the songwriting on this album.
For Metallica fans who aren't prejeduce against the 90's era, no second thought is required with regards to purchasing this record, as its filled with great riffs and hooks, but the album as a whole seems to capture Metallica too combfortable, the product, a glorified jam session.