So tough! Metallica's debut set the stage for the ground they would cover over the course of their career. Kill 'Em All is Metallica at their most raw and unpolished. The tempos are fast, the riffs are heavy and James Hetfield sounds like he is going to give himself an aneurysm at any moment. Leading up to the recording of the album the band had signed with Megaforce Records. On a trip to New York after signing with the label they famously fired then lead guitarist, Dave Mustaine. This would lead to the long feud between the Megadeth leader and Metallica. They hired Kirk Hammett to replace Mustaine after having picked up the legendary Cliff Burton on bass. The rest is history. "(Anesthesia) - Pulling Teeth" is one of the notable Burton contributions to the album and, according to Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, the reason they hired him in the first place. He's even credited with coming up with the name of the album after a dispute with record distributors over the band's original title, Metal Up Your Ass. For all intents and purposes Metallica gave birth to thrash metal with Kill 'Em All. They have songs dedicated to headbanging ("Whiplash"), the apocalypse ("Four Horsemen"), and not feeling any remorse or repent during battle in war ("No Remorse"). What more can you ask for?
- music label: Megaforce Records 1983 / Blackened Recordings 2014
reviewed by Hank Ohs 09/2014