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Which Classic Metallica Album is the Best? A Track By Track Battle! Pt. 3

by Terry Stevens

PHOTO CREDIT:  Saad Faruque, Creative Commons License .

All week long, we've been revisiting Metallica's legendary First Four albums.  Every fan has their favorite.  (Spoiler, it tends to be the first one you heard, or the one you grew up listening to.)

However, we no longer live in an era of albums.  Today, it's all about the songs, 99 cents at a time. (Or, free if you're a thieving a-hole).

That's why were comparing each album, song by song, track by track.  We've already compared the Track 1s and the Track 2s.  Next up...


Track 3


I'm going to warn you, as we head to the middle of Metallica's First Four, the battle between the songs becomes a lot more heated.


Kill 'Em All - "Motorbreath"

Metallica-brand "Motorbreath Mints".

Now that I've given the band a new product to sell at the Metalli-merch booth, let's talk about this song.  Fast, aggressive, short and to the point, "Motorbreath" is a thrash classic.  An affirmation of a life lived "in the fast lane", this is the perfect song for lighting up a road, trail, or fire under your ass.


Ride the Lightning - "For Whom the Bell Tolls"


No, seriously.  You need to pass the bon...

Er...I mean...

How about that bell, huh?

Metallica gets all Hemingway up in this biatch with legendary results.  Everything from the bell, to the Cliff Burton bass riff that everyone thought was a guitar at the beginning, to the stomping main riff, to the literate lyrics, combines for an unstoppable metal juggernaut.

(By the way, you can always separate the pro-rockers/metalheads from the noobs if they can correctly identify the "For Whom the Bell Tolls" bell versus AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" bell.)


Master of Puppets - "The Thing That Should Not Be"

For Track 3 on "...Puppets", Metallica trades in the Hemingway for some Lovecraft .  Dark, heavy, crushing.  In your mind's eye, you can see Cthulu rising up from the depths as Metallica ushers in a new age of darkness.  

Not satisfied with making the most sinister sounding song of their career, Metallica upped the creep factor even more by including "The Thing That Should Not Be" on their "S&M" live album with the San Francisco Symphony, creating an even more spine-chilling auditory experience.


...And Justice for All - "Eye of the Beholder"

I remember buying the cassette single for this song even though I already owned the album.  What can I say?  I was a compulsive Metallica collector.

Anyway, I love this song.  It has all of the element of Prog-tallica that I loved about "...And Justice for All".  With that being said, I always loved their cover of Budgie's "Breadfan" that they put on the "B" side of the "Eye of the Beholder" single just a little bit more.


Scary FN Terry's Pick:  "The Thing That Should Not Be"


For me, the choice was between this one and "Bell".  As much as I love "Bell" (and the other two songs), Chtulu beats and consumes the soul of Hemingway in my ears every single time.

Of course, that's just my tragically tone-deaf, ill-informed, OMG I'm such a poseur take.  (Beat you to it, trolls!)

Which of Metallca's classic Track 3s do you love the most?

Which Metallica Track 3 do you think is the best?

Tune in later this week, when the Track 4s give you and I one of the toughest decisions we've ever had to make as Metallica fans.

*In addition to really dreading that upcoming "Track 4" decision"Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest CommunicationsYou can Book Face with him here.