This is the album that finally proved to the world that Metallica was and is THE heavy metal rock band of the world. Sure Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath are considered the creators of this fine genre, but it's the boys from San Francisco that truly defined what metal is and what it should be.
Still, for every fan that it brought into the fold, it seemed that it lose a classic fan. Many were outraged at Metallica and began to call them sell-outs after this disc. Why? Maybe because this album lacks those really long classic ("Master Of Puppets," "Creeping Death") or the fact that this album is longer. It's amazing how people are willing to reject something when others begin to like it.
I'll grant you the MTV singles were really OVERplayed. "Enter Sandman," "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters" were played to the point of nausea by the dang M-channel. Truth be told though, there was very little to truly rock people as the times were bringing the Age of Grunge. So, all those that wanted to rock were attracted to this album.
Yet the fact remains that all of the singles were very good - starting with "Enter Sandman." This song is catchy, strong and good. Face it. "The Unforgiven" can get a bit too long -- because Metallica never before did entire songs this slow. "Nothing Else Matters" is silently beautiful -- in my opinion, probably their best ballad. (Yeah, ballad). "Sad But True" is mean and "Wherever I May Roam" is perhaps one of the best tour-tunes ever. It does make you want to go out and join a band.
Perhaps it's only fault are the songs towards the end. After "Of Wolf And Man" (which kicks butt), the last three songs tend to be a bit of a letdown. They are not bad, but aren't great. I mean, with the start they had to this album, perhaps a bit more was expected towards the end. "My Friend Of Misery" bores me. "The God That Failed" doesn't thrill me. "The Struggle Within" is alright - but I wanted more from the album closer.
I also remember that some (particularly Rolling Stone) said that after "One," a song like "Don't Tread On Me" was a bit hollow. That's BS. This song is strong. Besides, any song that begins with a classic Broadway tune gets points for originality.
To think that this album became such a success boggles people's minds. After all, this is the band that lost to Jethro Tull in '89. In any case, Metallica is perhaps the best rock album of the '90s and belongs in every album collection - even Billy Graham's.