Metallica: A Fan’s Reflection

- Music

by Erik Batkiewicz

The preteen version of myself had no real idea of rock or metal. I was just listening to the Top 40 tracks on the radio back in 2014, but my world would soon be turned upside. My brother, Kyle, who’s 15 years older than me, grew up with a generation of music that I hadn’t yet been exposed to, including one of his obsessions, Metallica.

One day, I was hanging out at his house, and he put on the 2013 Metallica concert movie Through the Never. Initially, I hated how it sounded. I think I was more scared than anything because I’d never heard anything like it. The first song of the setlist was “Creeping Death,” and it got to the breakdown of the song, with the iconic riff of lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, with the crowd chanting “Die, die, die.” At the time, I had no idea what the song was or what it meant but I was hooked on the way it sounded.

From that point on, I absorbed every bit of history, music, and videos I could of the band, watching every documentary, concert, and album that was available to me. To me, Metallica is tremendous for changing their sound and style throughout the years, which is an unpopular opinion. Their first four albums are regarded as some of the greatest and most influential albums in thrash and heavy metal history. Once they made a massive transition in sound with their self-titled album in 1991 with a much slower and melodic pace, Metallica skyrocketed in popularity.

With Load and Reload in 1996 and 1997, they made another switch in their sound to more of a hard rock and bluesy style. Many fans were turned away because “they aren’t what they used to be.” They continued to bring new themes to each of their albums, even to their most recent album, 72 Seasons, in 2023. I say these changes needed to be made because if they just put out the same style of album over and over, it would become stale. So, I welcomed the different ideas Metallica had and grew my passion for metal, music theory, and song structure.

In 2019, I started to take drum lessons because of Metallica. I started to branch out to different styles of rock, metal, and even blues because of Metallica. If it wasn’t for them, my love for music wouldn’t be what it is today.

Play Cover Track Title
Track Authors