During a recent interview with Guitar World, Mastodon rhythm guitarist Bill Kelliher revealed his first thoughts after listening to Metallica’s ‘Black Album.’ The guitarist admitted that he wasn’t initially impressed, but he later realized it is an epic album, especially thanks to its genius guitar riffs.
As many of you know, Metallica recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of their fifth studio album ‘The Black Album,’ originally released on August 12, 1991. Several details make the album legendary, but many praise the change in the band’s sound from thrash metal to a slower and heavier sound.
Many appreciated these changes, and the record achieved critical acclaim and became the band’s best-selling album. Furthermore, it debuted at No. 1 in ten countries and topped Billboard 200. As for sales, ‘The Black Album’ is one of the best-selling albums worldwide and in the United States.
Now that it is the album’s 30th anniversary, pretty much everybody discusses its influence on the rock music scene. That’s why Bill Kelliher was asked about the record during a recent interview and who’s better to ask than a musician previously toured with Metallica for their ‘World Magnetic Tour.’
The guitarist said he wasn’t in awe of ‘The Black Album’ when he first heard it, mainly because of the clean vocals. However, Bill Kelliher admitted he fell in love with it soon after giving it another chance. Being a rhythm guitarist himself, Kelliher stated that the album’s guitar riffs are one of the main reasons it’s such an amazing record.
Regarding the Black Album, Kelliher said:
“The thing about ‘The Black Album’ is that there are so many fucking awesome riffs on it. When I first heard it, I was a bit, not disappointed, but because of the cleaner singing I was kinda like, ‘Whatever!’ But later I went back to listen to it and was like, ‘Holy fuck!’ That record is so good. It’s an absolute crusher. I could name any song or any riff as a defining moment.
The ‘Sad But True’ riff is perfect, for example. I actually learned it on guitar pretty recently because it sounds so simple yet sounds so big with the palm muting. It’s a real chugga-chugga record, every song has lots of that going on… which I love.”
It’s not surprising that Bill Kelliher felt weird after listening to ‘The Black Album’ for the first time since it was distinctively different from Metallica’s previous albums. Yet again, the guitarist’s realization seems to be a shared epiphany for many fans because the record grows on its listener pretty quickly. That’s why countless musicians and fans have named it one of the greatest albums of all time.