When I was young, it was my brother who gave me my first metal album. He still liked the albums, but had simply listened to them so much that he had grown tired of them. He gave me a few things: Metallica – The Black Album, Pantera – Cowboys from Hell, and I think some other random albums like Collective Soul and Blues Traveler or something like that. Haha. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old at the time and hadn’t yet formed a true “musical identity” yet, so I liked pretty much everything.
Well, I loved those CDs and took a major liking to Metallica. Also, this was during the age when MTV was still a thing where you could see music videos, live performances, etc. So, I used to watch MTV all the time and would see videos for “Enter Sandman” and “The Unforgiven”, and the interest in the band grew even more. So, in 1996, when the album Load came out, I was a first-day-buyer thanks to my mother taking me to the mall! I got it on cassette, too. Haha. I had seen the video for “Until it Sleeps” a few weeks prior and thought it was the greatest thing ever, so I REALLY wanted that album.
I wore that thing out, too. I used to play it all the time, try to memorize the lyrics to all the songs, and even planned on singing one of the songs at my school’s talent show, but thought better of it. I can’t imagine most people would have enjoyed seeing a 9 year-old boy singing Metallica at the talent show. But from there on, the love of metal blossomed and my first band that I formed in high school when I was 14 was a Metallica cover band. Load gets a lot of crap from the metal community these days, but for me it will always have a special place in my heart. It (along with the Black Album and Cowboys from Hell that I got from my brother) provided me with the gateway to heavier music which of course has since led to a lifelong love affair with extreme and “out-of-the-ordinary” music. Thanks Metallica!
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