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…And breathe, whoa! What a rush! Without a doubt, this is the best debut album of any in the Big 4, and one of the most groundbreaking albums, period. Let me explain that – while Kill ‘Em All did not have the commercial success of say, Appetite For Destruction, the Gun’s ‘n Roses album didn’t give us anything new – it simply made hard rock sound really awesome. Kill ‘Em All brings us the first real thrash metal album, and boy does it do a good job.

The listener is immediately introduced to thrash by “Hit the Lights”, and he better hang on because it is a fast and head-banging ride. During this time, the 80s pop scene was in full swing and Metallica couldn’t stand it. They loathed groups like Motley Crue that wore high heels and made hard rock seem, well, soft. Their rebellion to authority and their bitter disdain for anything pop is brought to life by this album and gives the 80s in general a giant, middle finger.

While listening to this album, it is hard to believe this is a debut. “No Remorse” and “Four Horseman” are complete songs in that, they have bridges in between movements that show musical maturity beyond years, and songs like “Whiplash” and “Hit the Lights” give the listener a sudden urge to step on the gas pedal just a little bit harder. For anyone that has a hankering for some thrash, point them in this direction!

Four Big Takeaways:

  1. Hit the Lights
  2. No Remorse
  3. Whiplash
  4. Seek and Destroy

Points by Category:

Sound Quality: 8
Song Selection: 7
Lyrics: 8
Speed/Precision: 9
Album Artwork: 7
Theme/Name: 9
Vocals: 8
Guitars: 9
Bass: 10
Drums: 8

Total: 84/100