Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Metallica: Master of Puppets [Elektra, 1986]
I feel at a generational disadvantage with this music not because my weary bones can't take its power and speed but because I was born too soon to have my dendrites rerouted by progressive radio. This band's momentum can be pretty impressive, and as with a lot of fast metal (as well as some sludge) they seem to have acceptable political motivations--antiwar, anticonformity, even anticoke, fine. But the revolutionary heroes I envisage aren't male chauvinists too inexperienced to know better; they don't have hair like Samson and pecs like Arnold Schwarzenegger. That's the image Metallica calls up, and I'm no more likely to invoke their strength of my own free will than I am The 1812 Overture's. B-