As a whole I don't think any of Metallica's classic material is any more plodding, directionless, useless, etc. than anything else I've heard in the genre (save a few bands). However, sometimes you wonder if they really needed to repeat the verse or chorus a third time in just about every single song.
Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - no place on a thrash metal album (or any metal album)
I think it's one of the best songs because it's one of the only ones that breaks out of the plodding structural format that ASBO mentioned. I also find the theme of insanity (which is also present in Kreator's Pleasure to Kill
) interesting and reflective of the era in which the musicians lived.
I'm interested though, how do you think Darkness Descends is ambient in parts?
Most speed metal brings you down to earth; when listening to this album I find myself up in the clouds. It's difficult to describe, but the music is so consistent, even repetitive, and pummeling, that it drives itself into your skull. That could be said of lots of bands obviously, but I find that album to have its own atmosphere, which coincidentally, is very similar to that on Hell Awaits
, even though the sound / production style is different. Listening to it is a lot like listening to Burzum, Havohej, and early Suffocation (in my experience, of course).
EDIT: Come to think of it, maybe Dark Angel made better use of repetition than Metallica did...
Orion kicks ass however.
The first Metallica album may be the most solid, but I like Ride the Lightning the most. A good mix of ambition and proven formula.
I agree with all of this.