Metallica's 1986 thrash-terpiece Master Of Puppets is not only a fan favorite, but also guitarist Kirk Hammett's personal pick for the band's best album. In the latest issue of Rock Candy, Hammett said the band wasn't trying to make anything special, but just did they best they could. And y'know, accidentally created one of the most iconic metal albums of all time.
"We weren't trying to make an album that 35 or so years on people would put on and think still sounded great," said Hammett. "We didn't set out to do anything, really. We were just trying to make the best album we possibly could and that's what came out."
Hammett also praised the mix and recording of the album, saying "From a technical viewpoint, when I listen to the album I'm really surprised at how good it sounds so long after the fact. The recording of the album, the recording of the songs, the production… it all holds up still."
"A lot of the music from that time now sounds samey and similar. But there's really nothing on Master Of Puppets that dates it to any particular period – sound-wise, production-wise, recording-wise. Master Of Puppets is my favourite of all the albums we've ever done."
And of course Hammett spoke highly of the late and great Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, saying Cliff's death was undeniably the end of an era for the band. "Cliff's contribution to Master Of Puppets was very melodic and very musical. His contribution wasn't so much the big heavy riffs. It was all melody bass, and it was a lot of really, really cool stuff. When Cliff went it was the end of an era, and we all knew it. We knew it."
Master Of Puppets has sold nearly 8 million copies in the United States alone, and has seen a resurgence lately thanks to Stranger Things (and weirdly Fortnite). More importantly, you really need to check out Metallica playing "Master Of Puppets" the song for the first time ever in 1985. The energy is off the charts.