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Five of the Most Underrated Metallica Songs

To date, Metallica has released 10 studio albums and, along the way, have gained millions of new fans but lost a few on the way as well. Certainly Metallica has written many well known songs such as “Enter Sandman”, “Master of Puppets” and “One”, but among their vast catalogue are many jewels buried behind those more popular tracks. Here are five of Metallica’s most underrated songs, which could be a 20-songs long (see playlist below):

The Call of Ktulu (From Ride the Lightning)

Found as the last song on Metallica’s sophomore album, “The Call of Ktulu” blends dark atmosphere with melody and the bass-mastery of the late Cliff Burton. Coming in at 8:53, Ktulu is an instrumental that has to rank as one of the best metal instrumentals ever laid down. The song draws its inspiration from the pen of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, who wrote of a mythical figure, Cthulhu, in the short story “The Call of Cthulhu”. Metallica also use Cthulu as a muse for “The Thing that Should Not Be” and “Dream No More” off Hardwired. . . To Self Destruct.

The Outlaw Torn (from Load)

Crammed in as the last song from 1996’s Load album is The Outlaw Torn, boasting a massive James Hetfield riff and some stellar bass playing from Jason Newsted. For “The Outlaw Torn”, it’s all about groove over speed, with an amazing vocal delivery of anguish from Hetfield, particularly during the chorus. Written by Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, it’s only been played live 13 times to date (the S&M version is absolutely killer). Interestingly, Hetfield plays the outro solo, which has to fade out because it was too long for the 78 minutes of music a CD could store.

My Friend of Misery (from Metallica)

Granted the first time I heard “My Friend of Misery”, I thought it was a throwaway song, filler for the Black Album. But after more and more listens, I came to realize it’s a powerhouse, progressive track. It’s got a fantastic groove for the verses with a really nice acoustic guitar part that’s rather buried in the mix, which certainly adds to the feel. It also happens to be one of the few songs bassist Jason Newsted got credit for writing.

Fixxxer (from Reload)

A song Metallica has never played live, Fixxxer is found buried as the very last song on 1997’s Reload album. However, it’s worthy of being the second or third song on that record. On James Hetfield’s handwritten lyrics from June 4, 1997, he actually titles it “The Fixxxer” and for him the lyrics are very personal, dealing with his childhood and parents (“Can you heal what father’s done? Or fix this hole in a mother’s son”)and how alcohol numbs the pain of the “pins”. Like “The Outlaw Torn”, the song fades in, then slams you in the face with the main riff. It really is a shame Metallica has never played this song live.

Lords of Summer (from Hardwired. . . To Self Destruct)

Kind of lost on the latest Metallica album is “Lords of Summer”, which opens the third side of the deluxe edition collection. Hetfield’s riff, as usual, carries this galloping gem. It’s a just a good, old-fashioned, straight-up Metallica song the band debuted in 2014 at a concert in Bogota, Colombia.

Metallica’s Most Underrated Songs Playlist

Check out more of Cam Maxwell’s Rock ‘N Roll Insight.

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