In honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of METALLICA's classic "Master Of Puppets" album, AOL's Noisecreep caught up with a "battery" of metal musicians from SEPULTURA to ARSIS to UNEARTH to find out how, when and where they first experienced this most important of records. A couple of excerpts follow below.Andreas Kisser (SEPULTURA): "I was with a female friend of mine who loved metal and had the access to get imported albums. She came to my house one day with 'Master Of Puppets' under her arm. I heard it and was in complete shock. I remember the first song I liked was 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)'. This was in 1986 and it was a privilege for a Brazilian to hear that album in those days." Ivar Bjørnson (ENSLAVED): "I was at our singer Grutle's place for a party when he put it on — I guess I was drinking sodas since I was 12 or 13 years old at the time. It wasn't the first METALLICA album I heard — in my defense, I was 8 years old when 'Master Of Puppets' originally came out. Anyhow, Grutle played it in connection with hanging out at his place sometime in 1990 — I think." Chris Barnes (SIX FEET UNDER): "The first time I heard 'Master Of Puppets', I was a senior in high school, and singing and writing for my first original band, LEVIATHAN, and living outside of Buffalo, New York. The previous year I had the privilege to see METALLICA play live on the 'Ride The Lightning' tour at the Salty Dog in Buffalo, in the middle of a massive blizzard, with 50 other crazed fans who risked their lives getting to that concert. I stood five feet in front of Cliff Burton for the entire show — I'll never forget it." Trevor Phipps (UNEARTH): "I think was in the 3rd or 4th grade when that album came out and my friend had an older brother that would always bring home metal tapes and vinyl to listen to after school. It was one of the albums we would listen to while playing video games in the living room. Hearing 'Master Of Puppets' and IRON MAIDEN's 'Number Of The Beast' for the first times are very vivid memories for me as I am pretty certain I remember where I was sitting the first time I heard each of those albums. It is safe to say that 'Master Of Puppets' was one of the albums that changed my life." Read more musician accounts at Noisecreep.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, it was 25 years ago this month that METALLICA released its epic third studio album, "Master Of Puppets". The disc was released on March 3, 1986 and was produced by Flemming Rasmussen, who also produced 1984's "Ride The Lightning" and 1988's "...And Justice For All" for the band. In an interview with Phoenix New Times, Rasmussen was asked if he knew the album was special while he was working on it. He replied, "Oh yes. Right from the demos, we pretty much knew this was gonna be a killer album. I think we all felt that this was gonna be the best METALLICA album yet, as we had a bunch of really strong songs. Even the instrumentals were awesome."
"Master Of Puppets" was the last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a tour bus crash in September 1986 and was replaced by Jason Newsted. Rasmussen said about Burton, "He was surely one of a kind, and even though Jason is a great bass player, it was impossible to fill out Cliff's shoes." Many fans consider "Master Of Puppets" METALLICA's greatest album, which the band itself acknowledged when it played the record in its entirety on a summer 2006 tour of Europe. The Pulse Of Radio asked frontman James Hetfield if the band would ever like to play another album in its entirety in concert. "It's pretty important that the fan be involved in that, you know," he said. "It was more of a fan's asking for that than us wanting to do it. You know, that was a pretty important album in our career, so pretty historic for a lot of people and that made sense. But as far as, you know -- I'd love to play any and every one of them, but you know, it does really come down to the fans really holding that dear to their heart or not." "Master Of Puppets" was METALLICA's first gold album, for sales of more than half a million copies. Many songs from the disc, including "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", "Battery", "Leper Messiah" and the title track are still part of the band's live set to this day.