This website does readability filtering of other pages. All styles, scripts, forms and ads are stripped. If you want your website excluded or have other feedback, use this form.

Master of Puppets - Metallica | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic


Album Pick

Discography Browser

  • previous
  • next

Release Date







Heavy Metal Speed/Thrash Metal Hard Rock

Recording Date

September, 1985 - December, 1985

Recording Location

  • Sweet Silence Studio, Copenhagen, Denmark
Submit Corrections

Album Moods

Aggressive Angry Boisterous Brash Energetic Exuberant Malevolent Raucous Reckless Rousing Rowdy Crunchy Epic Fierce Suffocating Cerebral Earnest Fiery Intense Rambunctious Theatrical Tough Bitter Bleak Confrontational Gloomy Gritty Hostile Menacing Nihilistic Rebellious Searching Tense/Anxious Uncompromising Visceral Dramatic Harsh Ominous Cathartic Volatile

Album Themes

Hanging Out Scary Music Cool & Cocky Drinking Maverick Revolution Victory


Master of Puppets

  • AllMusic Rating 10
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

AllMusic Review by Steve Huey

Even though Master of Puppets didn't take as gigantic a leap forward as Ride the Lightning, it was the band's greatest achievement, hailed as a masterpiece by critics far outside heavy metal's core audience. It was also a substantial hit, reaching the Top 30 and selling three million copies despite absolutely nonexistent airplay. Instead of a radical reinvention, Master of Puppets is a refinement of past innovations. In fact, it's possible to compare Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets song for song and note striking similarities between corresponding track positions on each record (although Lightning's closing instrumental has been bumped up to next-to-last in Master's running order). That hint of conservatism is really the only conceivable flaw here. Though it isn't as startling as Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets feels more unified, both thematically and musically. Everything about it feels blown up to epic proportions (indeed, the songs are much longer on average), and the band feels more in control of its direction. You'd never know it by the lyrics, though -- in one way or another, nearly every song on Master of Puppets deals with the fear of powerlessness. Sometimes they're about hypocritical authority (military and religious leaders), sometimes primal, uncontrollable human urges (drugs, insanity, rage), and, in true H.P. Lovecraft fashion, sometimes monsters. Yet by bookending the album with two slices of thrash mayhem ("Battery" and "Damage, Inc."), the band reigns triumphant through sheer force -- of sound, of will, of malice. The arrangements are thick and muscular, and the material varies enough in texture and tempo to hold interest through all its twists and turns. Some critics have called Master of Puppets the best heavy metal album ever recorded; if it isn't, it certainly comes close. [In 2017 the band released a massive expanded edition of the album with a variety of physical package options, the most ambitious of which was an exhaustive box set that included a hardcover book, outtakes and previously unreleased interviews, three LPs, ten CDs, a cassette, two DVDs, a lithograph, a folder with handwritten lyrics, and a set of six buttons.]

Track Listing

Title/ComposerPerformerTimeStream 1 Battery James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 5:10 Amazon 2 Master of Puppets Cliff Burton / Kirk Hammett / James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 8:38 Amazon 3 The Thing That Should Not Be Kirk Hammett / James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 6:32 Amazon 4 Welcome Home (Sanitarium) Kirk Hammett / James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 6:28 Amazon 5 Disposable Heroes Kirk Hammett / James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 8:14 Amazon 6 Leper Messiah James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 5:38 Amazon 7 Orion Cliff Burton / James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 8:12 8 Damage, Inc. Cliff Burton / Kirk Hammett / James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich Metallica 5:08 Amazon blue highlight denotes track pick