One may find odd to include Metallica in a series of balladeer bands, but there was a time when Metallica were really something to care about, and their few ballads were the real deal in terms of heavy ballads. Well, I mean, zillion years ago.
In fact, I think that it is not because of the bunch full of mistakes Metallica committed during the years that one may disconsider their glorious past. And Metallica’s past is really something to care about. It would be a big mistake.
That said I will consider ballads until “Metallica,” best known as “The Black Album,” which is in my opinion the last Metallica’s album. There are not many ballads to consider, but the ones they did deserve the pantheon of the gods. So, let’s go:
“Fade to Black” arose a lot of talk, and attention. How dare a thrash band record a slow song! To many “Fade to Black” is not only a ballad, it is the ballad. Strong as a good coffee. Beautiful as the sunset. Dark as the lyrics.
The real truth is that “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” is not really a ballad, its lyrics are too acid, but Hetfiled, Burton, Hammet, and Ulrich’s instrumental mastery goes beyond. In my opinion, the best lyrics about madness.
If memory serves me right, “One” from “…And Justice for All,” is Metallica’s first video to be recorded, and the first one to be viewed at MTV. It was a real blast.
From the beginning, “Metallica” was a very controversial album. It sold millions and led Metallica to stardom, but, as a counterpart, in terms of music, the band was over. “The Unforgiven” included definitely Metallica at MTV and commercial radios. “Nothing Else Matters” followed the same path.