Metallica's "Kill 'em All" Record

Metallica's "Kill 'em All" Record

"The true birth of thrash metal", is what some call this wild piece of music history. "Kill 'em All" was the debut album by Metallica, released in 1983.

Pretty much all riffs on this album were created by Dave Mustaine (now singer/guitarist of Megadeth) as he was the original guitarist for Metallica. Supposedly, Lloyd Grant played guitar on some demo of "Hit The Lights", but the original 1982 lineup of this band before the album was:

James Hetfield -- rhythm guitar/vocals

Ron McGovney -- bass

Dave Mustaine -- lead guitar

Lars Ulrich -- drums

Metallica's "Kill 'em All" Record

But before I say any other words, let me at least say that THANK GOD James got rid of his weird 1982 style and took on the more metal look. I mean would anyone have taken him seriously if he was making thrash music yet had a more glam-ish look?

Metallica's "Kill 'em All" Record


Hetfield and McGovney were originally in a garage band together right before Metallica, called Leather Charm. Once Hetfield and Ulrich first met up and pieced Metallica together, they all thrived mainly on song covers from different bands, one of their main influences was Diamond Head. On early demos, James' voice definitely has the influence of Diamond Head to it big time. Their first demo, called "No Life Till Leather" included the songs "Hit The Lights", "The Mechanix", "Motorbreath", "Seek and Destroy", "Metal Militia", "Jump In The Fire", and "Phantom Lord". To be honest I could be wrong that this is the first demo, because there is also a demo that is from McGovney's garage recordings.

For some who don't know about "The Mechanix", this song was a blueprint of "The Four Horsemen", except lyrics are completely different. The version on "Kill 'em All" is obviously about the biblical story of the four horsemen. "The Mechanix" is a song with a double meaning. Its made where it seems like its a song about working on a car, but the fact is, its really a sex song. It includes all the same riffs that are in "The Four Horsemen", and when Megadeth first came about, they made their own version of "The Mechanix".

Eventually Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica (please everyone don't get into a fight with me about this) due to heavy drinking and substance abuse. During practices he apparently had more aggressive type behavior. Around this time, Kirk Hammett was in his own band, Exodus.

Metallica's "Kill 'em All" Record

What I said about James' weird style goes along with Kirk here too. To me, Kirk, Jeff, and Tom all look like they should really be in the band The Runaways instead of Exodus! Anyway..

Kirk was in the band for about a year until Metallica called him up to see if he would join them. They also brought on Cliff Burton (R.I.P) who was originally in the band Trauma, once Ron left Metallica.

Metallica's "Kill 'em All" Record

Then they went on to create their first album, "Kill 'em All" . Really they wanted to name it "Metal Up Your Ass" but producers didn't like that. This is what the famous album could have looked like.

Metallica's "Kill 'em All" Record

Goes to show how young these guys were when they got involved in music, when they want to create an album cover that can be a little comedic. Not that its bad though. I even thought the name was better than what it changed to.

"Kill 'em All" is really an "in your face" type thing. It also includes a bass solo from the mighty Burton himself. I will say that Dave Mustaine had solos in the demos that were even more wild than Kirk's, but still. I bought a copy of this CD about a year ago in a little record store near me. I listened to it later on, on the way home in the dark. I remember when that first track came on, I was amazed. How it just faded in to total mayhem. That's how I felt with every song really. I mean at first the bass solo, "Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)", I skipped. Too long for me. But now I love it too. "Motorbreath" I play a whole lot, I've always been fond of songs that have to do with cars and speed, because I love that type of stuff. I'm into hot rod cars and racing. This song also played over the speakers when I was at the venue to see Anthrax, this was played before the show started.

All other songs on here truly kick ass. If I put explanation into each of them, I would run out of room here. I recently learned how to play "Jump In The Fire" on guitar. It ended up giving me carpal tunnel for a little while, though I know that's not the most wrist - breaking song out there. This album is a favorite of mine, along with the Black album that came along in the later years. For a person who may not like all of Metallica but likes thrash metal, this album could be one they'd like. One of the many albums in my collection I'm proud to have.

Thanks to all the fellow metalheads here for reading! I am constantly making metal myTakes, so pretty soon there should be more. We'll see what comes next. : )

I recommend you guys and gals check out some of the early demos of Metallica, on youtube there's plenty. Its cool to see how their early music evolved. Stay metal my friends \\m//

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  • Good take! Having lived through the era, let me elaborate upon your question a bit further:

    "But before I say any other words, let me at least say that THANK GOD James got rid of his weird 1982 style and took on the more metal look. I mean would anyone have taken him seriously if he was making thrash music yet had a more glam-ish look?"

    1982 was the cusp of a new era. A lot of 1970's arena rock and 1970's glam still persisted, and the then underground hardcore punk subculture was just starting to influence metal music like Metallica.

    • thanks for the extra info! you're totally right about that. and yeah I've always heard the early influence of hardcore punk in thrash metal, especially early metallica, they both got that same wild energy. thanks for reading!

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What Guys Said 2

  • Good Take.
    Imagine you are a teenage in 1983 And this album came out !!!
    The birth of Thrash Metal !!!

    Metal Militiaaaaaaaaa !!! \m/

    • hell yea, I swear I was born in the wrong generation! thanks for reading. keep those horns high!!! \m/

    • Show All
    • But I must add that in those days radio was still dominated by Boomer holdover music. Some of which was great, but Metallica really DID NOT get mainstream (non-college) radio airplay until "And Justice For All" (1988). Even "Master Of Puppets" (1986), which broke the Hot 100 in terms of album sales, had to do it with virtually NO mainstream radio airplay.

    • @Curmudgeon The "Justice" album was the very first metallica album I ever got. I was 14, and it blew me away. I've heard that the band is thinking of remastering that and the black album. I don't think they should do it with the black album, but it would be interesting to see how "... And Justice For All" would come out if it was done. maybe the bass would actually be heard XD

  • Wowww great take !!!

    The originality of thrash metal \m/ !!!
    Seek & Destroy baby !!!


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