How come at the Big Four fest at Sonisphere they chose to omit heavier songs like Whiplash and Battery, while keeping ballads like Fade To Black and Nothing Else Matters? Isn't the event supposed to be a celebration of thrash metal? Enter Sandman and Fuel makes sense, with them being more modern, popular songs that are still heavy enough to mosh to (hence Megadeth including À Tout le Monde and Skin o' My Teeth). The Four Horsemen I can understand, given their history with Dave and Mechanix, but Harvester of Sorrow? Really? I think a crowd of European metalheads would rather hear Ride The Lightning or Disposable Heroes over another Death Magnetic track (I swear, they'd perform that thing in its entirety if they could).
Why did they have to go and attack Napster, and basically set up the RIAA v. Internet Piracy war? They've gained hundreds of millions of dollars with their decade-spanning career and they're all rich as hell, but for some reason, if some teens who don't have money want to listen to their songs, the band is automatically going to go poor, lose all of their money, and have nothing left? The way they think doesn't make sense.
The ethics of piracy debate has been done to death and I'm not going to re-start it here. But I will note that Metallica didn't "set up" the RIAA war, the RIAA has always been intensely focused on piracy, and indeed sued Napter themselves months before Metallica joined the fray. Metallica gets the hate because they were the recognizable name and face of the anti-piracy forces, but they were far from the only ones calling for litigation and regulation.
The true irony of the whole thing is that the reason they were suing napster - at least according to Lars and James - was because they thought that it devalued their artform and controling the songs that they put out. They weren't against Piracy per-se, in fact their whole history they've been alright with people recording their concerts(which is a rarity in modern music) and even allowed people to bring in whole tape recorders to record sets in the late 80's. It was more about allowing them to control their artform and distribute it as they like - and now their putting a bunch of free stuff on the net.
I tend to think Metallica was a little jaded by the backlash they got during the 90's and almost joined the Napster fray at least partially out of spite.
Why do people act like Load, Reload, and No Leaf Clover aren't metal? Truth be told, they sound more like Classic Metal than they ever did.
They probably meant that it's not the metal they were used to hearing from them, i.e. Thrash Metal.
Out of curiosity, could you bring up which songs from the late 90's material sounds particularly like traditional metal?
Songs like Fuel, The Memory Remains, and Until It Sleeps all sound fairly reminiscent of Sabbath style metal. heavy, but rather slow and bluesy. Although some of the stuff on those albums have an Alternative Metal, almost grunge sound to them, like Where the Wild Things Are.
Some of the songs are a little too upbeat and cheerful-sounding to fall into the Metal category. Ain't My Bitch is a good example: It has the heaviness of a metal song but lacks the seriousness of one.
Being upbeat has nothing to do with whether a song is metal or not. It's all about the riffs.
Lulu. Why? Seriously, Dave Mustaine said that he wanted to collaborate with them, so why would they willingly ignore this and go with Lou Reed instead? Why would they release a two-disc album of a guy talking over Metallica (and occasionally just ambient noise) knowing that many have already decried them as not good since the '80s, even after the release of the (rather awesome I might add) comeback album Death Magnetic? Why would they do it? Just...why?
Probably the same voice in their head that convinced them to write The Black Album. They simply love to surprise their fans and subvert expectation. Some experiments just fail worse than others. After all, any experiment is really just groping in the dark for success. That being said, stumbling into an experimentation is a recipe for failure (just because it's experimental doesn't mean it'll be good).
Wouldn't you want to try out something different after doing the same thing for 30 years?