Although Metallica released Kill ’em All in 1983 and Ride the Lightning in 1984, it was their release of 1986’s Master of Puppets that really earned them a place among metal’s elite. In fact, many artists who have come along since those early days attribute their success to the path that Metallica paved with that legendary 1986 release. Here are a few things other artists have said about the 1986 album’s influences on their own work.
Marty Friedman – Megadeth Lead Guitarist
Upon hearing their first demo, Marty says he became an instant fan, but it was the release of Master of Puppets that really caught his attention. He credits that album for opening his eyes to what could be achieved in the metal genre with the right approach. In particular, Friedman says Metallica had a talent for gaining mainstream attention without losing their raw, underground sound.
Adam Dutkiewicz – Killswitch Engage Lead Guitarist and Backup Vocalist
The first exposure Adam had to Metallica was the album …And Justice For All, which was released in 1988. The guitar playing stunned him and pushed him to discover more of Metallica’s music. He recalls being inspired, in particular, by the playing and vocals of James Hetfield. He credits Master of Puppets for inspiring his own interest in learning the guitar.
Devin Townsend – Strapping Young Lad Founder, Vocalist, and Lead Guitarist
Master of Puppets had been Devin’s first true exposure to metal music in general. He found that there was authenticity in the music that metal artists were making as he listened to the lyrics and playing that Metallica recorded for their 1986 album. While other metal artists were focusing on material imagery, Townsend says he was more inspired by Metallica’s use of abstract ideas in the creation of their music. Devin credits Metallica for bringing a sense of legitimacy to the metal genre with their 1986 album.
From Don Brautigam’s visually inspiring cover art to the thought-provoking lyrics of the songs contained on the album, Master of Puppets remains an influential album that still inspires the metal community. As younger generations discover this album and all of Metallica’s discography, their music is sure to inspire many more up-and-coming artists. Long after the band has retired from the metal scene, their influence will continue to thrive.