Review: Master of Puppets (Remastered – Deluxe Edition) – Metallica

An exhaustive, meticulously put together 3 x LP, 10 x CD, 2 x DVD, 1 x Cassette, a Commemorative Book, a Lithograph, a folder with handwritten lyrics, and a set of 6 buttons extravaganza, this is a perfectly rendered time capsule and, easily, the greatest piece of fan service a band has ever done for one of their albums. Master of Puppets stands as Metallica’s greatest album and this remaster does it (…And) justice!

In all it’s completed time this release comes in at 11 hours and 27 minutes (roughly), there’s near half day of material here to explore. Equipped with a wall of demos, concert recordings all from the 85-87 period, Jason Newstead’s audition tapes and some candid interviews around arguably (easily) their best album, Metallica haven’t held back here cramming in so many goodies for their fans. And that’s the one thing about Metallica, love em or hate em, it’s always been about the fans.

For the purposes of this review, we’re sticking with the remastered album itself.

As for the remastering of the album, it’s as meticulous and pristine as you could’ve hoped. The albums’ original recording always stood as a dateless work, still managing to be as punchy and thunderous some 30+ years on from its original release so when you click play on this remastered and the crisp clean strum on the opening of Battery comes at you as if it was recorded this morning, a giddy excitement washes over. Then, some 30 seconds later, when the main riff kicks the door down (Battery has never lost its edge) it’s sharper, more robust and sonically fuller than ever before. The same can be said for all of the tracks that follow. Master Of Puppets sounds like you could drop it as a brand new track tomorrow and the media would go wild. The Thing That Should Not Be still hulks and haunts your ears, Welcome Home (Sanitarium)‘s evocative 80s intro and dripping atmosphere still wholly intact and sporting a cleaner vocal sound, Disposable Heroes roars (as always) with even cleaner definition in the solos, Leper Messiah keeps its chunky live jam feel without feeling like it’s been restored at all, Orion still is the perfect 8 minute embodiment of 80s metal, and slamming closer Damage Inc. gnashes its teeth just that bit sharper.

Fans will go bananas over this. And quite rightly, too. It’s a retooling of an album for the fans from the band’s biggest fans – Metallica themselves. That they’ve added what is ostensibly a total aural and written history of the album from creation to delivery to live performance is above and beyond what any other band has done in terms of reissues.

Mind blowingly grand in every way, Master of Puppets Remastered is a must have for any Metallica fan or anyone who wants to complete their music history. A stellar restoration for a stellar recording.