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Metallica – “Seek & Destroy”: Just the guitars

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Your good friend of 20-plus years disrobes, and is even hotter than you thought.

So it is with the isolated guitars for Metallica’s “Seek & Destroy”. Kill ‘Em All is one of my favorite records for guitar tones. They’re rude and biting, full of midrange, not scooped like they would be on records afterwards. Unfortunately, no professional engineer would dial up such a sound today. It takes full advantage of the twang of a standard-tuned guitar’s A, D, and G strings. They’ve got a bounce to them – hence the barbed springiness of the opening riff, teasing on those intermediate strings before making the inevitable trip down to low E.

Low E is home of the chug. We get that here in all its naked glory. That djun-djun-djun-djun, the sound of humans as machines, is the sound of heavy metal. It’s deadlier when slower. “Seek & Destroy” goes jogging in its middle, but otherwise it’s fucking relentless. Searching, searching, searching. Djun-djun-djun-djun-djun-djun-djun-djun. Open strings open wounds. Bang that head that doesn’t bang!

— Cosmo Lee

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For isolated tracks of the other instruments in “Seek & Destroy”, see Studio Multitracks.

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