Phil Anselmo Calls Metallica’s ‘Load’ a ‘Terrible Record’
Phil Anselmo named Metallica’s sixth album Load as an LP that should never have been made.
The former Pantera frontman slammed the 1996 release in an interview about “the music that made him the man he is,” soon after Lars Ulrich had said its artwork was one of his personal favorites.
Asked to name “the album that should not be,” Anselmo told Metal Hammer: “I would have to say Load by Metallica. I mean, it’s a terrible record, man. I just don’t get it. If you’re gonna put out a record like that, just do a fucking side-project or something, ya know?”
Meanwhile, he revealed Kiss’s Alive! was the first album he’d bought, and said it was an underrated work. “When people listen to Kiss’s body of work and reflect on their 40-plus years, it can be a little embarrassing,” he explained, “but honestly that first live recording is a very powerful rock album that should not be overlooked.” He went on to say Judas Priest’s British Steel was an LP that defines heavy metal. “Case in point, listen to ‘Rapid Fire’ and the way Rob Halford delivers, the lyrics, the riffs… it’s the epitome and blueprint for what Slayer would bring later. You can’t go wrong with that one!”
Anselmo listed Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power as the work he was most proud of, and said he wanted U2 played at his funeral – “something as gothic and tragic as possible… something like ‘Drowning Man,’ which is on War.”
Metallica’s Ulrich last week hailed artist Andres Serrano’s sleeve art for Load and its 1997 companion Reload, works titled “Semen And Blood III” and “Piss And Blood XXVI” respectively. “They will always hold a special place in my heart,” the drummer told Maxim. “I love him as an artist. I love the imagery. I love the fact that we saw Serrano through as the cover art for those two records. Those are probably my two favorites."
In 2017, frontman James Hetfield described Load and Reload as compromises that “didn’t pan out as good as I was hoping,” although he said he had no regrets about going along with his colleagues’ vision for the albums.