The Great Metallica Debate — Round Six


On Saturday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum welcomes Metallica to the ranks of popular music’s all-time greats. The band did as much as any group to establish and define thrash metal, then gradually slowed down and became one of the world’s biggest rock bands. To celebrate the Frisco phenoms’ hard-won recognition, Scene presents The Great Metallica Debate.

D.X. Ferris, the paper’s designated metalhead, is moderating. He’ll introduce topics, which will be answered by Chris Akin, Classic Metal Show host and webmaster of, and Matt Wardlaw, former Metal Show host, Radio 92.3 Inner Sanctum host, and proprietor of music blog For the record, we all were into Metallica way before Bob Knight and your little sister.

Today’s topics: The band’s personal bests. What were the longtime/classic members’ best albums and moments?

Best James performance?

Ferris: The debut, '83's Kill 'Em All, saw him redefine what rhythm guitar was all about.

Akin: "Creeping Death" from Ride the Lightning. Hetfield's guitar work on this is so powerful and meshes beautifully with Hammett's playing. It's power playing in harmony without being layered like you might here in an Iron Maiden song. It's just blistering. Even today, you can hear it and know that it would sound different if recorded with modern technology, but listening to the song, you would not want to change a single note of the guitar work.