METALLICA Is Preparing Deluxe Versions Of 'Load' And 'Reload'

February 3, 2022

METALLICA is preparing deluxe remastered versions of its "Load" (1996) and "Reload" (1997) and is reaching out to its hardcore fans for help to get content for the new editions.

Says the band in an e-mail blast to members of its fan club: "We're working our way through the catalog to bring you the comprehensive Deluxe Box Sets we've come to love. And now it's time to get started on 'Load' and 'ReLoad'!

"As you may remember, we asked you for help in putting together the first five box sets and, to make sure there's a fan footprint on all of these releases, we'll be doing that again!

"We're looking for anything and everything you might have from August 1995 through September 1998: live photos (taken by you!) or snaps from a meet & greet, flyers, ticket stubs, backstage passes, and whatever other mementos you may have from that time.

"Make your mark on these albums by emailing us at [email protected] to share your story and receive more info about submitting these little pieces of history. Nothing is too small or trivial; share your archives with your fellow fans and have some fun walking down memory lane with us!"

Released in 1996, "Load" marked a new direction for METALLICA, featuring what one critic has described as "a fresh take on LYNYRD SKYNYRD-tinged boogie rock for the 1990s."

Although "Load" and 1997's "Reload" were warmly received by critics at the time, they've since taken their place among the most reviled work of METALLICA's career.

In a 2013 interview with Revolver magazine, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich said that "Load" and "Reload" are "great records" that "are creatively on par with every other record we've made. Obviously, they're bluesier records, and at that time, we were listening to a lot of LED ZEPPELIN, DEEP PURPLE and AC/DC, and we had a different kind of foundation than records before or after," he said. "And I understand that there are people who couldn't quite figure out what was going on with the haircuts and the rest of it, and that's fine. But musically, if you strip all that other stuff away, if you just listen to the 27 songs — 'Load' and 'Reload' were intended as one double-record — it's a great collection of songs that is on par with everything else that we've done creatively."

METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield has repeatedly expressed his dislike of the "Load" album cover and its inspiration, telling Classic Rock magazine in a 2009 interview: "Lars and Kirk [Hammett, guitar] were very into abstract art, pretending they were gay. I think they knew it bugged me. It was a statement around all that. I love art, but not for the sake of shocking others. I think the cover of 'Load' was just a piss-take around all that. I just went along with the make-up and all of this crazy, stupid shit that they felt they needed to do."

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