Most Metallica devotees are well equipped for the speedy nature of the band's licks at every turn. After all, these are the guys who thrived on having the early sounds of metal interfused with the slamming intensity of something like punk rock. Though James Hetfield's right hand rhythm is practically made out of solid steel, it sometimes pays when you kick back with something heavy.
Although not necessarily in the ballad territory, these slower turns for Metallica saw them getting increasingly dark and weird, whether because of new instruments at play or just some pitch black subject matter that leaves you with chills after you hear it. Hell, sometimes even the heavy songs can pick up the pace when they want, going from the sounds of monsters walking across the Earth to sounding like the end of the world taking place in between your speakers.
As much as we dog on him, even Lars is no slouch on these songs, often functioning as the beating heart that's gradually inching you further and further off the edge of sanity. While the idea of a slowed-down Metallica makes about as much sense as an AC/DC acoustic show, you'd be surprised as to how the greatest metal band in the world works when chilling on a more lethargic groove.
10. Minus Human
If you considered yourself a fan of any of the heavier side of Metallica, the end of the '90s must have been a pretty rough spot for you. Along with coming off of the two "sellout" records in their catalog, the influx of new covers albums and a damn collaboration with an orchestra did little to help the fact that the hardcore thrash band was long gone. Then again, sometimes when you grow up, you just trade one side of heavy for another.
While most fans remember the song No Leaf Clover from the group's S&M album with the San Francisco Symphony, Minus Human stands as the far more emblematic Metallica song from this era. Taking full advantage of the added instrumentation, the riff that James Hetfield came up with is downright diabolical, tuned to a low C# which makes the entire thing feels like it's trudging through the deepest depths of Hell. Even the backing vocals from Jason Newsted are kickass, almost like he's screaming from down in the crypt.
Granted, the song could have probably benefited from a kickass solo from Kirk, but that may have ended up taking away from the overall groove of the tune. Even though metal bands have always been known to make the primeval sounds of music heavy, this is the ultimate example of how it pays to clean up nice every now and again.