Metallica – “Kill ‘Em All” Boxset

Metallica formed in 1981, exploded on the scene/released their “No Life ‘Till Leather” demo in 1982, which led them to releasing their first official full length album, “Kill ‘Em All” in 1983.

The purpose of this article isn’t to really review the album, as it’s a classic. If you’ve clicked the link, I’m sure the majority of you reading this have heard the album and hold it close to your heart. I’m posting this to share the excellent work put into this box set (and the video at the end of this article). I’m completely floor with all the work put into this and the book itself is just an amazing price of admission.

The box set features all the stuff below shown in the pictures. I’d retype it, but I’m sure just clicking the pictures will be just as efficient for you.

The CD is a remaster and sounds fantastic. It doesn’t have the bonus tracks “Am I Evil?” or “Blitzkrieg,” like the Elektra reissue to probably keep it as close to the original as possible (same with the vinyl), although this is in a cardboard digipak style sleeve and not a jewel case.

The vinyl is another replica of the original release. I cranked this album the night I got it in and I had no issues with sound quality, extra noise, vinyl “popping” or “crackling.” The attention to the remaster here is totally evident. I think this is the best the album has ever sounded. I’m one that usually likes first pressings as I’m acustomed to what they sounded like, but when you really take the time to remaster albums – like the recent Led Zeppelin reissues – it really shows. I think everything is perfectly balanced.

One of the bonus LPs here is this set live in Paris, France.  As of the time of writing this, I haven’t enjoyed it yet as I put it on and it skips like a motherfucker due to a huge scratch on Side A and scratching on Side B. I filled out a return to Amazon claim the next morning as when you’re paying this much money of a set, you want everything in pristine condition (and actually listenable).

I love the replica of the “Jump in the Fire” picture disc. While I rarely ever play picture discs due to their surface noise, I love the look of them. I remember seeing this hanging in music stores as a kid, too. I’m not sure if this is a 100% replica as I’m not sure what was on the back of the original or other releases. I have to also mention the download card at the bottom of the album. For every vinyl in this set, Metallica also included a download card. THANK YOU! Every band should be doing this for every vinyl release.

Before looking at the other CDs/DVD included in the set, I wanted to break it up by showing a picture of the large patch included. I so want to find a denim vest now to put all my patches and buttons on it.

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The box set comes with more live sets during the time they were touring this album, plus first time heard demos and rough mixes. Add a live DVD of a show and it’s just more and more Metallica goodness!  Click on the pics below to see the set lists and what’s included on each. The rough mixes and the vault releases are really rough, as expected, but that’s what gives them the charm: hearing a band grow from unknowns and developing as musicians. And no, Dave Mustaine isn’t featured in any of the live recordings or the DVD.

The book that comes with this set (and the Ride the Lightning set) is simply awesome. There is so much history here covered by people who worked closely with the band during this era that it really puts things into perspective. I bet there are fans out there who would probably not want to buy any of the audio included here but would like to get a hold of this book. Perhaps if they do their discography up until the Black Album like this, they could combine the books for all five sets into one.

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I have to say that I wasn’t expecting the quality and how much material that is actually included in the set until I got it. Yes, you read it but until it’s in front of you, that’s when it all sinks in. To say this is worth the money is totally obvious in my mind, but for others, it may not be. I think there was care put into figuring out everything to include in here and the remastering process. I CANNOT wait until they do this for their other albums, especially ...And Justice For All as that’s my fave Metallica album.

Thanks for reading this and I will be doing the same for the Ride the Lightning box set.

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