Art is Dumb: Revisiting Metallica’s Load & ReLoad

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Put on your fanciest monocle and fill your belly with your finest bag of wine; today we’re discussing art.

Some Kind of Monster, the most delightful documentary in the history of hatewatching, provided us with a heartwarming scene in which Metallica co-founder Lars Ulrich packs up his collection of absurdly valuable contemporary art and then proceeds to get ripshit drunk while making a very large fortune from auctioning the pieces.

What prompted the Danish Prophet to hand off a Jean-Michel Basquiat to some hedge fund-managing asshole (I’m assuming)? He got married, had a couple of kids, and needed to get rid of his bachelor junk. I would have sold off the Pac Man machine before cleaning house of the modern classics but I’m barely a hundredaire, so what the hell do I know? This auction was the culmination of a long obsession with modern art for Lars. Along the way, his tastes shaped the image of a band very much in transition from young thrash punks to one of the biggest bands in the world.

Profit I (1982) - Sold by Lars Ulrich in 2002 for over $13 million. \

Profit I (1982) – Jean-Michel Basquiat – Sold by Lars Ulrich in 2002 for $5.5 million.

Boxer (Untitled) 1982 - Sold by Lars Ulrich in 2008 for #13.5 million.

Boxer (1982) – Jean-Michel Basquiat – Sold by Lars Ulrich in 2008 for $13.5 million.

Somewhere after creating one of the best-selling albums of all time, Ulrich took an interest in the cutting-edge and transgressive contemporary art of the 80s and early 90s. Though the band spent the latter half of the 90s releasing music that can be considered significantly more radio friendly than any other period in the band’s long history, Lars and co-conspirator Kirk Hammett pushed the visual boundaries of Metallica by working with controversial artist Andres Serrano. The result? More than 10 million CD racks in American homes proudly display artwork featuring some dude’s jizz.

Fluids.

Load introduced Metallica’s brand new logo atop a photograph of Blood and Sperm III, a mixture of bovine blood and semen pressed between plexiglas. ReLoad used Serrano’s Piss and Blood, another mixed media combination of cow’s blood and, uh, piss. Who was this strange artist and why was he so keen on working with substances that emerged via his pee hole?

Andres Serrano gained global infamy with his groundbreaking 1987 work Immersion (Piss Christ), a beautifully shot photograph of a small crucifix dunked in a tank of urine.

Piss Christ

Piss Christ (1987) – Andres Serrano

This 60″ by 40″ image has scared the goddamned bejeezus out of the religious right for the entirety of my life. Exhibits of the piece are regularly protested and the art itself is occasionally vandalized. Over the years its existence has been the go-to argument for fundies to, uh, de-fund arts in America. Though almost 30 years old, Piss Christ still enrages scores of the pious and charlatans alike. If you want to give a young Libertarian a coronary, show them Piss Christ and let them know it was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Seriously, do it.

As much as Piss Christ enraged the mainstream, it fascinated a world of artists and musicians. Fear Factory named a song after the work on their Groundbreaking album Demanufacture. The crust junkies among you will recognize the title was taken on as the moniker of Pisschrïst, Australian d-beat band. Legendary industrial band Godflesh were so taken by Serrano’s work that they hired him to direct the video for “Crush My Soul” (eagle eyed viewers will note that the video features deceased masochistic performance artist Bob Flanagan, best known for his roles in mega-disturbing videos “Happiness In Slavery” by Nine Inch Nails and Danzig‘s “It’s Coming Down”). Kirk Hammett, longtime Godflesh fan, loved the video for “Crush My Soul” and suggested that Metallica work with the controversial artist.

Or, you can let noted art historian James Hetfield break it down for you:

“Lars and Kirk 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 crap that they felt they needed to do.”

The cover of Load is easily one of my favorite album covers of all time. Regardless of your opinion of the hard rock direction of the band, you cannot argue that the visual is deeply compelling. Knowing the origin of the materials is just icing on the cake (brb barfing).

 

 

It would be a disservice to conclude any discussion of Load-era art without mentioning the video for “Until It Sleeps”, the first music video released in the two-album cycle. Directed by Samuel Bayer, auteur behind pretty much every big modern rock video of the 90s (including “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Zombie”), “Until it Sleeps” perfectly encapsulates the art of the time. The visuals are rich and expressive; they feel expensive. Harkening back to years of massive budgets and world-famous directors, the video is undeniably 90s without any horrifically dated tropes like fisheye lens or grainy filters. It is incredibly unfortunate that some of the emotional heft of this video about Hetfield losing his mother to cancer is softened by Lars Ulrich’s baffling decision to use the climax of “Until It Sleeps” as an opportunity to show off his new nipple rings.

Best of all, “Until It Sleeps” is clearly an homage to The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, a massive triptych depicting the Garden of Eden, the Earth, and a siqq rad gnarly vision of Hell. Bayer recreates some of the surreal and horrifying images used by Bosch. Unfamiliar with Bosch? The 15th century Dutch painter and likely crazy person has influenced the artwork of countless metal records since the dawn of distortion. He has been called the first heavy metal artist. You won’t find any argument from me.

boschbayer

In May of 2002, Lars Ulrich walked in to Christie’s with Basquiat’s Prophet I and walked out with a few million dollars. A year later, he and Metallica LLC would release Ja Rule collaboration “We Did It Again” for the soundtrack to Biker Boyz and the universally derided St. Anger thus putting a cap on the hard rock era of the band and ushering in the era of terrible nü-Metallica. The years since have been artistically dull, aside from a fascinatingly strange and mostly unlistenable collaboration with Lou Reed. What can we expect next? As the band approaches their 35th year of existence, perhaps they should work with an artist that can really capture the essence of their latest sound. Based on the rough demo of “Lords of Summer” that Metallica demanded fans pay $1.29 to hear, I suggest the rotting corpse of Thomas Kinkade.

kinkade metallica

(Images via, via, via, via)


***Addendum***
While compiling this piece, I was tempted to define the “Big 4” of artists from this era of the late 80s/early 90s. You’re welcome.

Damien Hirst – Critics tend to judge his output the harshest. Also worth roughly ten bazillion fucking dollars. METALLICA

Andres Serrano – Undeniable talent. Political commentary. Loathed by a large swath of the population. MEGADETH

Matthew Barney – Deep commitment to a niche that seems foreboding or even comical to a wider audience. Also previously employed the talents of Dave Lombardo. SLAYER

Chris Ofili – Arbitrarily shoehorned onto a list of 3 more-famous artists. ANTHRAX

Jeff Koons – Awful. Not good. Very bad. Beloved by the rich and the stupid. Will.i.Am

 

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Wow, learned a lot from reading this. Very informative and well written!

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

    Andres Serrano needs to hydrate more. That’s some overly amber piss.

    • Seriously. I’m surprised his next piece didn’t involve kidney stones.

    • Óðhinn

      Maybe he takes a lot of B vitamins.

  • The W.

    This is one of my favorite things Joe has written. Love that Bosch piece. Also, that Happiness in Slavery video is brutal, but it’s even more horrifying in the context of The Broken Movie.

    • Dagon

      Bosch is amazing. I second the favorite thing comment, this was a really interesting article.

    • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

      I’m yet to see it, but didn’t some guy literally asked to be killed in that video?

    • /DEAD

      • Disgustache

        They may as well not have existed to me at this period in time.

        • Welcome to the toilet, buddy.

          Also, killer name!

          GL

          • Disgustache

            Been lurking for months now. And I finally decided to Richard Ramirez this joint and break in.

          • We are all glad to have you finally show your mustache garnished mug. Welcome

            GL

          • welcome bruv!

          • Disgustache

            You bros are making me blush like a little girl. Too bad you can’t see it under this fucking champion dick broom I’m sporting.

        • Hey, welcome, mustache man!

          • Disgustache

            Thank you my lionhearted flushbrother.

        • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

          Welcome, mustachioed 70’s porno guy!

    • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

      *sings like doddering old hag* dada da da da dada da da.dada da da dada dadada da da.

    • john

      Fuck, give this man the ten thousand dollars.

    • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

      Complete with up close shot of James humping the camera.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    an overall “shift in direction”——metallica signed a record contract—with a company that had an agenda—–“to serve Clinton”—–so metallica had to “obey” their record company-
    00
    and conform with the new “political correctness”totalitarian info-grid attempt—–and debase their “vitality” (sperm)—on a pedestal
    –to control music fans—to also “obey” their record company/black op/propanda govt office

    as an act of alchemy—-

  • Rho Stone

    From his quote up there, I feel like James Hetfield and I are pretty much alike, except for the fact that he’s a millionaire and I still have my dignity.

  • RustyShackleford

    WHO PUT THIS EDU-MAH-CATED CRAP IN MY METAL?! Just kidding lol. Tight article Papa Joe, never knew anything about the origins of the art in the Until It Sleeps video so that was really interesting. Also Kinkade is disgusting BURN THAT PICTURE

  • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

    BEST DEMO EVER. LULZ WILL BE HAD.

    HEEEY NANAN NUR NUR YEAAAAH

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef0zsFRKBck

    • How did you get an audio recording of my 8th grade band????

      • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

        No idea. The guitar work is really interesting though. It’s as if the guitarist’s hands can’t completely wrap around the fretboard of the guitar. Like they were really small or something…

        Sorry lol. I really stretched for that one.

    • /fulfillsyeahquota

      GL

      • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

        What it lacks in brickatude, it makes up in YEEAAAAH.

        • Next time I record a demo I’m gonna use a combination of 12 bricks and I’m in love with da coco as my stand-in lyrics.

    • RustyShackleford

      Wait is this real

      • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

        100%

        • RustyShackleford

          Fucking priceless lol

    • you win teh Internet today

    • I get it, Hetfield wrote the lyrics first.

  • Disgustache

    Metallica totally had this conversation pre-release.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwe1o1tRmZo

  • Tyree

    Those horrendous paintings look like inflatable tube men that a kindergartner would draw with crayons. I’m approaching my artwork all wrong I guess. Sold for $5.5 million!?! Fuck off!!!

    http://i.imgur.com/MJ4DYCf.gif

    • Scrimm

      Exactly dude I have a huge box full of pictures like that first graders drew me at my old job.

    • I also very much dislike Basquiat. I have a college “friend” who majored in journalism or some shit and now he essentially makes shitty ripoffs of Basquiat paintings and has done gallery showings and shit. I just…I get irrationally angry thinking about it.

    • it’s because some upscale high brow art snob has bestowed his blessing upon it. Without that it just looks like something a five year old desecrated with crayolas.

      • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

        I always thought it looked like something Jackson Pollock would paint in the 1st grade.

    • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

      Mostly because Andy Warhol endorsed and sponsored his work, which would definitely jump up the value. Basquiat was a damn good movie though.

  • #1 article on the web

  • HessianHunter

    “Oh hey everyone, look at me, I’m Joe, I think about stuff and know about modern art movements and WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT MY HANDS, THEY ARE OF PERFECTLY NORMAL SIZE AND NO I DID NOT RECEIVE A HAND TRANSPLANT FROM THE BRIDE OF CHUCKIE, JUST SHUT UP ALREADY”

    -Joe TnK, May 27, 2015

  • This was a great post. Hetfield calling Lars and Kirk gay (or pretending to be?) has always made me lol.

    On a totally srs note, I consider Load through Lulu (discounting Death Magnetic) to be among the most artistically viable in their discography. At the time, Lars said, “this album and what we’re doing with it–that, to me, is what Metallica are all about: exploring different things. The minute you stop exploring, then just sit down and fucking die” (are we sure that wasn’t Tyree?). For as godawfulterribad as Load, Reload, St. Anger and Lulu are (and of course, they are), they are the work of artists refusing to stay complacent.

    AJFA saw Metallica getting their prog on with more complex songs and better musicianship. Like many, I think the black album was a step toward a more commercially-friendly sound. While there’s nothing wrong with it, it feels like a definite regression from the loftier aspirations of AJFA.

    Load and Reload were initially hated by fans (and with good reason. they suck, a lot) but as an artistic statement, it was the first in a series of left turns throughout Metallica’s career. St. Anger took things further, marking the band’s artistic zenith and musical nadir both at once, up to that point.

    Death Magnetic always felt like a reactionary response to the outcry of fans at Metallica’s apparent musical transgressions. Load, Reload and St. Anger each showed a band increasingly unafraid to take risks and go places their fans could (and would) hate. Death Magnetic was a bit of a throwback to their old sound but crappier, and it also gave us Unforgiven 3 :((((

    But then we get to Lulu… So much has been said already but everything about this weird shitty noise rock concept album based on two century-old German plays is bizarre and I love it in theory, even if in practice it sounds like total ass. Metallica have been around for a while, but like, say, Napalm Death, who have existed for about as long, they seem to hardly have run out of creative paths to take.

    The question, then, is “does it matter?” I consider every album from Load on to be total garbage (the St. Anger snare is a notable redeeming factor) BUT Metallica’s willingness to experiment is beyond admirable to me. Does the artistic process outvalue the aesthetic result? Sounds like a Think Tank or something.

    This has been another exciting episode of Christian Talks For Too Long About Bands He Doesn’t Like. Also, no low-blow pun on the album title and the semen on the cover? You disappoint me.

    • MoshOff

      Intresting point(s), C-Mos.

      jkjk tl;dr lol nerd

    • there aren’t enough of these episodes

      • Kevin Nash & Friends

        I agree.

    • The W.

      Featured comment.

    • Did not disappoint.
      #ChristianTalks

    • I’m a happy Link thanks to another episode of my favorite show <3

    • Dagon

      I don’t think the artistic process outvalues the aesthetic result. This is a personal opinion which may or may not be based in facts.

      You may take a 300 lbs rock and take a shit on top of it then carefully smear it all around, to experiment, and call it art. At the end of the day it’s just a shit-smeared rock. Caravaggio rolls in his motherfucking grave.

      • AAAAAND, of course, we will finally reach Manzoni in this endless discussion to realize that the concept of contemporary art can be very simple-yet-complex at the same time in some cases:

        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-byGpkonqq14/UfNiIAUsGDI/AAAAAAAACvo/5ALk5RkBm3M/s1600/manzoni1.jpg

        • Dagon

          It’s funny, I like a lot of “disgusting” music and music with questionable aesthetic value, yet I find little to be appreciated in visual arts that can be described as that. Seriously, modern art just has me at a loss most of the time, SPECIALLY when it’s abstract (ie, random paint splatters).

      • I don’t disagree. Like I said, each album has used creative new means to achieve increasingly lolzy results. Watching something like Some Kind of Monster or reading about how the album was created is fascinating. Too bad they’re stinkers in the end.

        • Dagon

          It’s a tricky question, in the end. Is there a positive aesthetic result in something like Primitive Man? The thought of music that sounds like that would be terrifying 500 years ago, yet I find myself liking it a lot.

    • OldMetalHead

      You may be correct in your assessment, however I think the value of their artistic exploration isn’t much if the albums suck. I always thought the first three albums were groundbreaking (the fourth less so), but they were solid metal albums also.

      • Yeah, see my response to Dagon. I respect them a lot for their dedication to trying new things even when critics and fans pan the results. That said, I’m with the critics and fans. That’s why I made the distinction between their “artistic zenith and musical nadir”–it seems for Metallica they can’t experiment without sucking, but staying creatively stagnant is no way to continue.

        • OldMetalHead

          I agree, but I think they could have explored creatively without going so far afield from their established sound. Maybe more evolutionary than revolutionary? I mean their sound did evolve quite a bit between Kill ’em All through …And Justice For All, but the Metallica album was a major shift and Load even more so.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            great point..

    • Guacamole Jim
    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      TLDR….lol (great post).

      Truth be told if I saw your response on MS a year ago, I would have had to open a can of whoop ass. We all would have joined in on the pile on, amiright?

    • Zeke

      First off, FANTASTIC article, Joe! Articles like this are the reason I always check this site.

      Second, I totally agree with Christian’s take on Load being artistically viable. However, I’ll go a step further and say that I actually LIKE Load. When it came out I was in full on extreme metal mode and probably wouldn’t have even given it the time of day if it was the second coming of MOP. But a couple of years ago I randomly decided to check it out on YouTube and I dug it.

      Think of it like this: I think the number one thing people strive for in any art form is a semblance of truth and genuiness. Why were the early Burzum albums so great? Because Varg was such a lunatic that you could just FEEL that he meant that shit. Same goes for In Utero; there’s no question thay Kurt meant everything on that super dark grimey album. That’s why most of us are repelled by super processed pop music. While Load was more mainstream than AJFA, those guys were getting older at that point. I’m willing to bet they weren’t thrash heads anymore. When I listen to Load, I hear genuine music. The same things that I appreciate about Load are what turn me off about Death Magnetic. As Christian said, that album sounds like a thrash album written by a bunch of old dudes that don’t like thrash.

      • john

        I am one of the few as well, that liked Load. As the sixth album in the glorious Metallica Thrash PANTHEON, it has little merit. When taken alone on its own strengths as a proggy-ish hard rock album, it’s a solid effort.

        • Zeke

          That’s exactly how I feel about it. Frankly, that’s how I feel about the black album too. Shitty thrash album; but one of the catchiest and best produced pop metal albums ever written.

    • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

      I’ve always secretly loved St. Anger. Sure that snare drum is trash, and should have been mixed differently, but the rawness and dropped tuning made it something different. I think this is one of the heaviest, rawest Metallica songs ever:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42iQZXs23ng

    • Guppusmaximus

      You hear artistic merit, I heard a tired Thrash band whose creativity died in that tragic bus accident. The Black album was probably their only true serious attempt at a change in direction. It has passion & a bit of spunk. All the other albums after that were formulaic due to their new found mainstream success with the exception of St. Anger. That album was produced because the formula was running dry and they had been absent from the Thrash scene for far too long. Being able to play your hits live to some degree of accuracy is honorable but that won’t necessarily help your song writing chops. ‘Lulu’ should have been played off as a goofy side project because there was no reason to tag that album with the name ‘Metallica’. Honestly,to analyze their fluff-laden discography any further is just an exercise in denial… Just my .02

  • I remember that I was a little kid with our first TV Cable subscription on my house and I watched some ‘tallica clips of that era, including this. Never liked them because I didn’t understood them, so I flush a lot of them with my cousins, jajaja.

    Interesting review, Joe. Didn’t knew any of this.

    I think you’re right about the videoclip direction of that song. It’s tipically 90 style, reminded me of Heart Shaped Box and those alt rock acts in which they developed an idea based on symbologies and expressionism.

  • Disqus is not updating for squat of late. Anyone else seeing this? (hahaha or not seeing this because it is not working??)

    GL

    • yeah, we have to refresh for updates now?!?! BRO

      • I’m too tired to hit F5 button.

        Get yourself, D.I.S.Q.U.S.!

    • Refreshing on a mobile device sucks, good thing I have 8 hours to kill M-F.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      Glad I’m not the only one raging at Disqus lately

  • I’m not at all religious (anymore) but I can see how Piss Christ would offend people…and also that it was probably meant to offend such people. Just the same as making such art offensive to Islam will reap a shitstorm of criticism as well.

    Serrano certainly has a right to make such art, and I applaud it for its shock-value and boldness, but others have just as much of a right as to not see their tax dollars funding things that are deeply offensive to them.

    Substitute the crucifix for something near and dear to the fringe-left and they’ll squeal just as loud as the pious fundie Libertarians.

    • I think one of the best interpretations of Piss Christ was from a Catholic nun.
      “I thought he was saying, in a rather simplistic, magazine-y type of way,
      that this is what we are doing to Christ, we are not treating him with
      reverence. His great sacrifice is not used. We live very vulgar lives.
      We put Christ in a bottle of urine – in practice.”

      http://frontrow.dmagazine.com/2011/04/a-nun-defends-serrano%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cpiss-christ%E2%80%9D-which-was-attacked-on-sunday/

      • I like it when art leaves room for individual interpretation. I doubt that’s what the artist was trying to convey though.. I actually like the reaction it got but it shouldn’t have been publicly-funded IMO. I guess if it were up to me I’d let it go because hardly any Christians will try to kill the artist and I’d be more bemused by some art glorifying Nazism coming out of my paycheck.

    • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

      Pretty sure if you made artwork offensive to Islam, it’d be alot more than a shitstorm of criticism! Don’t have to look too far for recent examples of nutjobs going apeshit over that.

    • Óðhinn

      Maybe if churches actually paid taxes, they could have more of a say in what gets funded….Hey, maybe that’s what the artist was pointing out, that Christianity holds a very privileged position in society, even at the expense of others, and maybe it’s time we started to question that. I’m far more offended that my tax dollars went to bail on a bunch of capitalist criminals who tanked the U.S. economy with basically no debate or repercussions for Wall Street fat cats.

      • I’m also offended by that but you’re missing the point. I’m talking about individuals not religious institutions.

        • Óðhinn

          How so?

          • Churches themselves aren’t complaining. Individuals, whether they attend churches or not, are.

            As I said before: I like the art. It’s meant to be shocking, controversial, and (should be) privately funded.

          • Óðhinn

            Strongly disagree on the funding question.

          • For argument’s sake: would you be down with our tax dollars funding someone’s art glorifying national socialism? I don’t think that counts as a religion even though it had much of the trappings of a religious belief system not so long ago.

            We don’t really need our gov’t funding any religious displays; neither orthodox nor those meant to provoke.

          • Óðhinn

            Good point. As long as it was a legitimate artist an it was the artist’s own point of view and he/she wasn’t forced to make that message, we would have to accept that the artist has free speech even if we disagree with the message. We can disagree, but the government should not censor, as difficult as that choice might be. Luckily for people with those types of views, the private sector usually has extreme right-wing messages covered in concert with government insiders (e.g. Fox News). I’m assuming that Piss Christ is Serrano’s own point of view and he wasn’t forced by the government to make that particular piece of art the way he did. I agree with arts funding in the sense that it gives artists a leg up to get their art out there. I don’t think the government should regulate the message and decide what the artist do once they are funded, like force them to promote national socialism or religion.

          • Also Christian institutions aren’t the only religious institutions who have tax exemption due to church / state separation. The only “privilege” they have is having the most adherents here…which makes them a predictable and played-out target for every “self-styled” rebel pretentiously avoiding all they deem mainstream. But this is rely getting OT. Not even going to get into the “capitalism” part.

  • Guacamole Jim

    I’m still amazed Piss Christ manages to generate so much controversy. I guess the mentality is different in hardcore conservative camps.

  • Dagon

    I don’t think government should fund art. Maecenas exist for this purpose.

    I am drunk. S0rry my opiñonz

    • I wish the Government would expand funding for the arts like a motherfucker. We talk about it on this very site all the time – it’s just about impossible to survive as a full-time musician. I’d love it if more talented folks got a little dough to create art free of expectations of sales and revenue.

      • Dagon

        I would love it too, but most people don’t care about art. I don’t think it’s fair to take their money and invest in something they do not care about, just as I don’t want my money being invested in things I don’t like.

        The Brazilian government started heavily funding art – the biggest paychecks go to already rich artists, people who are making movies reinforcing the ruling party’s political views and friends of the Minister Of Culture doing a one time runway show in Paris, one that 0 poor brazilians would see/care about. I don’t think it’s fair that someone who works as a janitor has to pay for that.

      • Sweden I think still does and I’m thankful for all buzzsaw guitar grind it has funded.

        • I want this tattooed gang style with gothic font in my chest.

          Thanks swedish goverment for making my playlist got monopolized by your tasty varied sounds.

        • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

          And I’m thankful for all the Aussie grindhouse films that the Aussie government has funded!

          Some parts NSFW:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLm1ppE_Ib0

        • Óðhinn

          Yes. And it’s why so much great music comes out of Sweden too.

      • Óðhinn

        Agreed and consigned.

  • That Boxer painting looks like what one would see if they saw Darth Vader while taking acid.

  • The back story to Piss Christ is very interesting. Jimmies were rustled on that one. I guess they won’t comission Poop Christ because of the controversy.

  • Yep. Still working on that whole “Self Actualization” step.

    • Dagon

      That’s a reasonable explanation for my view on art funding.

      More than 50,000 people got murdered last year in Brasil. Our education performances are shit, the economy is shit and our external politics are a joke. We have a lot of more pressing matters to solve, you know?

      • Totally. Tax dollars are far better spent solving those problems. The US has plenty of problems but I feel that we spend an embarrassing amount of money on defense and not nearly enough on education or infrastructure. And as huge as the the country is, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to increase spending on the arts just a tiny bit above nothing.

        • Does infrastructure include bricks? Say 12 of them?

          But seriously, I am totally behind your statement.

          GL

          • Actually, a lot of our money goes towards eliminating those bricks, mostly unsuccessfully.

          • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

            Or eliminating 12,000+ actual bricks in Detroit!

        • Dagon

          I can see that. The US has a ton more money than what we have, plus you guys already fair a lot better in all other indicators of quality of life. There’s definitely money to be relocated from some areas into education and what not.

      • 50,000????? Sweet Lord.

        GL

        • Dagon

          Safety is Brasil’s number 1 public issue IMO. Those levels are just unacceptable. Bear in mind this is homicide, violent deaths also include traffic accidents and some other occurrences.

          • Oooor, you can go as one of the worst examples ever (for anything): the Good Ol’ Venezuela.

            Gov here fund some art stuff (music and mostly movies), but, since we have a dirty propagandistic model of goverment, you have to shut up with all the goverment logos and political propaganda.

            And, yes, there’s a lot of death and dark things involved, of course.

          • Dagon

            Both our governments spend a lot more money on propaganda than they do on NOT BEING FUCKING AWFUL

          • The lol part is that everyone knows that they’re fucking awful, jejejeje!!

          • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

            And you guys have Caracas, which has the second highest murder rate in the world (first is some town in Honduras).

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            When my baby smiles at me I go to Rio (to get shot or kidnapped, or both)

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        Take those stats South Central L.A. You think you know murder boy?

        • Dagon

          Our “South Centrals” are much, much worse than late 80s early 90s South Central LA.

      • Hot Squirt Of Best Korea Love

        Don’t forget all the money you guys wasted and lost on the World Cup, and are about to with the Olympics.

        • Dagon

          Oh yeah, that too. Did I say fuck the Brasilian government today?

        • Óðhinn

          Good point. Quite honestly, I don’t give a fuck about soccer or the Olympics. Both organizations (FIFA and the IOC) are rife with corruption. There is too much money in sports.

  • Art is dumb….. more like art is cum

  • The W.

    Sorry homes, but we need government regulation for roads.

    • Dagon

      A lot of libertarian leaning individuals would mock you with the traditional “ma roads” or “muh roads” but I’m not an asshole. I’m at least humble enough to recognize I don’t have a “no gubn’ment” solution for this.

      • The W.

        I think a lot of things can and should be privatized. Based on my education and work experience, I’m of the opinion that infrastructure is not one of those things. The same libertarians who would say “muh roads” would be whining about astronomical toll prices in a few months.

        • Dagon

          It’s hard to think of “competing roads” or whatever that would be. Some things definitely don’t seem to work on a private level. From what I’ve studied, some of the results of the private prison system in the US are not very good either.

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          This x 1000. Luckily for me I have a company car and work pays for my tolls. I feel sorry for all the other poor suckers who have no option but to drive to work who are paying up to $200 per week in tolls. Add another $100-$150 on fuel and they’re spending $300 per week just to get to work. Traffic here in Sydney is past breaking point and the solution is to build more roads instead of better public transport. The only thing more roads will do is move the bottlenecks from one place to another.

  • This is definitely one of the best articles I’ve ever read on this here terlet. Papa “Baby-hands” Joe, you’ve outdone yourself.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Kind of ironic that their covers may have, arguably, become more controversial but their music lost its conviction.

    Sorry, but I’d get more enjoyment out of the Pac-Man machine than having to eyeball that waste of canvas (Basquiat). Holy shit, talk about the scribbles of the insane. Personally, I think Dali is far more metal than Bosch…

    • The W.

      Dali is tight too. I’m a big fan of surrealist/Dada art.

      • Guppusmaximus

        I think the optical illusions that Dali produced back as early as the 20’s (like this one) eerily reflect how technical metal has become. Unfortunately, current technical metal no longer reflects the passion that a masterpiece like this one does…

    • i’m gonna tattoo this onto my hands

  • KJM

    I would sooner have covers of 3rd grade stick figure drawings if it meant they would go back to making good music,

    • CONANtheDjentlyFuckingKING

      hey man i made a new twitter account, my name is the analog kid, sent you a tweet today in case you missed it.

  • It has been my experience that people often lob the word pretentious at bands who try to do something artistic, particularly in metal. Me, being exceptionally pretentious myself, like it when bands try to do something with artistic merit – it’s one reason why I like a lot of the art rock from the ’70s and ’80s. I’ll be honest when I say that I utterly hate Load and Reload (and pretty much everything else after that). Though I find the story behind the artwork to be interesting, I don’t find it to be visually appealing to me. These albums are still pure monkey balls.

  • Max

    VERY rad article. As for Hieronymous Bosch, I’m pretty sure his distinctive style and subject matter was an influence on the guy who painted Cathedral’s covers:

  • Ted Nü-Djent ™

    I enjoyed reading this

  • Old Man Hetfield

    lol art. Papa Het never pretended to be gay, no one would fall for it.

    #Ain’tNoBitch

  • Th’load&th’road

    “Piss”ing off the fundies is always a net good. “This next song is gonna be sensual as shit! We’re gonna unbuckle your bible belt tonight North Carolina! Somewhere jesus is sooo mad right now”- Tony Foresta Iron Reagan live in Winston Salem m/ jajajajaja
    I remember long time ago in some metal mag interview Lars saying when he had money he’d probably buy a car, just something economical with a good stereo not a rock star car like a Porsche. Guess he didn’t know just what kind of money he was a’fixin to get! As I sit here with an Arby’s stomach ache in a truck stop in bumfuck SC, about to make pee pee in a water bottle- I want to say some real judge-y shit about 5 million dollar paintings that really closely resemble (at least to my untrained eye) some native kids drawings that were for sale at a casino on a rez in central Oregon for $12 or two for $20. But I ain’t gonna cause that would be whiny and stupid.

  • Óðhinn

    Good article Joe Thrashnkill.

    Here’s the problem. While the the album cover for Re-Load is genuinely artistic piss, the contents within are a steaming turd of populist radio Rock.

  • Oscar Aguiar

    I like this article 😀

  • Lacertilian

    I find Bosch’s art profoundly interesting due to the era it was created in.
    There are very few examples of people in that time period creating such intricate pieces with the otherworldly qualities he features. Yes, there were fine artists around that period and surely there were others who had such overwhelming ideas in their mind but it appears very few had both qualities simultaneously.

  • xengineofdeathx

    Aside from bleeding me and the Outlaw Torn Load is fuckin hot garbage man. Those two songs have kind of a Sabath bloody Sabath vibe in the riffs, and seem to convey some actual emotion IMHO… But King Nothing is the most cheesedick song metallica has ever written, and I’m sure Shinedown are pissed they didn’t come up with it first. Actually untill it sleeps doesn’t really bother me either. The riff in the chorus is pure Judas Priest worship. Not much to like on this album for me though.

    • The W.

      I actually like some of the longer songs written in the Load/Reload era. The two you mentioned and Fixxer have quite a bit of weight to them.

      • xengineofdeathx

        Fixxer is way underrated. I also kinda like the Devils dance and Carpe Diem Baby. I think Metallica could have written a pretty sweet stoner metal album if they ever wanted to.

  • xengineofdeathx

    Also this post was awesome, I’m happy I found you guys. You do a way better job of taking the piss out of metal then MS, but not without some insight along the way.

    • Welcome dude! I’m happy you liked the post and glad to have you here!

  • pïgchop™

    I enjoyed reading this article – more like it would be most welcome.

  • MicHaeL

    “Art is dumb.”?…

    That statement is dumb in itself.