13 musicians declaring their undying love for Metallica’s Master Of Puppets

Slayer’s Kerry King and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor on either side of Metallica’s Master Of Puppets sleeve
(Image credit: Gary Wolstenholme/Venla Shalin/Redferns)

The greatest metal album of all time? Master Of Puppets has got to be up there. Metallica’s third album stands as a genuine landmark on many levels. It didn’t just represent a great leap forward for the band themselves, it marked a sea change for the metal scene as a whole, bringing thrash into the mainstream and proving that success didn’t mean compromise.

More than 35 years after its release, Master Of Puppets remains as significant as ever. Aside from its impact on wider culture (this is the bit where we mention Stranger Things), the album’s fingerprint on metal is indelible – its DNA in fused into that of successive generations of musicians. Here are just some of the people who have rightly celebrated the genius of Master Of Puppets.

Metal Hammer line break

Corey Taylor (Slipknot)

“Bar none, Master Of Puppets is the quintessential metal album. Metallica have melody and ferocious riffs in abundance and every riff, every vocal, every drum beat, every performance, every second of that album is fucking perfect. Top to bottom, it is probably in my top two albums ever made.” (via Metal Hammer)

Tobias Forge (Ghost)

"This is one of Metallica's darker songs, almost more in line with death metal… Definitely not the norm if you listen to the catalog. It's slightly different in tonality, which makes it stand out and makes it super heavy and evil. Very Lovecraftian lyrics. This song has been a huge inspiration of mine for over 30 years.” (via Apple Music)

Brian ‘Head’ Welch (Korn)

“I’d say Master Of Puppets just the ultimate metal album to me. As far as ‘heavy’ and ‘really catchy’ goes, it’s definitely the best. It’s also got those great, long songs that take you on a big journey, super in-your-face but they’re super-melodic, too. Master Of Puppets has got massive hooks but it also hits you super-hard.” (via Metal Hammer)

Matt Heafy (Trivium)

“Metallica’s Master Of Puppets was not only ahead of its time; but it was a foreshadowing of things to come in metal – thanks to Metallica forging the blueprint. Master is absolutely an album you can hand someone who has never heard Metal before, and say, ‘This is what Metal sounds like.’ In terms of being a metal record, everything is perfect. Instruments, vocals, recording quality – it has an influence that is still prevalent to this day. It is a timeless work.” (via Metal Hammer)


“I was introduced to it kind of blindfolded. I had a cousin who taped it for me on a cassette. I listened to it over and over, to the extent that when I heard some of those songs later in life, I would experience similar smells that I experienced at the time. I went from traditional heavy metal to this.” (via Metal Hammer)

Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates)

“You can’t find any faults on Master Of Puppets. It’s one of the records At The Gates will go back to sometimes, especially when it comes to checking how we are getting on. It’s a fully realised album in every way; the sequencing of the songs, the dynamics… that’s the kind of stuff we’ll look at ourselves: ‘Does our record build like Master Of Puppets builds?’ For me, it’s the best Metallica record and a classic in its own right.” (via Metal Hammer)

Carpenter Brut

Master Of Puppets has to be Metallica’s most iconic era. They had these huge tombstones on stage and this huge set-up and Cliff Burton’s influence on the band is so clear in their sound. It’s the last Metallica thrash album, so maybe the last real album. It’s a bit harsh to say that, but I’d love to know how they would have sounded around The Black Album if Cliff was still alive.” (via Metal Hammer)

Steve-O (Jackass)

“That was a moment in time that was riddled with angst for me. I remember trying to cope with hormones and being overpowered by urges to have sex and shit like that, and all the angst that came with puberty and sexual desire was really alleviated by the brutality of Master Of Puppets.” (via Metal Hammer)

Kerry King

“Without a doubt, my favorite Metallica song would be Damage, Inc. [from Master Of Puppets]. It just sounds like something I would've wrote. I remember when that came out and thinking to myself, ‘Man, I wish I would've wrote that riff.’ I love that song." (via Revolver)

Devin Townsend

“When Master… was released, it was a paradigm shift for me and the people around me as the stage had been set for them to really continue their momentum and they delivered in every way. Even the tonalities they chose, intentional or otherwise, were of such a foreign and antagonistic quality that it stood alone in a sea of fantasy inspired and image-centric heavy metal… Master Of Puppets is one of those rare, iconic albums that stands alone.” (via Billboard)

Troy Sanders (Mastodon)

"We are literally here because they existed. I decided that being a bass player, feeling the rumble and living that lifestyle would be the coolest thing on Earth. So I taught myself to play by jamming along with Metallica's records, they were like Bass Playing 101. Now, it feels like everything's come full circle." (via Guardian)

Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge)

Welcome Home (Sanitarium) was the song that made me want to listen to that record. I was looking up to both [James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett] – I never focussed solely on guitar solos or anything, and it was just the song as a whole.” (via Kerrang!)

Kirk Hammett (Metallica)

Master Of Puppets is my favorite album. Everyone was kind of settled into their roles. Everyone was playing well. We knew what we were striving for. We knew what we could do. We knew each other’s playing well. We knew our strengths. And it just kind of all culminated on this album.” (via Revolver)

Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.