Steel Panther’s Satchel Compares Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ To ‘Van Halen’

Showing its influence even after 30 years of its release, Metallica’s self-titled album, more commonly known as ‘The Black Album,’ is still discussed among musicians. Recently, Steel Panther’s guitarist Satchel stated his opinions on the album by giving an example from Van Halen.

‘The Black Album’ was re-released for the celebration of the 30th anniversary in a remastered edition. To top that, they also released a cover album, ‘The Metallica Blacklist,’ with 53 artists covering songs they like from the album. Among those musicians are Miley Cyrus, Elton John, and Cage the Elephant.

An album this celebrated also opened a lot of discussions within the rock and roll world. Steel Panther’s guitarist Satchel commented on the album and stated how great the heavy sounds of the album are. For the guitarist, it is just like Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ and Van Halen’s self-titled debut album.

First, he commented on Kirk Hammet’s guitar skills by stating:

“After the second refrain in The Unforgiven, there’s a solo where Kirk switches from Mixolydian to harmonic minor and hits the raised seventh over the minor five chords.

Anyone who has studied music knows that even though this should create enough dissonance to make [Steel Panther singer] Michael Starr shit his diaper, the scooped mid-frequency of the guitars makes it possible mathematically to raise the volume to well over 150 dBs in your car, assuming your stereo is like mine and achieve the ability to wake most neighbors within a three-mile radius.

Then he commented on how similar they are with Van Halen’s debut album by saying:

“Listen… I don’t know what the best moment is on this album, and that’s the point. That’s what makes this record awesome. Do you think James’ grandma ever told him he had a beautiful voice? He didn’t give a fuck. He sang anyway. Do you think Kirk gave a fuck that he wasn’t as technically advanced as Steve Vai? No. This is what being in a band is – four guys who are more together than apart.

When I listen to ‘The Black Album’ I hear songs that are simple, heavy, and awesome. It’s still inspiring, just like Van Halen’s debut, just like ‘Nevermind.’ And just like those records, it makes us mere mortals feel like we can achieve awesomeness with enough determination and practice and maybe… Bob Rock.

This album was a threshold in Metallica’s career. There was a big switch in the band’s genre since they had a thrash metal sound in their previous albums. With this album, the band shifted towards a more clear, refined, and heavy sound by working with Mötley Crüe producer Bob Rock.