Category Archives: Heavy Metal

The Canon of Heavy Metal: What if Load & Reload Were One Album (Part I): Why Do We Care?

Twenty-five years later, why do Metallica’s Load and Reload continue to fuel so many “what if?” discussions?

Danny Bednar is Canada’s second greatest geographer of outer space, an amateur heavy metal musicologist, and part-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Western University. He works a 9–5 at the Canadian Space Agency and is an author with Mango Publishers. All views are his own.

Covers for Load (1996) and Reload (1997) (credit: Andres Serrano/Blackened Records)

“What if…”.

All fans have ‘what ifs’ for the discographies of their favorite bands. For the last 25(ish) years one “what if” has persisted in the heavy metal, and more specifically the Metallica, community. What if the band had edited the material that made up Load (1996) and Reload (1997) into one (masterpiece) album?

With Load celebrating it’s 25th anniversary we are likely to see more of these discussions between now and Reload’s own anniversary in 2022. While they are all in good fun, and a right of fandom, it becomes curious, why do we fans do this? What is role of these fantasy track listings?

Head over to Medium to read the full article