Hey! “Total Cliff” reaches one of the fastest songs of Metallica. “Metal Militia” bass review with bass tab, here we go!
As it’s been before with other Metallica stuff, I underrated “Metal Militia” bass line. I always loved its main riff, but never tried to play the whole song. So some discovers happened.
“Metal Militia” consists of 3 riffs and a few variations of those: intro/chorus, main/verse, pre-chorus. That’s it. So this review is going to be short.
First of all, there’s no master bass track for “Metal Militia”. I found 14 ones, including “Disposable Heroes” – next Total Cliff review. Cliff was not happy about how his bass sounded in “Kill ‘Em All”. Nevertheless, bass in the album is the most distinct to catch and tab. So I listened to Metal Militia, and… I’m not so sure about the way I play it! Some bass notes are kind of drowned in guitar riffs. It indicates how well Cliff did his rhythmic job.
Intro/chorus riff is classic thrash. It’s practically impossible (I’d rather say incongruously and senselessly) to bassist doubling the tremolo by fingers. Our mission is to be the rhythm link between drums and guitar. Cliff played such moments using gallop and/or 8th notes. You can hear it in “Whiplash”, “Fight Fire With Fire” and other built-around-tremolo songs. Here’s his probable resolution for “Metal Militia” bass (it gives more attack for 3-5 and 6-5):
Verse riff – I guess, THIS is “Metal Militia” main riff. It’s my favorite one from whole “Kill ‘Em All”. Complicated and not so difficult to play at the time. Cliff’s doubling the riff in pre-verse, on verse he’s playing simpler version to leave room for vocals. Last three notes 7-6-5 are close to triplets:
This is the bass bridge to interlude:
And here is the mind-breaking passage (subscribed in “Metal Militia” bass tab as “WTF???”):
Here’s Metallica “Metal Militia” bass tab to download (get it if you are a member of AVanguard):
Mission complete 12 of 32. We have much more to discuss in next Total Cliff reviews, “Disposable Heroes” and “The Call of Ktulu”. R.I.P., Cliff Burton \m/
In addition, I release my “An Introduction To Bass” soon. Join AVanguard to get the stuff and be a part of our discussion \m/