Occasionally one album can be pinpointed as the turning point in a musical genre. Kill 'Em All is one such album and, boy, did the heavy metal genre need a transfusion of new blood. Herein trad metal was stripped of its late-70s pomposity and reduced to its base element of brutal sonic force. The rhythm section of Burton and Ulrich do a masterful job, as does rhythm guitar ace and vocalist James Hetfield, on a set that owes a debt to punk as much as to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. The phantasmagorical allusions are still there in the lyrics, as are some long-winded guitar solos, but otherwise Kill 'Em All promised a creative rebirth for hard rock.