ALL THAT REMAINS   frontman   Phil Labonte   says that most of the songs on   METALLICA 's   "Load"   and   "Reload"   albums are sonically very similar to any of the   NICKELBACK   albums.

Labonte   compared the legendary heavy metal band to the much-maligned Canadian rockers during a recent appearance on   "Breaking The Ice" , the new podcast hosted by former   WAAF   radio personalities at   Josh Dolan ,   Isaiah Moskowitz   and   Mike Hsu .

The singer said (hear audio below): "I wanna point one thing out about   NICKELBACK   that I think a lot of people know but they don't realize they know it.   NICKELBACK   records are   METALLICA   'Load'   and   'Reload'   sonically. If you listen to   NICKELBACK   records and you listen to   METALLICA 'Load'   and   'Reload' , almost any of the   NICKELBACK   songs could go on   'Load'   or   'Reload' , and almost any of the songs on   'Load'   or   'Reload'   could go on a   NICKELBACK   record. And just get   James Hetfield   to sing the stuff on a   NICKELBACK   record or vice versa, and you would not know the difference. And   that is not a criticism   — that is not a criticism."

He continued: "I have put a lot of thought into this. Sonically, those records are very, very close. The tones that they select, the kick drums, the drum tones… And listerally, at the time at least, they were the pinnacle of audio quality when it comes to production; there's not records that sound better than those that came out in the same era. And the songs are all phenomenally crafted songs. So me saying that is not me shitting on   'Load'   and   'Reload'   or   NICKELBACK . I just think that they literally have so many similarities that most of the songs — maybe there's a couple that wouldn't work, but the vast majority of them would be interchangeable and you'd be okay with it if you had   James Hetfield   singing [the   NICKELBACK   material]."

Labonte   added: " NICKELBACK   could   absolutely   do   'Fuel' on any   NICKELBACK   record and people would be, like, 'Fuck yeah!' They would still be jamming along, bobbing their head, being like, 'Yeah, I kind of dig this song. I like it.' They're good songs, and they're very close. I'm telling you. I fully believe this."

Released in 1996,   "Load"   marked a new direction for   METALLICA , featuring what one critic has described as "a fresh take on   LYNYRD SKYNYRD -tinged boogie rock for the 1990s."

Although   "Load"   and 1997's   "Reload"   were warmly received by critics at the time, they've since taken their place among the most reviled work of   METALLICA 's career.

In a 2013 interview with   Revolver   magazine,   METALLICA   drummer   Lars Ulrich   said that   "Load"   and   "Reload"   are "great records" that "are creatively on par with every other record we've made. Obviously, they're bluesier records, and at that time, we were listening to a lot of   LED ZEPPELIN ,   DEEP PURPLE   and   AC/DC , and we had a different kind of foundation than records before or after," he said. "And I understand that there are people who couldn't quite figure out what was going on with the haircuts and the rest of it, and that's fine. But musically, if you strip all that other stuff away, if you just listen to the 27 songs —   'Load'   and   'Reload'   were intended as one double-record — it's a great collection of songs that is on par with everything else that we've done creatively."

METALLICA   guitarist/vocalist   James Hetfield   has repeatedly expressed his dislike of the   "Load"   album cover and its inspiration, telling   Classic Rock   magazine in a 2009 interview: " Lars   and   Kirk   [ Hammett , guitar] were very into abstract art, pretending they were gay. I think they knew it bugged me. It was a statement around all that. I love art, but not for the sake of shocking others. I think the cover of   'Load'   was just a piss-take around all that. I just went along with the make-up and all of this crazy, stupid shit that they felt they needed to do."

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