Metallica was up to the task of performing at Ozzfest this year, for they commanded the attention of the massive stadium. Robert Trujillo was rocking for over two hours with drummer Lars Ulrich, singer/guitarist James Hetfield and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, all of whom brought forth a power that made the audience forget that there were other performers at the concert event. Metallica can easily be described as one of the hardest working metal bands, and Robert Trujillo may be the hardest working metal head of the entire band.
It had been years since Trujillo took the place of Jason Newsted. Robert Trujillo was brought up on Motown, with a sprinkling of Black Sabbath and Rush. In the early 90s, he formed the thrash band Suicidal Tendencies and the funk-metal band Infectious Grooves. After suicidal tendencies, the aggressively thumbed bass guitarist played in the Ozzy Osbourne band for seven years. Overall, Trujillo was renowned for his metal-funk music and his talents on the bass. The overall heaviness of his playing and his monster like persona, combined with his studious work ethic, made him the perfect choice for the role as Metallica's bassist.
As documented in Some Kind of Monster, Robert Trujillo joined Metallica as it was growing and evolving. Despite that, however, it had to have been difficult for the artist to take the mantle of bass guitarist for Metallica. The legend of Cliff Burton would cast the largest shadow, and for 15 years, Newsted had made his mark. With the release of the album Death Magnetic, it became apparent that Robert was up to the task, as his bass playing worked to bind together the power of the Metallica sound. The album demonstrates a good deal of Trujillo's subtle influence in terms of funk, but the album is by all means a pure metal album.
Trujillo's style of play involves an advance and self developed method of finger style technique. His predecessor was almost exclusively a pick style player of the bass guitar. His technique developed to utilize three plucking fingers, in an up-down motion. He is also very talented in the art of slap bass music.
Death Magnetic will user in a return to Metallica's roots as a heavy metal band. The complexity of the album, along with strong, powerful lyrics, would seem to preclude audience participation during live play. However, the powerhouse stage presence and seamless integration of the members of Metallica, would over take the audience and cause them to lose themselves to the metal and music offered by the band as they take from their past and the new album.
Metallica is proving that it is capable of withstanding the test of time, and thanks to the heavy handed, power house bass playing provided by Trujillo, the band has gone back to their roots and produced a new mature sound that is sure to please fans. Bass guitarist Robert Trujillo most certainly was able to take on the mantle of Metallica bassist, while bringing an element of his style and groove to the mix.
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