Recording information: Bobby Peru's Creamed Cabbage Refinery (02/2012-10/2012); Nu-Tone Studios, Milwaukee, WI (02/2012-10/2012).
What started as a one-shot joke back in 2007 with Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band turned into something surprisingly enduring, with Beatallica releasing three albums in quick succession toward the end of the 2000s. That seemed to wear the band out and the four-year gap between 2009's Masterful Mystery Tour and 2013's Abbey Load suggests a decrease in urgency, while the fact that not one of the 14 songs bears a mash-up title suggests a fading joke. Nevertheless, it would appear the reason the group headed back into the breach was so they could do a version of the side-two suite on Abbey Road. Most of the record is devoted to a nine-song suite and the record opens with "Come Together," raising the question of why the group didn't just cover the whole album, but what's here is perhaps the most concentrated blast of Beatallica's thrashy joke, so concentrated that the joke fades away and what's left is the aggression and technical acumen, which may be enough for some folks. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine