Unlike much of the music I recommend for Soundtrack Saturday, you don’t just casually play Metallica S&M for your RPG sessions. It’s like listening to Wagner for any length of time–you have be in the right mood.

You must save it for one of the following special occasions:

  1. The characters go off to a war/battle from which they might never return (“For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “One,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “No Leaf Clover.”)
  2. Cthulu rises from the depths… or maybe the lame Tarrasque emerges from the earth. (“Call of Ktulu,” “The Thing that Should Not Be.”)
  3. The characters discover a powerful artifact (“The Ecstasy of Gold”)
  4. The artifact drives them to kill each other (“Sad But True,” “Master of Puppets,” “Battery”)
  5. The entire group contracts lycanthropy (“Of Wolf and Man,” “Wherever I May Roam.”)
  6. A paladin turns to the dark side.(“Devil’s Dance,” “Bleeding Me,” “The Outlaw Torn.”)
  7. The epic showdown between the player-characters and their arch-nemesis: a hated villain which had plagued the group since the beginning of the campaign. (“Ecstasy of Gold,” “Call of Ktulu,” and “Master of Puppets.”)

Here’s the neat thing about #7: they’re the first three of the album and blend well together. “Ecstasy of Gold” builds the  mood, “Call of Ktulu” enhances it, and “Master of Puppets” is the epic showdown itself.

You can listen to them here and here on Youtube.

Metallica S&M is available on iTunes and Amazon for about $15.