Is Metallica’s “Kill’em All” A Fake?

metallica kill'em all

One of heavy metal’s most beloved and revered albums may not be what you think it is. According to musical forgery expert Dr. Elmer Hory from the Lillehammer Institute of Ersatz Studies (LIES), the version of Metallica’s first album owned by most people is actually an impeccable forgery created by a group of Metallica impersonators. “Almost every copy out there is not the real album Metallica recorded, but rather an incredibly detailed copy,” claimed Hory in his soon to be released book “Fake Hearers:  The History of Heavy Metal Forgery”.

Hory listened to the original studio tapes of the album and compared them to an actual copy of the album bought last year at his local Sam Goody music store. While nearly everything on both versions sounds exactly the same, there is one point in the middle of the song ‘Phantom Lord’ where the original has a barely audible guitar note that is not heard in the fake “Kill’em All”. Hory was only able to pick up the note after listening to the record over 800 times in a two week period, but he is certain that there is a difference.

Upon researching the roots of the album and following up on some rumors he had heard, Hory discovered Neil and Cliff Irving, two struggling musicians from Southern California who heard the record days after it was released and claim to have copied it nearly perfectly.

“We had seen Metallica at clubs for years and loved the record. We wanted to see if we could make a perfect copy of the album and sell it and make a few bucks to buy prairie dogs to feed to Neil’s pet python. The copy we made was identical down to the sloppy drumming. “

“We omitted one guitar note in “Phantom Lord” to let our friends know it was us. From there, I’m not sure how it happened, but all the copies that are out today are without a doubt the version we recorded,” said Cliff Irving, now a mattress salesman in Rancho Cucamonga, California, who moonlights as a Neil Diamond impersonator at children’s birthday parties.


While both Hory and the Irving brothers are uncertain as to how the phony album came to be known as the real one, it is clear that even the most devout metalhead is unable to tell the difference between real and fake metal. Last week, Hory played both versions for a target group of lifelong, die-hard metalheads between the ages 35 and 60 all of whom claimed to have hung out with James Hetfield “before the band got big” and everyone in the room believed he had simply played the same album twice.

If this revelation is true, it raises troubling questions about whether there is any truth in heavy metal at all. Even though Metallica created “Kill’em All”, is it not the Irving Brothers, whose version almost everyone is familiar with, that should get credit for the record’s popularity? After all, just about no one has really ever even heard Metallica’s actual recording. Just how is “real” determined in music? Elvis Presley re-recorded strikingly similar versions of Otis Blackwell’s “All Shook Up” and “Don’t Be Cruel” and those are known by just about everyone as “real” Elvis songs.

More importantly, if Metallica copied Dave Mustaine’s song “The Mechanix” and changed it to “The Four Horseman” only to have their copy copied by The Irving Brothers who were then copied by Mustaine when he re-recorded “Mechanix” on “Killing is My Business…And Business is Good”, whose song is the “real” song and which version is the “fake”?

Does it make a difference who recorded the album? If Metallica fans never read this article and never come into contact with Dr. Hory’s research, they would still believe “Kill’em All” was a Metallica album. Nothing would change.

If this article is simply some moronic joke made up some crackpot writer who can’t figure out if he wants to publish satire or armchair philosophy, but the reader thinks it’s real because they only read the title and fail to grasp the fact that the Internet is largest hi-tech illusion machine ever created, will it change the experience of the album for them? The songs certainly won’t sound any different.


Does it even matter?


Any of it?


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  1. #1 by Heavy Metal Overload on April 15, 2014 - 7:31 AM

    This is incredible news. I honestly can not tell the difference. And I used to hang out all the time with my buddy Jaymz before he got all famous and shit. You know… back in the day. Now, I doubt he’d even know who I am.

  2. #2 by Craig Norman on April 15, 2014 - 7:36 AM

    whose song is the “real” song and which version is the “fake”?

    That’s deeper than the Marianas Trench.

  3. #3 by Fried Chicken And Metal on April 15, 2014 - 9:12 AM

    The easiest way to tell whether or not you have a real copy (not likely) or a forgery (almost assuredly) is to count the “Oooh yeah-yeah’s” on the record. If there are 117, it is a forgery. If you count 532, congrats, you have a legit copy.

    • #4 by Heavy Metal Overload on April 15, 2014 - 9:48 AM

      Mine’s is a definitely fake then… and those are my favourite bits as well!

    • #5 by OldGreg on April 17, 2014 - 9:59 PM

      Bro, do you even Kill ‘Em All? Hetfield does not “Oooh yeah!” on that album. He didn’t start that till the black album.

      • #6 by Fried Chicken And Metal on April 18, 2014 - 1:18 AM

        on through the dead of night… with the four hoursemen ride… or choose your fate and die…. oh yeah-yeah…

  4. #7 by MF on April 15, 2014 - 4:35 PM

    I think the real and serious question would be… is Metallica the real Metallica?!?!

  5. #8 by Vin on April 15, 2014 - 5:15 PM

    even the tag cloud made me spit my coffee

  6. #10 by CowgirlFromHell on April 16, 2014 - 12:35 AM

    Did anyone even read the whole article?? I was waiting for you to mention Mustaine. lol

  7. #11 by Wayne Kelskey on April 16, 2014 - 7:44 AM

    Who gives a sheet! lol

  8. #12 by Robert Fairweather on April 16, 2014 - 8:14 AM

    April Fool’s Month…

  9. #13 by tommy cat on April 16, 2014 - 6:06 PM

    I knew this was fake as soon as he mentioned sam goody. they haven’t been around for years

  10. #14 by mono on April 17, 2014 - 12:10 AM

    by searching any of the names of this article, you can notice those names are all about famous hoaxers of history and past: elmyr hory, cliff irving; and of course, “the irving brothers” famous gas tycoons. hehe fake of fakes

    • #15 by Keith Spillett on April 17, 2014 - 3:24 AM

      I love readers like you! Seriously! Thanks for looking below the surface.

  11. #16 by jono on April 19, 2014 - 1:26 PM

    I find this extremely hard to believe. I dont see how a band can perfectly re-record an album to the point where nobody can tell the difference. Think for a moment how difficult that would be and all the things to take into consideration.

  12. #17 by Brad on April 19, 2014 - 6:18 PM

    I call bullshit. Everyone knows Cliff is a KING Diamond impersonator….

  13. #18 by Every Record Tells A Story on April 21, 2014 - 7:42 AM

    I have suspected this for some while. I think this Irving guy might also be the same dude that replaced Nikki Six in Motley Crue.

    • #19 by Keith Spillett on April 21, 2014 - 12:49 PM

      Ha! The Nikki Six replacement story is one of the best ever. Wish I had made it up.

  14. #20 by tob on April 23, 2014 - 10:00 AM

    Is it more likely for the album to be a fake or for this new -_-” ?

  15. #21 by MyMetalIsSuperiorToYoursNeenerNeenerNeener on April 24, 2014 - 6:59 PM

    Brilliant article. Especially the paragraph towards the end about TFH/Mechanix.

    I will commence showing this to everybody who still insists that there was once a time when Metallica was good. Take THAT poseurs!

  16. #23 by Gonçalo on April 28, 2014 - 2:52 PM

    No one noticed the Lillehammer Institute of Ersatz Studies (LIES)? So obvious! But this is genius! Great article.

  17. #25 by I effed dimebags corpse on September 4, 2014 - 4:31 PM

    Wow. I remember recording a friends cassette copy and xeroxing the liner notes for the case. To now discover that it was merely a forgery of a forgery. I shall no longer carry that guilt with me like an anchor in my soul.

  18. #26 by Dave on September 4, 2014 - 11:37 PM

    All your comments are proof that no one read the article until the end…

    If this article is simply some moronic joke made up some crackpot writer who can’t figure out if he wants to publish satire or armchair philosophy,

    ————-> but the reader thinks it’s real because they only read the title and fail to grasp the fact that the Internet is largest hi-tech illusion machine ever created,<——————-

    will it change the experience of the album for them? The songs certainly won’t sound any different.

  19. #28 by cherie sixx on September 5, 2014 - 2:59 AM

    I’ve never read the Nikki Sixx replacement story wish I did but this here is some genius .. well done !!!

  20. #29 by Bo Bandy on April 1, 2015 - 2:54 PM

    While being Neil Diamond impersonators at children’s parties is undoubtedly a lucrative career, anyone who could capture ‘Bass solo take 1’ down to its screechy sequitur into Whiplash, has an irreplaceable talent.

  21. #30 by Mextallicat on January 3, 2016 - 12:48 PM

    It was the damn aliens bro

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