As someone who likes the faster, heavier Metallica songs I do find it kinda ironic my favorite song off either "Load" album is Bleeding Me.
I think another reason the "Loads" were a failure in most fans eyes is that was a time when we needed something heavy. It had been 5 years since the black album which didn't have a thrash or speed metal song on it and bands like The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the biggest bands when Load was released.
I know I wanted an album with thrash on it so I hated Load without even giving it a 2nd listen. It was watered-down Metallica to me and Until It Sleeps could have easily been a Pumpkins song.
Since then I gave them a chance and there is some serious filler on those cd's but they're not hateful on their own. It was a timing thing for me and same with the Napster Debacle.
I owned every Metallica album, cd, ep and cd single but Lars was chastizing me for downloading I Disappear rather than buying a soundtrack for 1 or 2 songs? A band who built their legend on underground tapes? Possibly one of the most hypocritical things anyone has ever done in music history. All they did was murder their image and made themselves look like whining little bitches for years. They're lucky we forgave them in all reality...