So, it has come to our attention here at The Metal Observer that there should be a need to educate and inform all manner of fans in the metal community. Far too often, it seems as though everything has been written for life-long hardcore fans or at least those who have been around enough to have a general idea of what they’re talking about. That is about to change with this first of our series of band biographyie here on The Metal Observer.’
But what about the newbies? Those who are just getting into the genre or dipping their feet into what’s out there in the different categories are at a loss, completely unprepared to delve into our favorite genre simply because everything is assumed to be at the highest levels of inclusion and nothing is given to the newbies and Johnny-Come-Latelys.
Well, that will change now. We’ve taken it upon ourselves as Metal Experts to help prepare the fans just getting their first taste of the world of what we take for granted as common knowledge, so with that here’s a biography for one of the biggest bands in the genre: Metallica.
- In the beginning, vocalist/guitarist James Hetfeld and drummer Lars Ulrich, united over their mutual love of heavy metal, decide to form a band heavier and faster than what came before them.
- After witnessing a local concert in the Bay Area, bassist Cliff Burton is invited into the fold. Even though they find great chemistry together, they find themselves unable to come to terms with a second guitarist cycling through players at a frantic rate. Finally, up against a gig deadline the band drafts in Kirk Hammett instead of the scheduled Dave Mustaine who was sick the day of the gig, and the resounding success convinces the band into making the lineup permanent.
- The new lineups continued success on the road finally brings record label attention, and the group prepares it’s full-length debut ‘Kill ‘Em’ shortly thereafter, effectively launching the newfound genre ‘Thrash Metal’ into the metal universe.
- It takes less than a year for the band to record follow-up episode ‘Ride the Lighting’ which brings the band to Europe for the first time, lighting the fire of the German groups in particular to launch their own take on their sound.
- Building on that success, the group releases their third full-length ‘Master of Puppets’ which blows the genre into the stratosphere, bringing the band not only platinum status without any kind of commercial attention but also finally starts bringing them to a headline status on the road with several impressive tours.
- However, one evening an accident while on the road, bassist Cliff Burton was killed in an accident and utterly devastates the band. When returning home they decide on quitting over the grief but finally decide to remain together to fulfill their record contract with the label.
- Recorded without a bassist, fourth album ‘…And Justive for All’ was compltely rushed through and taken on with the group still in mourning and only at the last minute bassist Jason Newstad was drafted into the fold lay down the few bass-lines required to finish the album practically at the 11th Hour before the album was released.
- Noticing the difficulty in the recording process and the album’s more lifeless affair compared to their other releases, the album is panned for the most part. Still big on the live circuit, the group rattles through the tour and again contemplates their end but are urged back into one more record to finish off their main contract.
- The self-titled fifth album is finally released. The hard rock overtones instead of the thrash feelings from before cause even more critical panning as most fans and critics figure the death of Cliff is still weighing on the band.
- Going out on the road, the band again finds themselves the target of a devastating accident when a flaming piece of pyro lights up and burns James’ arm in the middle of the show, forcing him to the emergency room and causing the cancellation of the rest of the tour.
- The next day, citing the decrease in record sales, the weight of Cliff’s death still harping on them and the concert mishap, the band calls it quits and disband for the foreseeable future.
- This hiatus lasted until early 2016, when finally news leaked out that the group was coming back to action, inspired by the revival thrash movement that kept naming the group as a prime inspiration. The three surviving members had gotten back together, drafting bassist Robert Trujillo to replace the formerly empty slot in the bands’ lineup and set out on a reunion/greatest hits style of live act and are currently out on the road performing their old classics for a new generation of fans. Rumors have continually spread about a new studio album but nothing has definitely emerged yet.
All right, folks, there you go. The history of Metallica for you to enjoy.