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Metal - Released September 23, 2021 | Cult Legends

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Metal - Released August 12, 1991 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released September 10, 2021 | Blackened Records

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It would have been too easy to celebrate a Metallica birthday with a simple reissue. The band has really decided to make things special by inviting other artists to come in and have fun with their most famous album. This idea has really fired the passions of artists whose own musical upbringings were strongly influenced by this record. Rockers, DJs, folk, country, hip hop and other artists have all at one time or another gloried in some riff or chorus from this legendary beast of an album. They answered the call en masse. The result is an impressive compilation of 53 tracks. The 12 songs from the original album are each revisited several times by an amazingly diverse cast, all for a good cause (the proceeds from sales are donated to the charities supported by the artists involved in this project).From Corey Taylor to Royal Blood, via Miley Cyrus, My Morning Jacket and the Frenchmen Sebastian and Izia, everyone has their own slant, taking liberties to a greater or lesser degree, some trying to respect the original songs while others have taken a fresh approach to the 12 tracks that built a rock legend. For sure, this compilation will take a while to digest fully. But its incredible diversity makes it an album to come back to again and again, enjoying a taste of a few different morsels each time. In the end, one is almost more thrilled by the “freer” versions, like the excellent Sad But True by Jason Isbell, Holier Than Thou by Biffy Clyro, Of Wolf And Man by Goodbye, Texas or The God That Failed by Idles, which offer a new point of view. Meanwhile interpretations by the likes of Volbeat or Weezer turn out to be closer to the original versions, and therefore  less surprising. And then there are those, like Dave Gahan, whose voices will leave listeners spellbound, no matter how they decide to reinterpret these classics. We might be tempted to speak of Blacklist as a mish-mash: but really, it is a mine, because it is full of gems. This is a very fine way to celebrate a birthday. © Chief Brody/Qobuz
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Metal - Released March 3, 1986 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released August 25, 1988 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released July 27, 1984 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released November 24, 1998 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released July 25, 1983 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released June 4, 1996 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released November 23, 1999 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released August 28, 2020 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released November 18, 1997 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released November 18, 2016 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released September 12, 2008 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released March 1, 1986 | Blackened Records

Metallica, a band stronger than The Beatles? Without a doubt if you consider sound power, but in terms of remastered editions featuring “a few” bonuses, the award might also go to the Four Horsemen if you compare the “Deluxe” edition of their third album to the Fab Four’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary (Super Deluxe Edition). In it, you’ll find the equivalent of no less than ten fully-packed CDs for this Master Of Puppets that many consider, rightly or wrongly, as Metallica’s own Sgt. Pepper's. Well, it’s true that you’ll struggle finding any defect in the armour of such a monument. And its lengthy gestation period, highlighted through archives at various stages of development, will no doubt reinforce the belief that the band was touched by grace at this very moment in their history. A few rare critics begrudge this album for not having been as surprising as its two predecessors. Indeed the general structure of Master… , as well as the majority of its titles, can be compared with Ride The Lightning from the first frantic title Battery, in the same vein as Fight Fire With Fire, to the epic final of Damage Inc., wildly evoking a sped-up version of Creeping Death. There is also a false ballad halfway through, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), reusing in essence the same ingredients as Fade To Black and the finely chopped instrumental of Orion, with a very vague similarity with The Call Of Ktulu… However while this third attempt can be seen as a synthesis of the previous two, Master… is by far the most accomplished in the sense that, for the first time, Metallica had the time and means to refine and polish their compositions to the point of almost perfection. Even when compared with recent productions, the album is technically inevitable and unrivalled. Master Of Puppets only brings division among fans when discussing its ranking among Metallica’s best albums − although it would always make the podium. The new approach offered here might sway a few more votes for the first position. But beyond a well deserved and convincing highlight of the quality of Master…, this album is also the undeniable accomplishment of the Cliff Burton era. An easily discernable period in the sense that the bass was beautifully put forward. And for good reason! Far from being a simple bass player, Cliff was both a driving force in terms of creativity and inspiration as and a generous and calm character, balancing and “harmonising” the relations within Metallica. As we’ll see later, his mediating role would have more than once been useful between Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Some even wonder if Kirk Hammett didn’t just stop getting better after this album, without Cliff’s mental and instrumental boosts.
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Metal - Released September 10, 2021 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released June 5, 2003 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released December 31, 2013 | Blackened Records

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Metal - Released November 18, 2016 | Blackened Records

…And Metallica ended eight years of silence! The first studio recording by the Californian gang since Death Magnetic released in 2008, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct was even a double album! The twelve tracks were essentially signed by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich (for the first time, Kirk Hammett didn't help with the writing), summarizing the multiple artistic sides of these masters of thrash metal. Indeed, this tenth album showcased everything James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo were capable of. With catchy tunes and haunting choruses, Metallica hadn't been this effective in ages, somehow going back to basics. So much so that the tracks recall their previous masterpieces, whether it's Master Of Puppets, Ride The Lightning, ...And Justice For All or the Black Album. On the solo side, Hammett revealed hallucinating sparks, which won't surprise his fans. On the mic, Hetfield's voice had matured like never before, capable of overpowering roars as well as more subtle passages. Above all, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct has some of Metallica's best songs, such as the impressive track Spit Out The Bone which closes this double album. Finally, on Murder One, the band pays homage to one of their deceased idols: Lemmy from Motörhead! © CM/Qobuz
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Metal - Released August 12, 1991 | Blackened Records

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After the muddled production and ultracomplicated song structures of ...And Justice for All, Metallica decided that they had taken the progressive elements of their music as far as they could and that a simplification and streamlining of their sound was in order. While the assessment made sense from a musical standpoint, it also presented an opportunity to commercialize their music, and Metallica accomplishes both goals. The best songs are more melodic and immediate, the crushing, stripped-down grooves of "Enter Sandman," "Sad but True," and "Wherever I May Roam" sticking to traditional structures and using the same main riffs throughout; the crisp, professional production by Bob Rock adds to their accessibility. "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters" avoid the slash-and-burn guitar riffs that had always punctuated the band's ballads; the latter is a full-fledged love song complete with string section, which works much better than might be imagined. The song- and riff-writing slips here and there, a rare occurrence for Metallica, which some longtime fans interpreted as filler next to a batch of singles calculated for commercial success. The objections were often more to the idea that Metallica was doing anything explicitly commercial, but millions more disagreed. In fact, the band's popularity exploded so much that most of their back catalog found mainstream acceptance in its own right, while other progressively inclined speed metal bands copied the move toward simplification. In retrospect, Metallica is a good, but not quite great, album, one whose best moments deservedly captured the heavy metal crown, but whose approach also foreshadowed a creative decline. © Steve Huey /TiVo

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Metallica in the magazine
  • Preparing for The Blacklist
    Preparing for The Blacklist On September 10th later this year, Metallica and fans alike will be celebrating 30 years since their self-titled fifth album - aka -The Black Album. Not only will we be treated to a remastered vers...