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Metallica history: short visual chronology

Here we have the history of Metallica told in a timeline, a visual way to check on their musical career and trajectory. This is the story of these heavy metal champions, which includes a lot of cameos, some of them being: Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Napster and Lou Reed.

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The history of Metallica: a short summary

Metallica started in 1981 in Los Angeles, California, USA. After some turns and rounds, James Hetfield (guitar) and Lars Ulrich (drums) settled as the creative core of the band. They later met bassist Cliff burton, after hearing his impressive bass playing abilities which we all came to know him for. At first, the lineup of Metallica briefly included Dave Mustaine on guitar, but he did not get along too well with the other members of the band so before the release of their first album, he was kicked out. His replacement was guitarist Kirk Hammet. As a spin-off of this Metallica story, Dave Mustaine then founded their heavy metal counterpart Megadeth, which also became a massive band.

In 1983 Metallica released their debut album: Kill ’em All. Their impact on the underground metal music scene began to grow from the beginning. The subsequent releases, Ride the Lightning in 1984 and the mythical Master of Puppers in 1986, helped cement their reputation as a metal band. It was during the tour for Master of Puppers that bassist Cliff Burton died in a bus accident. By that time Metallica was a very respected and well-known metal band in the United States.

Metallica decided to continue with a new bass player: Jason Newsted joined and the band and released an EP of cover versions in 1988. Then, that same year the critically acclaimed … And Justice for All was released. Many critics commented that even though this was a good record, the bass can not be heard properly as a result of a bad sound mix and production.

The big break for Metallica came in 1991 with their self-titled album, also known as the black album. This record has memorable tunes that became classics: Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters and The Unforgiven.

After years of not releasing any new material, the band returned with a completely different look: short hair and a clean attitude, grown-ups that took things more seriously. That was when they released two records that usually split their fans and critics: Load in 1996 and Reload in 1997.

1998 was the year for the covers album Garage Inc. The following year, in 1999, the classic orchestral live album S&M was released. Even though this was a really productive time for Metallica but no new original tracks were released.

In 2001 Jason Newsted left the band because of rising conflicts between Metallica‘s agenda and his other musical projects. Without a proper bass player, Metallica continued to record their next album in 2003, which is considered to be their worst: St. Anger. The production on this record and especially the snare drum sound were the focus of a lot of criticism.

With that album already released, Metallica hired a new bass player: the versatile Robert Trujillo. This cemented the current Metallica lineup, which consists of James Hetfield (vocals and guitar), Lars Ulrich (drums), Kirk Hammet (guitar) y Robert Trujillo (bass).

Metallica’s most recent albums are Death Magnetic, released in 2008, the not so well received Lulu in 2011 (in collaboration with Lou Reed) and Hardwired… to selfdestruct from 2013, which did better in terms of album sales and popularity among fans.

Metallica Discography

Metallica has released eleven studio albums and some live albums as well, but for the latter, we will just mention S&M, their live symphonic effort, which became a classic. Here are all Metallica albums listed:

  • Kill em All (1983)
  • Ride the Lightning (1984)
  • Master of Puppets (1986)
  • … And Justice for all (1988)
  • Metallica (1991)
  • Load (1996)
  • Reload (1997)
  • Garage Inc. (1998)
  • S&M (1999)
  • St. Anger (2003)
  • Death Magnetic (2008)
  • Lulu (With Lou Reed, 2011)
  • Hardwired… To Self-destruct (2016)

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