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Metallica: 20th Anniversary Of The ‘Black Album’
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Obi-Dan   |  
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Metallica
Metallica – The Black Album
U.S.: CD | MP3
UK: CD | MP3
Recorded October 1990 – June 1991
Released August 13, 1991

At the end of the 1980s, an epic battle was about to take place. Grunge was wafting its sweaty cardigan in the direction of the drainpipe-trousered metallers hoping to lay claim to their throne. One band was not about to concede the new decade to any pretenders and set about writing not only one of the defining albums of the decade, but one of the greatest metal albums of all time. The almighty Black Album arrived, and nobody was going to remove Metallica’s crown.

Officially titled Metallica, it became known as the Black Album thanks to the cover art. It’s black. Released August 13, 1991, it demonstrated a marked change for Metallica. The band’s thrash-heavy, white-hot relentless riffs were replaced by a slower, heavier sound that was less like a machine-gun attack and more like a steady series of hammer blows. On previous albums like …And Justice or All and Master Of Puppets, Metallica showcased their songwriting abilities through epic, challenging musical pieces. This time, however, they went in the opposite direction and kept everything much more simple. The riffs were shorter and catchier and in “Nothing Else Matters” they even have a love song that is actually my favourite track on the album. The galloping riffs of “Through The Never,” “The Struggle Within,” and “Holier Than Thou” prove that Metallica is still the same band. Much of this praise — or blame — was laid at the feet of producer-of-the-moment Bob Rock.

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