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Book Review: Metallica: Back To The Front: A Visual History Of The ‘Master Of Puppets’ Era
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Metallica: Back to the Front book banner

Metallica: Back to the Front
A Fully Authorized Visual History of the Master of Puppets Album and Tour
Hardcover
By Matt Taylor
Foreword by James Hetfield
Afterword by Ray Burton
Publisher: Insight Editions with Moonrise Media
Released date: September 13, 2016

In 1986, Metallica went from local San Francisco Bay Area garage band to support act for part of the U.S. leg of Ozzy Osbourne’s Ultimate Sin tour, as well as headliner of their own European tour. The four very young men — singer/guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Cliff Burton — had only been playing together for three short years, but in that time, they released their first three albums, all of which eventually went on to be regarded as some of the greatest in all hard rock and heavy metal. It was their third album, though, Master Of Puppets, which put them on the map and skyrocketed them to fame. But, with success and popularity also came a devastating blow when they lost Burton when he was killed in an accident after the band’s tour bus skidded off the road in Sweden. The respected bassist, who had been like a big brother to his younger bandmates, was only 24 years old.

Another band might have fallen apart and never gotten past such a heartbreak, especially if they were that young and just starting out. But the unyielding musicians in Metallica knew no other life but the road and no other destiny than with music, so with the blessing of Burton’s parents, they persevered. They continued to create. They went on pounding out aggression all across the land on every stage they hit, until they became not only the kings of thrash metal, but one of the top rock acts of all time… and they’re still on top today. Although a lot has been written and documented about the band over the last 30-plus years, including those early days, there’s never been any personal memoirs. And while the members of Metallica have always spoke highly of Burton throughout the years and have tearfully relayed the events that occurred on the early morning of September 27, 1986 when they saw their brother killed in front of them as they and their devoted crew stood injured and freezing on a Swedish highway, they’ve managed to keep some details about that time private. Now, the surviving members have joined with Insight Editions, in association with Moonrise Media, for Metallica: Back To The Front: A Fully Authorized Visual History Of The Master Of Puppets Album and Tour, written and compiled by Matt Taylor.

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Thrashback Thursday: “One” by Metallica
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica And Justice For All Band Photo

I know what you’re thinking: “Ides has lost it. The old boy’s gone senile and forgotten that he just featured Metallica in last week’s Thrashback Thursday!”

Well, fear not dear reader, there is a reason for my redundancy. I awoke this morning to see an article which pointed out that today is the 26th anniversary of the release of the video for “One.” This was such a watershed moment in the history of thrash that I felt it remiss to let it pass without acknowledging it.

“One” is the last track on the first side (anyone remember album sides?) of the record that many (myself included) consider to be Metallica’s last great work,
… And Justice For All. It marks the moment that Metallica ceased to be an underground phenomenon and broke through to the mainstream, on their way to becoming the biggest metal band in the world. It was the first time that the band had made a video and the heavy rotation from MTV and other video outlets would propel the song to #35 on the Billboard charts, making it the Metallica’s first top 40 hit.

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Thrashback Thursday: “Hit The Lights” By Metallica
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica Band Photo with Cliff Burton

I found myself the other day trying to explain to my kids the immense impact that Metallica had on the metal underground when they first burst onto the scene in 1982. That’s right kids; Metallica was an underground (and cutting edge) band once upon a time. Their debut album
Kill ‘Em All did exactly as it’s title promised. It was a manifesto… a declaration… Metallica were about to take over the world and indeed kill ’em all.

For the next eight years, through endless touring, tragedy and triumph, and four albums that would become the very pillars upon which modern metal is built, Metallica would rule at the forefront of the metal underground. There is no way to describe to someone who wasn’t there the amount of reverence that we metalheads held for this band during those years. And then came the black album and Metallica was no longer the metal world’s underground darlings. But that’s a story for another Thursday.

Here is the shot heard ’round the world, “Hit The Lights” the opening track of Metallica’s landmark debut album Kill ‘Em All.

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Listen Now: “Salt The Wound” By Exodus Featuring Kirk Hammett
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Exodus Band Photo

Bay Area thrash masters Exodus are set to release their tenth studio album Blood In, Blood Out on October 14th via Nuclear Blast Records. Guitarist Gary Holt has been doing double duty playing not only in Exodus but also filling the slot left vacant by the late Jeff Hannemann in Slayer, raising Exodus’s public profile. Add to that the fact that the band’s iconic vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza has returned to the fold and former Exodus and current Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is contributing a guest solo, and you get arguably the most anticipated record Exodus record ever.

Now, we are getting our first listen to the track that Hammett contributed to and it does not disappoint. “Salt the Wound” is exactly the sort of classic thrash riff fest that we’ve come to expect from Exodus and Hammett’s solo is instantly recognizable.

Listen to “Salt the Wound” here below.

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Thrashback Thursday: ‘Toxic Waltz’ by Exodus
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Exodus Band Photo 2014

From their third album, 1989’s Fabulous Disaster, here is Richmond, California’s own Exodus with the track “Toxic Waltz.”

Watch the video here below.

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Kirk Hammett To Sign His Limited Edition Zombie Action Figure At SDCC 2014
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Kirk Hammett Kirk Von Hammett's Fear FestEvil photo

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett will be at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con later this month where he’ll be signing his new limited edition zombie action figure.

The Famous Zombies Jr. limited edition green Hammett figure, which is being released by the guitarist’s own Kirk Von Hammett Toys with an edition of only 300, will be a SDCC exclusive and Hammett will be on site at the Con to sign. You can catch Hammett, whose 2012 book Too Much Horror Business shows off his vast array of horror collectibles, at the Nuclear Blast SDCC booth 503 on Friday, July 25th from 1pm to 2pm, and on Saturday July 26th from 2pm to 3pm. Beginning on Wednesday July 23, Con attendees will be able to purchase tickets for the Friday appearance and once those are sold out, Saturday tickets will be released. Tickets will be available at the Nuclear Blast Records/Stern Pinball/JSR merch booth (503).

Check out a photo here below of the exclusive figure, along with Hammett’s thoughts on the upcoming event.

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Yes, That’s Metallica Doing An ESPN Commercial
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica Monopoly Box Cover Image

Metallica must REALLY need cash! That’s the only explanation that I can come up with for the lows that they are willing to sink to these days. In their latest display of shameless corporate whoring, they appear in an ESPN commercial, shilling for the network’s show Sports Center.

Granted, the ad is actually sort of funny, but c’mon… you just know that these meat-head jock dudes are the same guys that were giving Kirk Hammett swirlys in the junior high boys bathroom.

Maybe I’m just bitter. Judge for yourself…

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Thrashback Thursday: Metallica: “Fight Fire With Fire” Live In Canada 1986
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica Band Photo with Cliff Burton

For my first Thrashback Thursday post on Geeks Of Doom, I am going back to where it all started for me. My friend Tony had told me “There is this new band called Metallica that you have to hear… they’re amazing!” So off I trekked on my bicycle to my local record store and bought 1984’s Ride the Lightning on vinyl.

When I got home and dropped the needle on the first song, I was met by this beautiful little acoustic guitar part. I remember thinking “Well, this is nice and all, but…” and then it happened. When “Fight Fire with Fire” kicked into full swing, my life was very literally changed forever. Say what you will about their later output, those first four Metallica albums will always be the pillars of thrash to me. So here with the opening track of Ride the Lightning is Metallica live in Canada in 1986 on the Master of Puppets tour. You can check it out below.

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Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ Hits New Sales Record; Remains No. 1 Charting Album In Soundscan
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Metallica

Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album, best known as The Black Album, a record which has remained a sort of crossroads for the legendary hyper thrash/hyper progressive foursome, has for a long time been the best-selling album in the history of Nielsen Soundscan. Now, the record has become the first album to scan over 16 million units in SoundScan’s history.

The Black Album also holds the record for the most weeks spent on the Billboard 200 chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era, perched high up atop that vaunted spot for a mind-boggling 307 weeks and counting, as well as being the third-longest charted record in Billboard history. This distinction makes The Black Album only trail behind only two other seminal and influential records which hold the number one and two spot in that category — Pink Floyd’s sonic landmark Dark Side of the Moon and singer/songwriter Carole King’s emotional and complex pop music magnum opus Tapestry respectively. It’s also the sixth longest-charting album of any kind in Billboard history.

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Metallica Performs Live Concert In Antarctica
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Metallica Antarctica Freeze Em All logo

Metallica has performed all over the world on every continent except Antarctica — until now! The band ventured to the frozen continent to perform their very first show there, which took place on December 8, 2014 near the heliport of the Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini.

Research station scientists from various countries as well as contest winners were in attendance at the historic show, which featured the band members — singer/guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, drummer Lars Ulrich, and bassist Robert Trujillo — playing inside a clear dome with no amplification with the fans listening to the concert through headphones.

Check out a few photos here below the band released from their antarctic performance.

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