Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. The band's fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship placed them as one of the founding "big four" of thrash metal alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features founders Hetfield (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Ulrich (drums), longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo since 2003. Previous members of the band are lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, who went on to found Megadeth, and bassists Ron McGovney (demos only), Cliff Burton (the first three records, died in 1986), and Jason Newsted. The band also had a long collaboration with producer Bob Rock, who produced all of its albums from 1990 to 2003 and served as a temporary bassist between the departure of Newsted and the hiring of Trujillo.
The band earned a growing fan-base in the underground music community and critical acclaim with its first four albums, with their third, Master of Puppets (1986), described as one of the most influential and "heavy" thrash metal albums. Metallica achieved substantial commercial success with their eponymous fifth album (also known as The Black Album), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. With this release the band expanded its musical direction resulting in an album that appealed to a more mainstream audience.
In 2000, Metallica was among a number of artists who filed a lawsuit against Napster for sharing the band's copyright-protected material for free without any band member's consent. A settlement was reached, and Napster became a pay-to-use service. Despite reaching number one on the Billboard 200, the release of St. Anger (2003) alienated many fans with the exclusion of guitar solos and the "steel-sounding" snare drum. A film titled Some Kind of Monster documented the recording process of St. Anger and the tensions within the band during that time. In 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Metallica has released ten studio albums, four live albums, five extended plays, 25 music videos, and 37 singles. The band has won nine Grammy Awards, and has had five consecutive albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200, making Metallica the first band to do so. The band's eponymous 1991 album has sold over 16 million copies in the United States, making it the best-selling album of the SoundScan era. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 110 million records worldwide. Metallica has also been listed and ranked as one of the greatest bands of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 61st on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. As of December 2012, Metallica is the fourth best-selling music artist since the SoundScan era began tracking sales on May 25, 1991, selling a total of 53,642,000 albums in the United States alone.
In 2012, Metallica formed the independent record label Blackened Recordings, and have acquired the rights to all of their studio albums.
As was announced in 2013, the band starred in their own 3D concert film titled Metallica: Through the Never, directed by Antal Nimród, which was released in IMAX theaters September 27.
In a recent interview, Lars Ulrich stated that "2014 will be all about making a new Metallica record", and that the album will most likely be released during 2015. Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo later confirmed the band's intention to head to the studio.
At the second edition of Orion Music + More festival held in Detroit, the band played under the fake-name "Dehaan". "Dehaan" is a reference to actor Dane DeHaan, who starred in Metallica: Through the Never (2013). They performed their debut album Kill 'Em All in its entirety, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the album's release. On December 8, 2013, the band played a show in Antarctica called "Freeze 'Em All"; thus becoming the first band ever to play on all seven continents. The performance was filmed and released as a live album the same month.
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
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