If you are into heavy metal, then there’s no chance that you haven’t heard of Metallica. Formed in 1981, this band has earned the status of one of the founding bands of thrash metal. They have been listed among the greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stone.
They are also one of the most commercially successful bands with a whopping 125 million copies sold till 2018. The band’s popularity can be gauged by fact that they have been the central theme of documentary films. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Metallica: Spellbinding with The Magic Of Metal
The band’s founding members are drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield. Today the band consists of bassist Robert Trujillo and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett along with the songwriters Ulrich and Hetfield.
The band was formed rather accidentally when Lars Ulrich issued an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper that asked for metal musicians. James Hetfield responded to that and due went to jam together for a few five months after which the band was officially formed.
The name of the band was suggested by Ulrich’s friend Ron Quintana who gave two options which were Metallica and Metal Mania. The very next member (now former and founder of Megadeth) was Dave Mustaine who also happened to answer a newspaper advertisement.
By the very next year, the band had earned some popularity and they got their first live show on March 14, 1982. Their lives performances become successfully at a very early stage. By then, the band had also recruited the bassist (now former) Ron McGovney.
Shaping Up The Thrash Metal
We mentioned earlier in the blog that Metallica is known as one of the founding fathers of thrash metal. It is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that often runs on a fast tempo and has a lot of aggression in it. Some more notable characteristics are shredding-style guitar work, low-register riffs and percussive beats.
If you talk about the lyrics, then it’s most critical of the establishment, the destruction of the environment and sometimes the religious dogma. It basically reeks of hatred towards the conservatism, a similar theme followed in the hardcore punk.
While we see many bands creating music in this genre, there are 4 bands that are majorly attributed for making the genre popular. They are Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. It is also considered a moderate for rock and subgenre of glam metal influenced by pop.
Success Journey of Metallica
As discussed above, the band achieved success in a live performance in the very initial stage. For the albums, it happened after five years of band formation in 1986. It happened with their third album, Master of Puppets (1986) which is also considered of the best words in the heavy metal genre.
The next album And Justice for All earned them the first Grammy Award nomination. Later on, they launched an eponymous album in 1991 that brought their music to mainstream audiences and accomplished huge commercial success with the sale of 16 million copies.
Metallica is undisputedly one of the most acclaimed and successful rock bands of all time. They have not just contributed to the foundation of a new genre of rock, they made this ilk of music more popular.