Sometimes known as the ‘beginning of the end’ for Metallica, their self titled, fifth studio album was released on August 12, 1991 via Elektra Records. Metallica marked the dreaded change from the in your face thrash metal band we all know and love, to a slightly more commercial heavy metal band. The album still has signs of thrash qualities, however it was clear to see how this album distinguishes “old” and “new” Metallica.
Metallica, however, completely stands by the album and would not consider themselves as a more commercial band upon it’s release. The band has said many times that they are completely aware that their sound changed, and that the change was 100% intentional- to please themselves as musicians. Regardless of how any Metallica fan felt about the album, Metallica received tons of critical acclaim. Often referred to as ‘The Black Album’, it debuted at #1 in ten countries, and spent four successive weeks in the top spot of the Billboard 200. Metallica was the band’s first album to top the charts and was by far their best selling album- as it was certified 16x platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 16 million copies nationwide since its release.
The album consists of some of Metallica’s best known songs such as “Enter Sandman”, “The Unforgiven”, “Nothing Else Matters” and “Wherever I May Roam”. The album, although different, is still a kick ass heavy metal record and is a favorite among many.