For Those Who are Younger, How Relevant is Metallica?

bostjan

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The black album is probably the album that got the most people into guitar until maybe Taylor Swift, and was big enough to get spoofed by Weird Al twice (one full cover, and once in one if his medlies). If that doesn't make them relevant in the 90s, I don't know what does.

If you mean specifically to the metal community, then I would say the black album still holds its own, but that was the very beginning of the 90s...and they've tapered off since then, with a blip for Death Magnetic, I think.

I think it might be easy to look at the major studio albums from Metallica throughout the 90's and 00's and note the decline in quality and/or popularity. And maybe that's what happened with the comment from @DoctorStoner that made me WTF out loud. But, for those of us who were alive and aware of music trends in 1991, the black album is unquestionably influential. 33 million copies sold. None of the other bands mentioned in @DoctorStoner 's post had an album that popular in the 1990's, and, in fact, the only two albums by those bands that top the black album are Led Zeppelin [IV] and Back in Black. I'm pretty sure you could add up all of Black Sabbath's album sales over their entire career and not top the black album's numbers.

But after the black album, Load performed okay and Reload performed okay, and then it was downhill sharply after that. But Metallica didn't really release that much new material in the 1990's. Three regular albums, one cover album, one symphonic album. But one of the best selling cover albums and one of the best selling symphonic albums to date... But the black album put Metallica on the mainstream music map. Justice was considered a smash hit for a metal album, and it sold 11 M copies, >8 M of which sold after the release of the black album. So...without the black album, Metallica would have been a popular metal band, but, the important point here is that metal would have been a lot less popular of a genre. Certainly the big boom in interest in Megadeth and Anthrax can be at least partially, if not mostly, attributed to the massive success of the black album.

Growing up in the midwest, and not being particularly aware of metal music in 1988, I never really knew much about Metallica until Justice. That album was big, but just think about releasing an album that was big, and then having the next one be more than ten times bigger.

And the parodies didn't stop with Weird Al Yankovic. Tons of sketch comedy shows spoofed Metallica in the early 90's. For instance:


But, anecdotally, tons and tons of my friends discovered metal music directly because of the black album.

And when Load came out, it was possibly the most anticipated album ever. I remember when the video for "Until It Sleeps" debuted on MTv and pretty much everyone thought it was just weird and hoped that the rest of the album was better. I mean, it sort of was, but it also sort of wasn't. It was disappointing enough that it seemed like only the most optimistic Metallica fans were excited for Reload. I think that maybe if they had just called that album Shit Sandwich, it would have generated more buzz. But, despite that, "Fuel" and "2x4" and "Hero of the Day" and a few other songs still made enough people happy that they kept doing tons of shows and making tons of money.
 

nightflameauto

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I remember the day the Black Album came out I literally took the day off of farming and went to buy it. It was panda-fuckin'-monium in the store, with people lined up out into the mall to buy the Black album and any other Metallica shirts or gear or whatever they could get their hands on. It was insane. And this was in the middle of Iowa. They literally had a dude standing at the door with boxes of the CD asking if that's what you were there for. I never saw the same before or since.
 

spudmunkey

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I think it might be easy to look at the major studio albums from Metallica throughout the 90's and 00's and note the decline in quality and/or popularity. And maybe that's what happened with the comment from @DoctorStoner that made me WTF out loud. But, for those of us who were alive and aware of music trends in 1991, the black album is unquestionably influential. 33 million copies sold. None of the other bands mentioned in @DoctorStoner 's post had an album that popular in the 1990's, and, in fact, the only two albums by those bands that top the black album are Led Zeppelin [IV] and Back in Black. I'm pretty sure you could add up all of Black Sabbath's album sales over their entire career and not top the black album's numbers.

But after the black album, Load performed okay and Reload performed okay, and then it was downhill sharply after that. But Metallica didn't really release that much new material in the 1990's. Three regular albums, one cover album, one symphonic album. But one of the best selling cover albums and one of the best selling symphonic albums to date... But the black album put Metallica on the mainstream music map. Justice was considered a smash hit for a metal album, and it sold 11 M copies, >8 M of which sold after the release of the black album. So...without the black album, Metallica would have been a popular metal band, but, the important point here is that metal would have been a lot less popular of a genre. Certainly the big boom in interest in Megadeth and Anthrax can be at least partially, if not mostly, attributed to the massive success of the black album.

Growing up in the midwest, and not being particularly aware of metal music in 1988, I never really knew much about Metallica until Justice. That album was big, but just think about releasing an album that was big, and then having the next one be more than ten times bigger.

And the parodies didn't stop with Weird Al Yankovic. Tons of sketch comedy shows spoofed Metallica in the early 90's. For instance:


But, anecdotally, tons and tons of my friends discovered metal music directly because of the black album.

And when Load came out, it was possibly the most anticipated album ever. I remember when the video for "Until It Sleeps" debuted on MTv and pretty much everyone thought it was just weird and hoped that the rest of the album was better. I mean, it sort of was, but it also sort of wasn't. It was disappointing enough that it seemed like only the most optimistic Metallica fans were excited for Reload. I think that maybe if they had just called that album Shit Sandwich, it would have generated more buzz. But, despite that, "Fuel" and "2x4" and "Hero of the Day" and a few other songs still made enough people happy that they kept doing tons of shows and making tons of money.

2x4 was given a well-promoted upcoming radio debut as the first new Metallica song off the new album. A bunch of us in high school made it appointment radio. We were all super excited. The next morning, nobody really had much to say, until one B.C. Rich Warlock-playing white supremacist (inconsequential to the story, but a fun nonsequitur) who was in a Metallica cover band, was brave enough to say, "So...it kinda sucked, right?"

😅
 
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protest

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One thing to keep in mind is that when you're in your teens and 20s you are still discovering new music from new bands, and have a certain sound that resonates with you. Eventually, that starts to fade and the new music coming out from even newer bands just won't resonate with you the same way it did with those bands you grew up on.

So either you stick with the same old stuff, or you start going down a different path with music. A lot of times that's going to lead you to the stuff that influenced the bands you love. For metal heads that will inevitably bring you to 80s Metallica and, if you keep going, Black Sabbath.

That's a long winded way of saying that kids not caring about something now isn't reflective of how they'll feel in a decade.
 

nightflameauto

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2x4 was given a well-promoted upcoming radio debut as the first new Metallica song off the new album. A bunch of us in high school made it appointment radio. We were all super excited. The next morning, nobody really had much to say, until one B.C. Rich Warlock-playing white supremacist (inconsequential to the story, but a fun nonsequitur) who was in a Metallica cover band, was brave enough to say, "So...it kinda sucked, right?"

😅
I went to the one theater anywhere around here that had Some Kind of Monster at it with a buddy. Going in everybody's all happy, cheery, ready to have some fun watching Metallica be Metallica. Everybody walked out looking like they'd been to war and seen the damage first hand. Nobody was really talking.

I think we were about halfway home before either of us said much more than, "Damn," or "Brutal."

Metallica has been real good at leaving their fans absolutely speechless for quite some time now. I think they get a kick out of it.
 

MFB

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For the record, Weird Al never parodied Metallica, it's one of the MANY comedy songs that was attributed to him - coincidentally on the very platform that Metallica sought to close, and he himself has said it's his biggest issue with P2P file sharing.
 

MatrixClaw

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I'm in my early 30s and have never understood why people still think they're great. I can appreciate them paving the way for more modern metal and there are a few songs I don't mind listening to every once and a while... But there's only so much I can listen to James' terrible voice, Lars beating the same overbearing beat in every song and Kirk wanking on the wah. The only thing I have no complaints with in regards to Metallica is bass... Mostly because you can't hear it.
 

DoctorStoner

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To have a better understanding, the Black album sounded like and was radio rock. Yes, lots of big hits and very popular but less expressive and powerful than their albums from the 80's. Quality fell through the 90's and I think St. Anger was almost embarrassing. Maybe it's not fair, I literally have not heard a song from them after that. How influential is Taylor Swift to anyone here?
 

ArtDecade

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How influential is Taylor Swift to anyone here?
It doesn't matter how influential she is here. Swift is one of (if not) the biggest musical forces on the planet. She still moves millions of units when album sales are dead. She broke Ticketmaster. She farts on Instagram and it is breaking news on every media outlet around. Metallica influenced every metal band in the 80s and shaped the hard rock sound of the 90s. Their DNA is up in everyone. Deep. Most of those bands are still walking funny.
 

TheBlackBard

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It doesn't matter how influential she is here. Swift is one of (if not) the biggest musical forces on the planet. She still moves millions of units when album sales are dead. She broke Ticketmaster. She farts on Instagram and it is breaking news on every media outlet around. Metallica influenced every metal band in the 80s and shaped the hard rock sound of the 90s. Their DNA is up in everyone. Deep. Most of those bands are still walking funny.
Thank you!

:lol: People thinking this site is the extent of the world...
 

jaxadam

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Only very few will know the glorious feeling of learning “Sanitarium” or “One” from your friend’s brother’s handwritten tabs on ripped out spiral notebook paper back in middle school with no internet in sight. And you didn’t call that shit Welcome Home or whatever it was called, you only called it Sanitarium.
 

works0fheart

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I have the same question everytime someone in their 20s mentions In Flames or Children of Bodom. To me, both those bands stopped being relevant in the 2000s (Clayman and Hate Crew Deathroll being their respective "black album"s).

What? The 2000's were the opposite for these bands. You could argue that the material they put out in the 90's is better, sure, but regardless of that, In Flames and Children of Bodom were well on their way to becoming household names.
 

Captain Shoggoth

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26 here. If we mean young as in 16-26 (conveniently), the way I see it:

-young guitar guys with boomer guitar dads LOVE metallica
-a large casual listening audience (think pop artists, rappers, kids scrolling on tiktok) admires them almost as a concept or lifestyle brand, with 1 or 2 songs they'd say they know. Like Nirvana, or the Rolling Stones for older generations
-young extreme metal guys see them as complete dad rock, influential but ancient and musically irrelevant
-any young people on this site are way too into niche guitar/metal to fit into any of the above categories apart from maybe the last one
 

Empryrean

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seeing all the varied responses here make me want to see an age poll.
I'm 29 and probably not the youngsters OP is referring to, but my intro to metallica came from some shithead who only had bad things to say about anything I listened to or played. Sadly that translated to me being very critical of metallica. I give em props for whatever it is they seem to have accomplished but eh. I hear a good number of metallica mashup audio clips on Tiktok and wonder the age of the person making them all the time, makes me cringe :lol:
 

Darkscience

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I have a feeling Metallica is way more popular with youngsters than a quick read through this postings will lead you to believe. They are more mainstream and have become pop culture, with younglings wearing Metallica shirts but having never even heard a song, or maybe they just know MOP because it was made famous by Stranger Things.

They are kind of like the Star Wars of the music world, great early stuff but not so great yet still highly popular late stuff.

To me they were definitely one of the groups that inspired me to pick up the guitar, mostly Kirk Hammett, but it was Kurt Cobain who that had the best riffs and who I wanted to sound like when I was young.

To be honest to me, most metal sucks, especially all the new stuff, (take this with a grain of salt of just being I don't like it, I realize the skill today is unreal, just my taste), I do not know who In Flames is, any time I tried to listen to a Periphery song I can never sit through one, there are just a sprinkle of bands here and there with a song or two I like from the "new stuff".

What I came to realize recently is Punk Rock is where it's at for me, I'm rediscovering my love for Rancid/NoFX etc. I feel good in that space, it tasted popularity but remains authentic till today with not much change. I also was stuck on the whole distorted high gain sound and now just love playing on clean with a high gain guitar.

The best metal player imo is one I discovered recently, I do not know what his band is, but he has a YT channel and I just love this dude's playing and sound and he is such a good person. Eugene Valovirta, this is who I want to sound like for metal.
 

Riffer

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I'm 36 and knew of Metallica from watching MTV in the 90's. I think my first time hearing/seeing them was the Enter Sandman video. It was captivating for me as a 6-8 year old. Then Load came out when I was 10 and MTV had a contest where Metallica would show up to a lucky fans house in a semi-truck and put on a intimate concert at the persons house. That marketing was just so cool to me. King Nothing and Hero of The Day were songs I absolutely loved back them. Also the video for Until It Sleeps was a little creepy and dark which pulled me in more. I was vaguely familiar that they had early albums but I was just so into the 90's stuff that I didn't go back and get into the 80's Metallica until later. Then ReLoad came out and I loved that too. Same thing that hooked me was the videos. I am from a gear head family so the Fuel video was great. Memory Remains with the spinning room was super cool and I remember hearing Devils Dance and thinking it was the heaviest riff I'd ever heard.

Then once I hit around 15-16 I was starting to listen to Ride The Lightning a bit more and MoP. But really it all started with early/mid 90's Metallica for me. To me Metallica is and always will be a great band. Are they relevant now? I would say yes and no. They aren't relevant in the way that they set trends or that brands live and die by what they say in the media. But being able to play stadiums to me is a sign that they are still relevant to some degree. I have friends that don't like Metallica at all and that's fine but you can't deny their influence on music. Personally I think they are the most influential metal band of all time and maybe even just band in general, even over The Beatles. I know that will come with a lot of push back but if you take everything into account, I truly feel that Metallica is the top.
 

NoodleFace

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At least Jimmy Page knew when to call it quits and hasn't had to pimp himself out constantly at every waking second on his way out the door too. :shrug: I'll just leave it at that. :lol:


NWOAHM? New wave of American heavy metal? The early-to-mid 2000s stuff?
Well... except that whole Kashmir fiasco with puff daddy
 


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