But that's exactly the point, they already were selling multi-plat records every time. You say they were in a position to dictate the direction of their next album, but after writing four of the most famous thrash albums in history, where else should they have gone? Do exactly the same thing again? Go heavier, like Slayer? James Hetfield death growls? Why is the only valid artistic decision to go heavier and weirder? Black Album is to this day one of the metal albums with one of the biggest mainstream appeal. Everybody and their mother knows Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters, that's a colossal achievement. There is absolutely artistic merit in taking something (relatively) underground and packaging it for the radio-listening masses, without becoming a parody of itself.