As far as a rock groups go, Metallica has done it all. Over the group’s 34-year run, they have released 9 studio albums, ALL of which went platinum! Throw a movie and several world tours on top of that, and you would think Metallica would be ready to throw in the towel, lay down and relax, right?
Wrong! The rock and roll powerhouse is as active as ever, and just as they come off a 2014 world tour, Metallica has announced an upcoming 10th studio album.
Beginnings & Recent Slowdowns
The band formed in 1981, and has had a lifetime of success. They exploded onto the heavy metal scene with their debut release Kill Em All, which made over $3,000,000 in sales (not bad for a first try)! That, combined with rigorous touring with big-named bands like Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth and Slayer, secured their place in rock n roll history for decades to come. Their 1991 self-titled release (known by fans as ‘The Black Album’), topped charts all over the world and grossed over $15,000,000.
The band kept moving steadily, playing shows, releasing albums, and traveling the world right up to the present day. However, it has been almost 8 years since fans have been given a new studio release from Metallica, and it was doubtful whether or not we would get one ever again.
Recently, bass guitarist Rob Trujillo told Billboard Magazine “It is happening. In the last year we had a lot of detours, whether it was shows or the movie”. He went on to add, “We’re back now and the main focus is really on new songs and getting them ready to be recorded.”
As for the upcoming tour, so far the only shows listed, besides performing at Rock in Rio in Las Vegas, are in Europe. Long-time fans in the U.S are scratching their heads as to whether or not they will get a chance to see the show. After a show in Austria in early June, the group has an almost 3 month gap in their tour dates before returning to the stage in Norway. Perhaps they will take some time in those 3 months to visit the states? I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but it looks doubtful, as the band is advertising this tour as a “European Summer Vacation” on their website.
While the lack of U.S locations on Metallica’s road schedule is questionable, it may not be completely implausible. Their fan base is one of the largest in the world, but has seen a steady decline in the U.S since their 1996 release, Load. The record featured a new sound for the heavy metal giants, sporting songs that were less primal and more pop sounding. It was received with harsh criticism from the public, but the band still maintained a gigantic demographic of followers.
Whatever the reason for focusing on their European fan base, the upcoming tour is sure to be a success. Their popularity overseas has remained steady, and even saw a steady increase in sales after Load was released. So it is plausible to assume that this album will only continue the band’s enormous success in other countries. It remains to be seen how it will be received here in the U.S.
So, one of the hardest working bands in the industry continues to thrive, playing shows, making movies, and now delivering us with yet another studio release. Whether you are a fan of Metallica or not, you can’t deny that what the band has achieved in the past 30+ years is monumental. They will remain a staple of heavy metal and rock and roll long after they are done gracing the stage.
Will Metallica set any dates in the U.S for their upcoming tour? What does the new album hold in store for us? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!