Heavy rock fans around the world are celebrating today's (August 12) 25th anniversary of the release of Metallica, aka "The Black Album."
The set was a Grammy Award-winning monster that went 16-times platinum in the U.S. and launched hits such as "Enter Sandman," "Sad But True" and "Nothing Else Matters." Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano, who also spent time with Metallica's Big Four thrashmates Anthrax, tells us the Metallica album had a huge impact on him as a fan:
"It's one of the best albums of all time, in my opinion...I'm a longtime Metallica fan...Right around that time, before 'The Black Album' came out, I remember just the buzz and the vibe. Everybody was trying to figure out where they were gonna go next, and they nailed it. They made the right record at the right time."
Not everybody felt the same way at the time, however. Killswitch Engage bassist Mike D. acknowledges that he was one of the Metallica fans who initially hated the more direct and simplified sound the album presented, although he later changed his tune:
"When I first listened to it I was extremely bummed. I mean, going from '...And Justice For All' to that, I just couldn't believe that they had cut out all the cool parts. I was waiting for all the breakdowns, all the cool little hooks, all the little James (Hetfield) hooks here and there, and they just weren't there. It was so stripped down that it was hard to grasp that my favorite band turned into a radio rock band. But now you listen to it back and it's a great record. People were very, very hard on it because they went from such a technical record to such a non-technical record. But I do believe that was their last good record."
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.