“Metallica” 30 years later How The Black Album still excites and divides fans

Shawn Levine '23, Contributing Writer

It’s one of the best-selling albums of all time. If you’ve been to (or watched) a sporting event, you’ve probably heard the famous opening track. But beyond “Enter Sandman”, I doubt more than a few people could name another song from the album. Not many people know about the intense division it caused between members of Metallica’s prior fanbase, with many feeling the band had “sold out”. 

While its impact on the music industry can’t be denied, the quality of the album as a whole is questionable. While “Enter Sandman” is definitely a solid song, it’s overplayed and simply can’t carry the album from a music standpoint. The other popular songs, “Sad But True”, “The Unforgiven”, and “Nothing Else Matters” are all decent but are a far cry from a lot of the band’s better work in the 80s. Everything else is unfortunately forgettable at best. 

As the decade changed, many fans feared Metallica was changing too. A lot of fans felt the album sounded too clean, almost like it was made to sell as many copies as possible. You’re probably thinking “Well duh, this is their job, of course they want to make as much money as they can.” However, while this is the logical thing, many hardcore music fans (rock fans especially) don’t like it when they believe their favorite artist has “sold out”, which is basically when they stop making music for the fans and do it for the money. 

Since it is the album’s 30th anniversary, a remastered version has been released, along with an entire cover album where other artists are putting their own spin on tracks from “Metallica”. While I myself haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, I’m sure there’s definitely some good music on there. If you’re interested you should check out “The Metallica Blacklist” wherever you listen to your music. 

So, to conclude, I’d say this album is okay. It’s not their best or worst work, but it’s a good gateway album if you want to check out Metallica’s music.