Metallica, a band that was instrumental in developing heavy metal and has established itself as a leader in the heavy ordnance subgenre of the music industry, is about to release a new album and embark on a tour.
According to an article published in Forbes magazine, the previous global tour that Metallica did begin in 2016 and ended in 2020 owing to a pandemic caused by the coronavirus. The tour made more than $400 million.
“Metallica is among the limited number of leaders in the music industry who are interested not only in their die-hard fans but also in the wider public,” says Ben Barbeau, head of France’s metal-focused festival Hellfest, which last year attracted 420,000 viewers.
In spite of being a metal band, the Californian foursome was able to “transcend genres” while performing at the Freddie Mercury tribute show, as Luc Frelon, host of the French web radio station Fip Metal, recalls.
Ben Barbeau remembers the casual musicians, despite being surrounded by an impressive machine, a team of nearly a hundred people.
The pass for the upcoming ultra-VIP stadium tour costs more than $7,000 for eight individuals and includes two nights of accommodations because the Californian formation “sees double” during every performance on this tour, including the concerts that will take place at the Stade de France on May 17 and 19.
“It’s become something of a rock-business monster; the band members may have lost their clear vision amid huge management. However, I will be the first to go to the two nights at the Stade de France,” says Frelon.
Things today are very different from the time of their first album in 1983, “Kill ’em All”, and the niche in which they appear, that of thrash metal, not the most accessible musically.
After CD sales were finally passed by vinyl records in the United States, the band decided to go ahead and make the investment in a pressing plant for themselves.
The lives of Metallica’s founders, vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, who were approaching their 60s, changed in 1991 with Metallica, known as the Black Album. It allowed them to reach a wide audience with hits like “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters”, which have just over and under one billion streams on the leading music platform Spotify.
In countries such as France, where heavy metal has been banned for a long time, Metallica is working to democratise the genre. On the other hand, in Scandinavian nations, heavy metal is already an established element of popular culture, and television programmes such as “The Voice” regularly include metal vocalists.
Metallica’s 1986 hit “Master of Puppets” made it into the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.
In a sign of Metallica’s status, to get an advance to listen to their new record 72 Seasons, out on April 14, critics had to comply with the same restrictions as for superstar Adele’s latest album – leave their phones in the closet record company and sign a non-disclosure agreement until the embargo is lifted. In comparison, recordings or listening links are sent to the press in advance for most artists.
Fans and the curious will be able to listen to the new album the day before it premieres in select theatres worldwide and discover the 12 tracks, including several stadium-calibrated ones like “You Must Burn!”
Metallica’s new album ’72 Seasons’ ends with the 11-minute track ‘Inamorata’ – the longest the band has ever recorded.