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Metallica, The Black Album

Year: 1991

Influences: New Wave British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Motorhead, Def Leppard

Guess what caught my attention this week? Metallica just dropped a brand-new album! Although I won't dive into that topic today, it reminded me of their legendary album, "The Black Album," which I want to write about right now. This record was a game-changer, making heavy metal accessible to pretty much everyone, to the point where it almost got a bit annoying.

Let me backtrack a little and fill you in on the heavy metal scene. We had the first wave with iconic bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. Then came the second wave, influenced by these pioneers, called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, featuring awesome groups like Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Motörhead. And that's when the third wave, and boy, did Metallica lead the charge.

My brother, Rene, was a massive fan of Metallica and what they called Thrash Metal. But to be honest, they were a bit too heavy for my taste. However, when "The Black Album" was unleashed upon the world, something clicked for me. I finally understood and appreciated Metallica's genius, and it led me to explore their earlier albums too. While I do enjoy their earlier work, "The Black Album" holds a special place in my collection.

The thing about this album is that it struck a perfect balance. It was more accessible than their previous stuff, yet it had this fresh, unique sound that was unheard of at the time. Who can forget the epic intro of "Enter Sandman"? It's one of those iconic heavy metal openings that never fails to make you crank up the volume and headbang along. Another personal favorite of mine is "The Unforgiven," a power ballad that showcases their versatility without compromising their raw power.

All in all, "The Black Album" is a true emblem of heavy metal and has earned its rightful place in my music rotation over the years.

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