During the late seventies and eighties, with the influence of hardcore punk, the legacy of new wave British heavy metal and metal music was at its commercial best, thrash metal erupted the San Francisco Bay Area. Enter Metallica and the growlish thunder of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Cliff Burton.
The band arguably legitimised metal music during the eighties thanks to their intricate thrash compositions. With all the extravagance of glam rock and pop-metal to contend with, Metallica looked like a heavy metal band should: dark and nefarious. with the emergence of grunge in the nineties, the band’s style significantly changed. With more structure and precision to their music, Metallica released the self-titled ‘Metallica’ in 1991, armed with huge rock anthems such as Enter Sandman and politically charged lyrics. The album resonated with mainstream audiences and elevated the band to superstardom. Metallica ended the nineties as the biggest-selling rock act. They are respected and loved by underground headbangers the world over as well as mainstream audiences — unifying music lovers like no other metal band before, or since.