Their roots lie in the heavy rock of 70s groups like Deep Purple. The music they played—heavy metal mixed with punk attitude—became its own genre: thrash. Their bassist died and they survived to became the biggest-selling band in the world. As grunge threatened to overtake them, they reinvented themselves. Then their singer went into rehab and they almost fell apart. They are Metallica, the most influential heavy metal band of the last thirty years.
As Led Zeppelin was for hard rock and the Sex Pistols were for punk, Metallica became the band that defined the look and sound of 1980s heavy metal. Inventors of thrash metal—Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth followed—it was always Metallica who led the way, who pushed to another level, who became the last of the superstar rockers.
Metallica is the fifth-largest selling artist of all time, with 100 million records sold worldwide. Their music has extended its reach beyond rock and metal, and into the pop mainstream, as they went from speed metal to MTV with their hit single “Enter Sandman”. Until now there hasn’t been a critical, authoritative, in-depth portrait of the band. Mick Wall’s thoroughly researched, insightful work is enriched by his interviews with band members, record company execs, roadies, and fellow musicians. He tells the story of how a tennis-playing, music-loving Danish immigrant named Lars Ulrich created a band with singer James Hetfield and made his dreams a reality. Enter Night follows the band through tragedy and triumph, from the bus crash that killed their bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 to the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster, and on to their current status as the leaders of the Big Four festival that played to a million fans in Britain and Europe and continues in the U.S. in 2011.
Enter Night delves into the various incarnations of the band, and the personalities of all key members, past and present—especially Ulrich and Hetfield—to produce the definitive word on the biggest metal band on the planet.
Excerpt from ENTER NIGHT
They say opposites attract. That was not the case when Lars Ulrich met James Hetfield in 1981. The only thing James appeared to have in common with Lars was their age. Where Lars was small and doll-like, pretty-boy Euro-trash who ate with his mouth open and would go days without showering, James was tall and rangy, a full-blooded young American of Irish-German descent who brushed his teeth twice a day and always wore clean underwear. Where Lars never shut up, James never used two words where none would do. Where Lars came from a background of money and travel,