Metallica is one of most influential metal bands in history. They brought thrash metal to the mainstream and in the process became one of the biggest bands in the world. They went through multiple tragedies and personal issues ranging from the death of bassist Cliff Burton to James Hetfield's alcoholism to the general dysfunction chronicled in the documentary Some Kind Of Monster. Through it all Metallica has persevered and continue making music.
Metallica's third album is their best. It doesn't have the radio singles and MTV videos as some of their later releases, but is a musical tour de force. From the trademark thrash of "Battery" to the instrumental stylings of "Orion," it's a sound of a band on top of their game. The songs are diverse and the musicianship is simply incredible.
Metallica's first album was groundbreaking, and Ride The Lightning, their second release, was another big step forward. Their songwriting improved dramatically, and they also expanded their musical horizons and the result was a much more diverse effort. Some of the classics on this album include "Creeping Death," "Fade To Black" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls."
Metallica's first album was raw, but showed the huge potential they would later fulfill. It is the seminal Bay Area Thrash album. Even though Dave Mustaine had been kicked out of the band by the time the album was recorded, he did co-write several of the songs. Some of Metallica's best and most well-known songs like "Seek and Destroy" and "Hit The Lights" are from this album.
Commercially this was Metallica's most successful album, with the hit singles "Enter Sandman," "Nothing Else Matters" and "The Unforgiven." It was a return to basics for the group, and it worked. The songs are more straightforward and less experimental than their previous couple albums, and that focus brought forth some outstanding songs.