“Pride you took / Pride you feel / Pride that you felt when you’d kneel / Not the word / Not the love / Not what you thought from above / It feeds / It grows / It clouds all that you will know / Deceit / Deceive / Decide just what you believe” – Metallica – “The God That Failed
Groundbreaking. Polarizing. Different. A complete chance in focus. To say the least, Metallica’s self-titled 5th album METALLICA changed everything we knew previously about a great many things. Without question, the musical focus of “the most Metal band in the world” forced it’s way into a brand new direction.
The effects though were immediate and drastic. On the one hand, Metallica became the biggest band in the world; accepted by so many general music fans who previously would have run from the thought of even listening to any “metal” band. By contrast, those hardcore metalheads who had lived and died by the “Metal Up The Ass” mantra that was Metallica felt wildly betrayed and offered nothing but hatred and cries of “sellout” to the band.
Additionally, with the release of METALLICA, mainstream rock radio changed what would be considered for airplay. With the success of songs like “Enter Sandman” and “Sad But True” at radio, a new industry of heavier bands forced their way onto rock radio with a force that had never been seen prior to METALLICA’s release.
Rock critic, Heavy Metal radio host and author Chris Akin remembers this time in his latest mini-book CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA. The first of the series, Akin revisits not only the release of the release commonly referred to as “The Black Album”, but it’s effect on his fellow metalhead brethren and how they tried to convince him to give up on the band for more heavy, “true” metal juggernauts like Cannibal Corpse and the like.
Starting with his first encounter with Metallica in 1984 as an up and coming metal band, Mr. Akin chronicles how he was converted as a kid from a casual popular radio metal fan into someone that loved the more aggressive side of heavy metal by Metallica. He shares experiences during the release and touring cycle of METALLICA where he had a birds eye view of the development of the band, as well as recalling how he, as a metalhead, both loved and hated this time frame in Metallica’s now historic history.
CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA is a quick read, and one that almost any fan or hater of Metallica and “The Black Album” will be able to read, enjoy and have reason to debate.
“I’m your dream, make you real / I’m your eyes when you must steal / I’m your pain when you can’t feel / Sad but true / I’m your dream, mind astray / I’m your eyes while you’re away / I’m your pain while you repay / You know it’s sad but true” – Metallica, “Sad But True”