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2016 Preview: Metallica

The band have a busy year ahead, but a new studio album doesn’t look like being part of it.

Their triumphant headlining performance at the Glastonbury festival in June 2014 was an emphatic reminder that Metallica remain the biggest, best-known and most successful heavy metal band in the world.

That reaffirmation was surely welcome, for the past decade has not been overly kind to a group who moved into rock’s premier division with the release of the Black Album 25 years ago. Indeed, since the release of 2008’s Death Magnetic collection (No.1 in 34 countries) Metallica have suffered a number of humiliating setbacks which have rather tarnished their reputation as shrewd, sure-footed industry leaders. By their own admission, the group’s (now discontinued) Orion Music + More festivals lost millions of dollars; Lulu, their critically savaged 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed has sold fewer than 35,000 copies in the US; and 2013’s bold but misjudged Through The Never film proved a box office disaster, recouping just $10 million of its $32 million production costs. 


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