Metallica (The Black Album) was the beginning of the end for the band. It marks the start of their “sellout” phase, which you may disagree with, but you can’t dispute their change in sound (ostensibly due to producer Bob Rock). Releasing back to back albums entitled Load and Reload is bad enough, but St. Anger is the kind of album that makes you forsake everything a band has ever done. Make Believe anyone? And Death Magnetic may be loud, but it traded in quality for whatever it got in speed and volume. Ok, thrash rant over.
It’s such an undignified tapering, but an inevitable trajectory for most artists (see the Sick Boy theory of life), but what if they didn’t end like this? What if one of the many permutations of our universe resulted in Metallica crashing and burning in the likes of a spectacular XCOM failure? Gus Mastrapa imagines this alternative for us:
“I understand your resistance,” Rock said casually, pulling a sweaty beer out of an ice bucket in the corner of the green room. “But there’s a helicopter on the roof. This isn’t about selling out or true metal or any of this bullshit.” He twisted the cap from the bottle and took one, calculated sip. “This, my hairy friends, is a matter of global security.”
The account of their tragic end lies here.