Metallica’s Big Comeback

It's tough to be an aging heavy metal band in a music world dominated by pop and rap

Metallica is back. With its first album in eight years and a new single earning positive reviews, Metallica is joining the ranks of aging rockers who simply won’t give up. A potential comeback is in the cards for the heavy metal band — but do we really care?

The band’s new single, “Hardwired,” is earning praise from fans and music critics, both of whom haven’t seen new material from the band in nearly a decade. Along with the single is an impending album, due Nov. 18, and a big 2017 U.S. tour in the planning stages.

Metallica may very well represent a lost time.

“We’re going to start pretty much full-on touring in January and are looking to figure out what we’re doing in North America, but there will definitely be some pretty extensive touring in America,” Lars Ulrich, the band’s drummer, told Rolling Stone. “It’s time to come back,” he continued. Their new album is titled, “Hardwired … To Self Destruct.”

Metallica rose to stardom in the 1980s and 1990s, helping to solidify heavy metal and rock ‘n’ roll as one of the dominating music genres.

Today, however, is a different story. With pop music, rap, and singing competitions like “The Voice” taking over the industry, bands like Metallica may have trouble preaching to anybody beyond the already converted.

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After a period of musical silence, an unsuccessful movie called “Through the Never,” and an unpopular legal battle with Napster, Metallica seemed to be struggling to even hold onto the fans they already had. But they never stopped touring, and fans seem to appreciate the new material.

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Though some fans still acknowledge the band’s age — the members are all in their 50s — in the face of the energy typically needed for heavy metal.

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Others think Metallica had its time and won’t be having the same impact.

“They are the old way of the music business. They had something to say at one point, but I don’t like them,” Taylor Berryman, Tennessee resident and host of the music-related podcast “The Poptimist,” tells LifeZette.

Metallica may very well represent a lost time. They’re releasing an old-school double album in 2016 while other artists are taking advantage of online opportunities and playing with digital releases.

Heavy metal is also not in high demand today — there’s a reason no band has replaced Metallica. No one needed to because new generations have moved on. Heavy metal and popular typically don’t find themselves comfortably in the same sentence in 2016.

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While Metallica will never find the success they once found, they have the opportunity to tap into and exploit the same nostalgic vein of other aging rock acts like The Rolling Stones. People will pay big bucks to see their favorite old acts perform the good old tunes — and some occasional new tracks. After all, Lynyrd Skynyrd still tours every year.

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