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Metallica (USA)
July 21, 17:00
Luzhniki Sports Palace Luzhniki Sports Palace

The legendary hard rock band is back in Russia after a long break. American quartet Metallica were one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '80s and '90s, inspiring generations of rockers with their early thrash and later hard rock sounds before settling into their roles as a popular legacy act in the 2000s. Responsible for bringing the metal genre back to earth, the bandmates looked and talked like they were from the street, shunning the usual rock star games of metal musicians during the mid-'80s pop-metal renaissance. Metallica also expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions.

The release of 1983's Kill 'Em All marked the beginning of the legitimization of heavy metal's underground, bringing new complexity and depth to thrash metal. With each album, the band's playing and writing improved; James Hetfield developed a signature rhythm playing that matched his growl, while lead guitarist Kirk Hammett became one of the most copied guitarists in metal. To complete the package, Lars Ulrich's thunderous (yet complex) drumming clicked in perfectly with Cliff Burton's innovative bass playing.

After releasing their masterpiece Master of Puppets in 1986, tragedy struck the band when their tour bus crashed while traveling in Sweden. Burton died in the accident. When the band decided to continue, Jason Newsted was chosen to replace Burton.

By the '90s, Metallica had changed the rules for all heavy metal bands; they were the leaders of the genre, respected not only by headbangers, but by mainstream record buyers and critics. No other heavy metal band has ever been able to pull off such a feat. However, the group lost a portion of its core audience with its long-awaited follow-up to Metallica, 1996's Load. The album moved the band toward alternative rock in terms of image -- the bandmembers cut their hair and had their picture taken by Anton Corbijn. Although the album was a hit upon its summer release, entering the charts at number one and selling three-million copies within two months, certain members of the Metallica fan base complained about the shift in image, as well as the group's decision to headline the sixth Lollapalooza.

In 2008, the band released Death Magnetic, an energized album that returned the band to its early-'80s roots. Former Slayer producer Rick Rubin helmed the album, having replaced the band's longtime producer Bob Rock, while Kirk Hammett (who was forbidden to play guitar solos on St. Anger) peppered the record with metallic riffs and frenetic solos.

Over the next few years, Metallica played the occasional high-profile concert as they worked on a new studio album. In 2016, the band launched a series of expanded reissues, starting with deluxe editions of Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning. These reissues were the preamble to the November release of Hardwired...To Self-Destruct, a double-album that was the band's first new music in eight years. Produced by Greg Fidelman, James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct debuted at number one throughout the world upon its November 2016 release. The following year saw the group release a massive expanded edtion of their landmark 1986 LP, Master of Puppets.

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