Blast Rites: The Optimist’s Take on Metallica, and More of April’s Best New Metal

Ah, Metallica… Is there any metal band that’s more polarizing? Or any other that commands a fan base remotely as large while attracting a seemingly equal amount of haters?

Metallica were my first favorite metal band, which makes me one of a legion of similar converts. I was just entering adolescence when the Black Album came out, and though I’d previously loved Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Poison and the rest of the class of ’87-’88, this record completely took over my life. I had one of those little padded cases for my Sony Discman, which held both the player and five CDs, and every day, I’d show up

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