The Year in Rock 2016 — Metallica Thrash Back with New Album

ABC/Randy HolmesThe day that never comes finally arrived in 2016 when Metallica released their long-awaited new album, Self-Destruct.

--After months and months of hints and innuendo, Metallica finally announced the details of first studio album since 2008's Death Magnetic. Titled Self-Destruct, the band's 10th studio effort would be a double album consisting of nearly 80 minutes of music. The first preview of Self-Destruct came in the form of the song "Hardwired," a simple thrasher in which James Hetfield declares "We're so f*****."

--Along with "Hardwired," the album also included the singles "Atlas, Rise!" and "Moth into Flame." The week Self-Destruct was to be released, Metallica also put out videos for every song on the album, including the track "Murder One," which paid tribute to late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister. Self-Destruct debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, keeping Metallica's streak of number-one albums alive. Every one of Metallica's past six albums, dating back to their 1991 self-titled release, has reached the top of the Billboard 200.

--In support of Self-Destruct, Metallica played a batch of very intimate shows in the U.S. and Canada.  But prior to the album's release, they played much a bigger venue: they were the first act to perform at the newly-opened stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Metallica plans to tour the U.S. extensively in 2017.

--Metallica also hit the late night TV circuit behind the album. They performed "Enter Sandman" on toy instruments on The Tonight Show, and even played Metallica trivia with a super-fan on Jimmy Kimmel Live!  They won, by the way.

--In addition to releasing a new album, Metallica also celebrated milestone anniversaries in 2016 for two of their biggest albums. Master of Puppets turned 30 in 2016, while the band's 1991 self-titled release, commonly known as The Black Album, turned 25. Sadly, the Master of Puppets anniversary also marked 30 years since bassist Cliff Burton passed away.

--Other Metallica highlights of 2016 include being named Record Store Day Ambassadors, and drummer Lars Ulrich inducting his rock idols Deep Purple into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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