I can't believe that it's almost been 30 years since Metallica released their landmark self-titled fifth album. "Metallica"(commonly referred to as the "Black Album" due to it's dark cover) charted a new direction for the band. Changing up the sound from their first four albums(ALL of which are undisputed classics) which are in a fast-tempo thrash metal style to a heavier, slower tempo style more rooted in traditional heavy metal.

The band hooked up with producer Bob Rock(apparently, Metallica was impressed with Rock's work on Motley Crue's "Dr. Feelgood" album) and he proved to be the right choice, although working conditions between the band and Rock were quite difficult at times. Metallica were actually used to selling records with literally no radio airplay, but even they were not prepared when the floodgates opened(and the cash registers!).

"Metallica" spawned six singles, including "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", and "Nothing Else Matters", which were all Top 40 hits. The "Metallica" album also spent over a whopping 500 weeks on the Billboard album chart, making it one of the biggest sellers in music history.

Unfortunately, several Metallica fans who were with them from the beginning viewed this as the start of a downward spiral, pontificating that once Metallica lost their harder edge, they were simply no longer Metallica. However you may feel about the album or the band itself, you can't deny the power of the music(featuring some of James Hetfield's finest lyrics). Released 28 years ago on August 12, "Metallica" made people sit up and pay attention.