So many things happened in 1996. For instance, on July 16th the Kitty Hawk aircraft carriers were decommissioned, it was a leap year, and Metallica cut off their hair, logo, half of their fan base and released Load. It was the pariah of their career, an album born of the band’s growing pains and desire to “explore different things,” one that metal-heads scoffed at, that even die-hard fans rebuked, that Nickleback fucking loved, and all but universally branded Metallica as sellouts. But it also spent 4 weeks at #1, sold 5 million copies in the US alone, and went 5x Platinum. So let’s go ahead and say that due to the record sales, Universal is reissuing the album as a deluxe vinyl edition on July 26th (via AntiMusic) which is available now at Metallica’s website and July 6th outside of North America. That’s right, soon your new vinyl copy of Load will be nestled on your shelf right between Little Earthquakes and London Calling.
The as of yet unpriced album will be released as a a standard 2 LP set on 180 gram vinyl or as a deluxe box set including 4 (count ’em, 4) heavy 12″ records in outer 300 gsm (140 lb) sleeves with gloss varnish, a box with glossy lamino and a full lyric sheet insert. For some, this will be a rewarding purchase, enhancing their already massive Metallica collection of box sets and b-sides. For others, however, it will be a masochistic exercise, 80 minutes of high quality vinyl that does little else than repeatedly sound the death knell of a of one of the most influential rock acts in decades. It is a funeral march led by dead men walking, Metallica, for whom the bell tolled.
But the boys have seemed to resurrect themselves over the years, and continue to sell out almost every venue they play. Due to this fact, you can head over to your local multiplex June 22nd and check out Metallica live in concert along with Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax as they perform live from Sonisphere Festival in Europe. Get all the info right here.