With Wednesday (March 3rd) marking the 35th anniversary of their landmark album Master of Puppets, Metallica returned to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform one of the thrash masterpiece’s standout tracks, “Battery”.
Metallica really couldn’t have gone wrong with any song off the 1986 album. As we pointed out in our new retrospective piece on Master of Puppets, the band’s third LP is all killer, no filler from front to back. In fact, it’s arguably the greatest thrash metal album ever made.
Positioned next to a graphic of the Master of Puppets album cover, Stephen Colbert introduced the performance by saying, “Their album Master of Puppets was released 35 years ago today, and had such an impact that it was added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. And now performing ‘Battery’, Metallica!”
Then, with a massive Master of Puppets fabric backdrop behind them, Metallica launched into “Battery”, playing it with a gusto that harkened back to the days they first supported the album as an opening act on Ozzy Osbourne’s tour in 1986. Kirk Hammett, in particular, had his moment to shine with a blistering solo.
Metallica’s appearance on Colbert came less than one month since they rocked a special Super Bowl edition of the late-night program with a rendition of “Enter Sandman”. That performance saw the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame act playing in front of a stack of speaker cabinets from various notable shows the band has played over the past 20 years.
Despite the pandemic, Metallica still turned in a memorable 2020. After entering rehab in late 2019 to deal with addiction issues, frontman James Hetfield returned to the band for a handful of special gigs. Over the summer, Metallica filmed a concert for a one-night screening at drive-in theaters across North America, and rocked a mini-set on The Howard Stern Show. In November, they played a livestream concert that benefitted the band’s All Within My Hands Foundation.
Metallica have also been hard at work on the follow-up album to 2016’s Hardwired … To Self-Destruct, albeit at a slow pace, according to drummer Lars Ulrich.
As for 2021, this year marks Metallica’s 40th anniversary as a band. The metal goliaths are currently slated to headline two nights of the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California, on October 8th and 10th.
Watch Metallica perform “Battery” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert below.