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Metallica Week: The Ultimate Archive – the albums, the interviews, the songs

(Image credit: Anton Corbijn)

Metallica release their new live album S&M2 this week, and to mark the occasion we've put together the ultimate Metallica archive. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the world’s biggest metal band, including the stories behind their greatest albums, in-depth interviews with James, Lars, Kirk and Robert, plus a run down of all their greatest songs. 

James Hetfield: My Life Story

Metallica frontman James Hetfield takes us on a journey back to his school days, retraces the band's tentative steps and explains why his anger is an energy. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

Lars Ulrich: “There’s not a f**king moment I’d change”

Lars Ulrich is more than just Metallica’s drummer – he’s the beating heart of the band. In this classic 2012 interview, he looks back over the band’s epic journey. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

Kirk Hammett on joining Metallica, a potential solo album and why he objects to St. Anger

His flair helped make Metallica the biggest band in our world. We talk to Kirk Hammett about his journey into music, the St. Anger issue and whether he’d ever stray from the fold. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

Rob Trujillo: My Life Story

Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne, Jerry Cantrell and, of course, Metallica – Rob Trujillo has played for them all. This is the story of the man behind the bass. READ MORE…  (opens in new tab)

Kill ’Em All: the birth of the legend

In 1983, four alcohol fuelled kids calling themselves Metallica recorded their debut album Kill ’Em All. No one knew it would change the world. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

Ride The Lightning: the album that broke thrash wide open

Metallica’s iconic second album Ride The Lightning did more than turn the band into stars – it forced the world to take thrash metal seriously. READ MORE…  (opens in new tab)

Master Of Puppets: inside the greatest metal album of all time

In 1986, Metallica released the album that elevated them to metal’s A-list. This is the inside story of Master Of Puppets READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

The £5.98 EP: how Garage Days pulled Metallica back from the brink

The death of Cliff Burton could have been the end of Metallica. But a cheaply recorded covers EP yanked them out of the abyss. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

How ...And Justice For All changed Metallica forever

Metallica's 1988 album …And Justice For All was their step up to the big leagues. But things would never be the same again. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

The epic story behind the Black album

30 million people can’t be wrong: how the Black Album transformed Metallica into metal’s biggest band. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

“Metal needs a good f**king kick up the ass”: inside Metallica’s Load

New haircuts, new sound, new Metallica: was Load the sound of metal’s greatest band trolling the world? READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

The story behind every Garage Inc. cover version

NWOBHM classics, punk bangers, malevolent goth rock slow-anthems: how Metallica made metal’s most famous covers album. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

St Anger: the album that salvaged Metallica’s career

It was very nearly all over for the biggest band on the planet at the turn of the millennium – but with St Anger, Metallica's fortunes were about to change. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

Death Magnetic: how the kings of metal reclaimed their throne

After a decade of controversy and near-implosion, Metallica seriously needed to right the ship. With Death Magnetic, they did just that. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

Sex, death and Lulu: the inside story of Metallica and Lou Reed’s explosive collaboration

Metallica and Lou Reed’s Lulu album is still metal’s most controversial collaboration. This is how two unlikely worlds collided. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

Hardwired… To Self-Destruct: "We hate each other, and we love each other"

In 2016, Metal Hammer met Metallica on the eve of Hardwired… To Self-Destruct – and found a band finally embracing their own dysfunction. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)

“Whose f**king idea was this?”: the inside story of S&M2

From Metallica's S&M's origins in ’99 to its triumphant rebirth, we go inside the story of the metal titans’ most ambitious project. READ MORE… (opens in new tab)