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This pro-shot footage of Metallica playing Metal Militia last month proves they can still nail the classics

James Hetfield on stage
(Image credit: Metallica / YouTube)

Metallica are a band who, it's probably fair to say, have had more cynicism thrown their way than any other band in heavy metal. Par for the course when you're the biggest band in the entire history of the genre, perhaps, but it seems that there's a vocal corner of the metal community that takes particular delight in giving James, Lars, Kirk and Rob a good ol snipe whenever the opportunity presents itself.

One regular accusation aimed at the Four Horsemen is that they're unable to play the classics with the same vigour and fervour as in years gone by. "Hetfield can't sing like he used to!" they cry. "Lars can't keep up!" the old saying goes. 

Well, it's time to down the keyboards and bask in the glory of greatness, fellow mere mortals, because Metallica have uploaded some pro-shot footage that puts paid to the idea that the band can't handle the old stuff. Taken from their recent performance in Landgraaf in The Netherlands last month, it shows Papa Het and the boys absolutely tearing through Kill 'Em All classic Metal Militia with the power and precision of a band half their age. What's most heartening is that Hetfield's voice in particular sounds great, and the guy looks in his best shape for years following his completion of rehab in 2020.

Metallica are due to pick up their European tour tonight in Belgium after having to cancel this week's Swiss date owing to a positive Covid confirmation in their touring party. Hopefully we can expect plenty more of the below.

Merlin Alderslade
Merlin Alderslade

Merlin stepped into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.