Metallica have teased a possible reissue of their 1991 self-titled record (also known as The Black Album), with a new set of cryptic social media posts.
The band took to Instagram and Facebook to post a clip of a 1992 performance of the album’s track Wherever I May Roam, along with the hashtags “#FBF” (flashback Friday) and “#BlackAlbum2021”. Some outlets also reported the use of “#ComingThisFall”, but this has been removed from the posts at the time of writing.
Given the sparse nature of the tease, it’s not known exactly what this Black Album-related release will be, however 2021 will mark the 30-year anniversary of the album’s release. With this in mind, it’s likely that autumn 2021 will see either a reissue or remaster of the record as an anniversary edition.
The 1991 album marked a new era for Metallica, with a departure from the thrash metal sound of their 1980s output. The Black Album instead features a thicker, heavier sound and slower tempos on average. Many reviewers at the time praised the new direction, however noted that staunch thrash fans had accused the band of “selling out.” Jonathan Gold of the LA Times notably compared its release to Bob Dylan going electric.
Regardless, The Black Album was a commercial breakthrough for the band, spending a month at the top of the Billboard 200, and becoming one the best-selling albums of all time in the US. Its legacy includes some of the band’s best-known tracks: Nothing Else Matters, The Unforgiven, Sad But True and, of course, Enter Sandman.