Throughout the history of rock music, there hasn't been a band that fetched the excessive amount of passionate hate throughout their musical journey in a way that Metallica did.
Many of the steps they took saw the band going nowhere but up, pretty much every major decision kept them relevant, but also fetched massive loads of hate. Well, we'll sum those up in a brief rundown.
1984 - "Fade to Black" - Selling Out No. 1
It was only three years since Metallica was founded that the boys started receiving their very first sell-out accusations. Ballads, acoustic guitars and more fragile emotions were a big no-no for a significant portion of the fanbase, who were very eager to express their outrage over the whole matter.
1988 - "One" Music Video - Selling Out No. 2
Ever sillier than the previous issue, the band faced heat from the fans when deciding to release their first music video in 1988. Metallica was supposedly very much against music videos and the fact that they dared to release one infuriated the fans. James Hetfield once noted that a fan supposedly spat in his face because of the video.
1991 - "The Black Album" - Selling Out No. 3
With 1991's self-titled record, also known as the "Black Album," Metallica scored major success, but also changed their song format to more compact tunes based around a single massive riff rather than lengthy tracks featuring the interchange of dozens of various figures.
The band pointed out that they simply thought that "...And Justice for All" saw them driving their progressive side to its peak and that they needed a shift towards simplicity, but many fans dismissed it and went for the ole sell-out label.
1996/1997 - "Load" + "Reload" - Selling Out No. 4+5
Cutting their hair, drastically changing the vibe, the image, the approach - the "Load" shift took some balls to carry through, and was met with severe sell-out accusations. At this point, the first three sell-out points have very much faded away, but the "Load" stance still stands strong among many fans.
It does seem like the trend is decreasing in time, and seeing that these are quality tunes we're talking about, our guess is that the "(Re)Load" hate will pretty much disappear in time as well, much like it should.
1999 - "S&M" - Selling Out No. 6
The symphony experiment was bound to earn its share of haters too. Orchestral arrangements, a seated venue, and even that dreaded word known as autotune.
2000 - Napster - Selling Out No. 7
Another big one. So much hate. But Lars was right in many ways, whether you like it or not.
2003 - "St. Anger"
With the dawn of the new millennium came the new Metallica album, and once again disappointments of hardcore fans on all fronts, with two of the most prominent complaints being that snare drum sound and the fact that there are no solos.
When it comes to "St. Anger," the hate is still strong.
2011 - "Lulu"
Finally, the hardest one to swallow - the infamous Lou Reed collaboration known as "Lulu." You could say that this was the bravest move of their entire career. Starting an album with "I would cut my legs and tits off / When I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski" line, the whole "I am the table" thing...
However, it does make you leave wondering about how people will react to "Lulu" in 20, 30 or 50 years - will it be more of the same bashing, kudos for bravery or even some praises of the music itself. Only time will tell...