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Metallica started playing locally, releasing their first widely circulated demo, No Life ’til Leather, in 1982. The demo caught the attention of Johny Zazula, who signed Metallica to Megaforce Records. The band released Kill ‘Em All in 1983, and the following year they released Ride the Lightning. After Ride the Lightning was released, Metallica left Megaforce and signed to Elektra Records. In March 1986, the band released its third studio album, Master of Puppets, which was Metallica’s first album to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. While promoting the album, Burton was killed in a bus accident. Jason Newsted was hired as a replacement. The band’s first release to feature the new member was The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, and then followed by …And Justice for All in August 1988, which peaked at number six on the Billboard 200.

Metallica’s fifth, self-titled album, often called The Black Album, was released in 1991. Metallica followed with the release of Load and Reload, respectively. After the release of Garage Inc. and S&M, Newsted (who would later join Voivod) departed from the band. Metallica recorded St. Anger without an official bassist (bass parts for the writing & recording during the album sessions were played by the band’s long-time producer Bob Rock). Bassist Robert Trujillo joined Metallica in 2003. In 2008, the band released its ninth studio album, Death Magnetic.

In 2013, Metallica released the movie, Metallica: Through the Never, together with its soundtrack. Metallica then started writing their tenth studio album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, which was released on November 18, 2016.

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