Metallica Albums In Order By Year

The current four member of the heavy metal band
The current four member of the heavy metal band( Source : facebook )

In What Year Did Metallica Release First Album? Metallica released their first album, Kill 'Em All in 1983 through the label Megaforce Records.

They are an iconic American heavy metal band known for getting the underground sounds of thrash metal into the mainstream alongside Anthrax and Slayer.

Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, the group found its breakthrough following the release of its third studio album Master of Puppets in 1986, which is regarded as one of the best heavy metal albums.

The metal outfit has received numerous accolades including 9 Grammy Awards, and 5 Billboard Music Awards, and 10 California Music Awards. They were eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

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1. Kill 'Em All

Kill 'Em All album cover
Kill 'Em All album cover( Source : facebook )

Record LabelMegaforce Records
Release DateJul 25,1983

Metallica first album is Kill 'Em All. It was released through an independent label Megaforce Records.

The album was initially planned to be titled Metal Up Your A$$, but Jon Zazula convinced the members to rename the title in fear of losing any chances of success with such an offensive title.

Although Metallica first album release date was on July 25, 1983, it wasn't until 1986 that the album was featured in the Billboard 200 chart at #155, following the band's success with their third album.

Initially, the band failed to achieve commercial success selling only 60,000 copies globally, however, it garnered positive acclaim from the majority of critics.

On March 9, 1999, the album was eventually certified 3x Platinum in the United States for shipping three million copies. Currently, the album has sold about 4.5 million copies in the US.

2. Ride The Lightning

Ride The Lightning album cover
Ride The Lightning album cover( Source : twitter )

Release DateJuly 27, 1984
Record LabelMegaforce Records

After Metallica first album year 1986, they released Ride The Lightning in 1974. The sophomore album's title was inspired by a Stephen King novel.

The title was inspired by the novel The Stand. The album cover artwork displays an electric chair stuck by the lightning from the band's symbol.

Having spent several months on tour alongside other experienced bands, the group molded themselves into a leaner and more proficient act with more sophisticated lyrics.

The album was significantly more successful than its predecessor, debuting on the Billboard 200 charts on September 29, 1984, but managed to peak the charts at #48 three decades later in May 2016.

As of now, the album has recorded over 6.5 million sales in the US and received 6x Platinum certification by the RIAA on December 13. 2012.

3. Master Of Puppets

Master Of Puppets album cover
Master Of Puppets album cover( Source : facebook )

Release DateMatch 3, 1986
Record LabelElektra Records

Sitting at the third spot in Metallica album list is Master Of Puppets. It was recorded in Denmark and helped the band achieve mainstream popularity.

Released in 1986, it was the band's final album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, following his tragic death in a bus accident during a promotional tour in Sweden.

Debuting on March 29, 1986, at the 128th spot on Billboard 200 charts, the album stayed at the chart for 

The second self-titled track from the album was a huge sensation. As of now, the song has recorded more than 665 million streams on Spotify.

The album is regarded as the band's greatest album. It ranked at #2 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time" just behind Black Sabbath's Paranoid in 2017.

4. ...And Justice For All

...And Justice For All album cover
...And Justice For All album cover( Source : reddit )

Release DateSeptember 7, 1988
Record LabelElektra Records

...And Justice For All is the fourth studio album by Metallica. It is the first album to star bass guitarist Jason Newsted following the tragic death of Burton.

Harvester of Sorrow was the album's first single but it was its 3rd single, One, that caught the likes of many music fans and critics.

The album was a huge commercial success, peaking at No. 6 on Billboard 200 while making its top 10 appearances in several other charts throughout the world.

The album earned Metallica their first-ever Grammy nominations at the 31st Annual Grammy Award ceremony for Best Hard Rock/ Metal Performance but lost to Jethro Tull's Crest of a Knave.

On June 9, 2003, ...And Justice For All was certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA for shipping 8 million copies in the US, whereas of today the album has shipped over 9.7 million copies.

5. Metallica

Metallica "The Black Album" album cover( Source : facebook )

Release DateAugust 12, 1991
Record LabelElektra Records

Metallica is the fifth self-titled studio album of the band recorded at One on One Studios in L.A. The album is also titled The Black Album.

The album saw a change in Metallica's musical direction as they shifted from their prior thrash metal genre to slower, heavier music with a more refined sound.

The album's first promotional single Enter Sandman was a huge sensation and is the band's most successful song to this date grossing over a billion streams on Spotify.

Metallica achieved critical acclaim and became the band's best-selling album, shipping over 17.3 million copies solely in the US, awarding them their first-ever diamond status by the RIAA.

The album helped the band win Grammys for Best Metal Performance while the hit single earned nomination for Best Rock Song at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in 1992.

6. Load

Load album cover
Load album cover( Source : facebook )

Record LabelElektra Records
Release DateJune 4, 1996

At the sixth spot in Metallica albums in order by year falls Load. It was released in June 1996 through Elektra Records in the United States.

The tracks featured more elements of hard-rock than of their conventional thrash metal. The album also derived inspiration from Southern rock, blues rock, and country rock.

The album commenced with 4 of its singles, out of which the fourth single, King Nothing, released a year later in January 1997 acquired the mainstream attention.

Being a huge commercial success, the album topped the chart in 18 different countries including Billboard 200, UK Album charts, and more, and ended at the 14th spot in Billboard yearly chart.

7. Reload

Reload album cover
Reload album cover( Source : facebook )

Release DateNovember 18, 1997
Record LabelElektra Records

Reload is the seventh studio album by the iconic band. It is the succeeding album to its predecessor Load and was released in November 1997.

With bassist Jason Newsted departing from the band in January 2001, Reload became the last album to include the lineup of the ...And Justice for All period.

Although marked as a sequel to Load, it didn't achieve the popularity and mainstream success as its precursor album. However, it did manage to debut at #1 on Billboard 200 charts and held the spot for 75 weeks.

The album's fourth single and fifth track, Better Than You was awarded the Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance at the 41st Grammy Award ceremony in 1999.

The album sold over 436,000 units in its initial week in the US and ultimately recorded over 4.48 million sales in the US. It was certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA a year after its release.

8. St. Anger

St. Anger album cover
St. Anger album cover( Source : facebook )

Release DateJune 5, 2003
Record LabelElektra Records

St. Anger is the 2003 studio album by the American metal band. It is the band's only album that featured three members following Newsted's departure.

It is the final collaboration between Metallica and producer Bob Rock, who took the place of Newsted as a bassist in the studio and also was the band's last album to be released via Elektra Records.

The album featured a fresh alternative metal style, raw production, and refined drum sounds parting ways from its signature thrash metal and guitar solos.

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the album debuted at the top of album charts in 14 different countries including the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and more.

At the 46th Annual Grammy, the title track and lead single won the Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance

9.Death Magnetic

Death Magnetic album cover
Death Magnetic album cover( Source : facebook )

Release DateSeptember 12, 2008
Record LabelWarner Bros

Death Magnetic is the ninth album by the Metal band. It's the first album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo and was released via a new label Warner Bros.

The band went back to its roots of thrash metal, which was an extreme departure from its prior album. Death Magnetic also featured elements of alternative metal.

Topping the Billboard 200 charts, yet again, it made Metallica the first Metal band to spawn five consecutive No. 1 studio albums.

As for the accolades, the album including its songs earned six Grammy nominations; five in 2009 and one in 2010, winning three of them, including Best Metal Performance for the track My Apocalypse.

As of June 28, 2010, Death Magnetic is certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA for shipping 2 million records in the US while it's achieved 4x Platinum in Canada for selling 320,000 copies.

10. Hardwired... To Self-Destruct

Hardwired... To Self-Destruct album cover
Hardwired... To Self-Destruct album cover( Source : twitter )

Release DateNovember 18, 2016
Record LabelBlackened Recordings

Following an eight-year gap, the band released their tenth and double album Hardwired... To Self-Destruct in November 2016 through their own label.

As a result of the lengthy hiatus, the album was hugely anticipated, debuting atop Billboard 200. This act made it the second time in history for a band to have six consecutive albums debuted at the No. 1 spot.

The album's first single, Hardwired, was a tremendous hit earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song in 2017 and has raked up 136 million plays on Spotify.

Likewise, the album won the Billboard Music Awards' Top Rock Album in 2017 and also garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album in 2018.

11. 72 Seasons

72 Seasons album cover
72 Seasons album cover( Source : twitter )

Release DateApril 14, 2023
Record LabelBlackened Recordings

Metallica's latest album 72 Seasons was recently released in April 2023 through their own record label.

72 Seasons commenced the release with its first promotional single Lux AEterna on November 28, 2022. It is the most successful song from the album.

Making a comeback back to its roots of thrash and heavy metal, the album received positive reviews in general, specifically for its "genuinely moving" lyrics by James Hetfield.

Debuting at the No. 2 spot on Billboard 200, the album broke the band's 14-year-long streak which was first held by their fifth album, Metallica, in 1991.

The album has seen commercial success, debuting at the top of album charts in 20 different nations including Canada, Australia, Germany, France, UK amongst many others.

It sold 146,000 copies in its initial week solely in the US among which 134,000 came purely from album sales.

Some FAQs

What Year Did Metallica Release First Album?

Metallica released their first album, Kill 'Em All, on 25 July 1983 through Megaforce Records.

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