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Metallica: See Photos From Epic New ‘Master of Puppets’ Book

‘Back to the Front’ chronicles making of group’s 1986 landmark album

Metallica Book New Images

See photos from Metallica's book 'Back to the Front,' which chronicles the making and release of their 1986 landmark 'Master of Puppets.'

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Earlier this year, Metallica's landmark album Master of Puppets turned 30. The record was a turning point for the group, finding the band members navigating more complex arrangements while balancing musical light and shade, and it marked the end of their first era when bassist Cliff Burton died in a bus crash while touring for the album in Europe.

"When I listen to Master of Puppets now, I just sit there and go, 'What the fuck? How do you do that?'" Ulrich told Rolling Stone in an in-depth article about the anniversary. "It's very gutsy music."

Now the group's surviving members – James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Ulrich – are looking back on the period surrounding the album in a new book, Back to the Front: A Fully Authorized Visual History of the Master of Puppets Album and Tour, which comes out tomorrow and is available for preorder via Amazon. It was written by Matt Taylor (Jaws: Memories From Martha's Vineyard) and its 276 pages contain revealing recollections from the band's friends, family and fans.

It also contains pages upon pages of pictures of the group spanning the period between 1985 and 1986, like the one above which depicts the group in a Birmingham, England, rehearsal studio a few days before playing the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. The photos that follow – all taken from the book – show both the group's fun and serious sides as they created a thrash masterpiece.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Lars Rides the Lightning

Lars Ulrich jams out on James Hetfield's guitar while wearing a Ride the Lightning shirt in his and Hetfield's home in El Cerrito, California, circa 1985.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Alcoholica, Take One

Kirk Hammett collapses with a few Buds, his Flying V in hand.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

James Lays Waste With His Guitar

James Hetfield keeps on playing as he relieves himself at Kirk Hammett's home in El Sobrante, California.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Alcoholica, Take Two

The band spits out beer in the side yard of the "Metallica Mansion" in El Cerrito after rehearsal in spring 1985.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Alcoholica, Take Three

James Hetfield grabs a Heinie in the backyard of the El Cerrito "Metallica Mansion."

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Cliff Burton Slays Donington

Metallica joined the Monsters of Rock fest in the U.K. in the summer of 1985 for a short set of Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning cuts, as well as a cover of Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?" The band was fourth-billed behind ZZ Top, Marillion and Bon Jovi.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

James Hetfield and Cliff Burton at Monsters of Rock

Hetfield and Burton keep the rhythm going at England's Donington Park. "If you came here to see spandex and fuckin' eye makeup and all that shit, and the words 'rock & roll, baby' in every fuckin' song, this ain't the fuckin' band," Hetfield told the audience. "We came here to bash some fucking heads."

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

The Band Rocks Donington

Burton, in his bellbottoms and jean jacket, takes center stage during the group's Monsters of Rock gig. 

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

James Hetfield Greets the Day on the Green Crowd

A week after playing the Monsters of Rock, Metallica were fourth-billed, behind Scorpions, Ratt and Y&T, at San Francisco's massive Day on the Green concert. There, they played four selections from Kill 'Em All, four from Ride the Lightning and "Am I Evil?"

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Cliff Burton Shows His Grinchy Side

As each of the band members enjoys the beverage of his liking backstage at Day on the Green, all but one gets into the Christmas spirit early.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Lars and James Sign Records

Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield sign autographs in Valley Center, Kansas, on March 27th, 1986.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

The Last Gig With Ozzy

For the first part of Metallica's Master of Puppets tour, they were supporting Ozzy Osbourne on his Ultimate Sin tour. This shot was taken in Hampton, Virginia, on August 3rd, 1986 – James Hetfield's 23rd birthday and the group's last date on the tour. Osbourne's crew pelted the band with rolls of toilet paper and baby powder as a playful farewell. Note that Hetfield is not playing guitar: He'd broken his arm skateboarding and Metal Church guitarist John Marshall stepped in to play rhythm guitar in his stead.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith

A shirtless Hetfield takes a break from singing – still sidelined from playing guitar after his skateboarding accident – during a gig at London's Hammersmith Odeon on September 21st, 1986. The set contained five of Master of Puppets' eight tracks.

Metallica Book New Images

Insight Editions from Metallica: Back to the Front. © 2016 We’re Only In It For the Music and Moonrise Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Metallica in Stockholm

Metallica, photographed backstage in Stockholm on September 26th, 1986 the day before tragedy struck. The next day, Cliff Burton would die when the group's bus flipped over en route to a gig in Copenhagen. He was 24.

Find out five things about Metallica's 'Master of Puppets'. Watch here.