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Readers’ Poll: 10 Best Post-Black Album Metallica Songs

See what songs managed to top ‘St. Anger,’ ‘The Day That Never Comes’ and ‘Fuel’

Metallica, Best Metallica songs, Greatest Metallica songs, Best post-black album Metallica songs

Metallica's new LP 'Hardwired ... to Self Destruct' is about to hit, and to celebrate we asked their fans to select their best songs of past 25 years.

Jeff Yeager/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Metallica's 1991 Black Album LP meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The band's label saw it as a huge commercial breakthrough that could introduce them to a whole new fan base. Young fans that first learned about the band due to "Enter Sandman," saw it as their gateway to the entire genre of heavy metal. The band saw it as just the next step on their part to world domination. Finally, some of their hardcore fans from the very beginning saw it as a betrayal. To them, metal had no place on MTV and Top 40 radio. Some began crying "sell out" and haven't stopped since. Any way you see it, the album was a key turning point in their career. It's why they can still play stadiums, and why a handful of old fans never saw them in the same light again. The group devotes most of their live show to songs from The Black Album and before, but to honor their upcoming album Hardwired…To Self Destruct we asked their fans to select the band's best work since the Black Album

Metallica, Best Metallica songs, Greatest Metallica songs, Best post-black album Metallica songs
5

“Hero of the Day”

The video for Metallica's "Hero of the Day" shows a stoned teenager watching a strange TV lineup where every channel shows members of Metallica, whether its Jason Newstead boxing Kirk Hammet, Newstead hosting a gameshow or Hammet hosting the news. In our world, this was 1996 and MTV wasn't playing nearly as much Metallica as they did back in 1991. Still, "Hero of the Day" got enough attention to top the Billboard Modern Rock Chart. They haven't touched the song a single time in concert since the 1990s.  

Metallica, Best Metallica songs, Greatest Metallica songs, Best post-black album Metallica songs
4

“Fuel”

Metallica don't play many songs from Load and Reload at their concerts these days, but "Fuel" is a huge exception. They've played it over 450 times and it never fails to get a big reaction. It didn't crack the Hot 100 when it became the third single from Reload in the summer of 1998, but Nascar began playing it during their broadcasts for obvious reasons and it ultimately became their best-known song from either of the Load albums. Just don't listen to the Avril Lavigne cover. It'll make you never want to hear any version of the song ever again. 

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3

“All Nightmare Long”

The second single from 2008's Death Magnetic was an eight-minute long tune about being chased by a relentless enemy determined to kill. "Feel us breathe upon your face," James Hetfield sings. "Feel us shift, every move we trace/Hunt you down without mercy/Hunt you down all nightmare long." It wasn't the kind of song designed to get radio play, but old school fans loved the Kirk Hammet guitar solos and all freakish imagery in the lyrics. It also sounded amazing live, though they've only done it once in the past three years. 

Metallica, Best Metallica songs, Greatest Metallica songs, Best post-black album Metallica songs
2

“Bleeding Me”

One of the longest songs from either of the Load records, "Bleeding Me" is a confessional tune by James Hetfield about the agony of alcoholism and his desperate yearning to improve his life. "I was trying to bleed out all bad, get the evil out," he said in 2001. "While I was going through therapy, I discovered some ugly stuff in there. A dark spot." He wouldn't fully confront his demons for another few years, but "Bleeding Me" is an early sign he knew his life had run into trouble. It was never an official single, but its a longtime fan favorite. The band hasn't played it a single time since their 20th anniversary shows in 2011. 

Metallica, Best Metallica songs, Greatest Metallica songs, Best post-black album Metallica songs
1

“The Outlaw Torn”

Load wraps up with a song that runs nearly 10 minutes long and is about losing someone close to you, and many have speculated its about Cliff Burton. "You make me smash the clock and feel," James Hetfield sings. "I'd rather die behind the wheel/ Time was never on my side/ So on I wait my whole lifetime." The song originally wrapped up with a long instrumental coda, but once they learned the album ran too long they had to shave a bit off of it. It's still one of the longest songs they've ever recorded. That might explain why they've only played it 13 times in their entire history. 

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