Hetfield and Hammett revisit Metallica's Black Album, plus the true origins of Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstein – only in the new Guitar World

November 2021
(Image credit: Future)

“It was wild to be, you know, in the grocery store and someone's mom would say, ‘Oh, my kids really love your music… and so do I.’ So what the Black Album did was… well, it made us really popular, basically!” —James Hetfield

It’s hard to believe, but Metallica’s monumental self-titled 1991 album – aka the Black Album – has been on the planet for 30 years. In our exclusive cover interview, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett recall the making of the album and its unbelievable aftermath. We also check in with several artists – from St. Vincent to Ghost’s Tobias Forge – who recorded Black Album covers for Metallica’s brand-new Blacklisted project.

And we asked a host of guitar greats – including John Petrucci, Jerry Cantrell, Tetrarch's Diamond Rowe, Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher and Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner – to name their personal Black Album guitar highlights.

The new issue of Guitar World is on sale now. (opens in new tab)

Other features

Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstein guitar — It's alive!
Another Guitar World exclusive! We present the true origins and evolution of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstein guitar. Think you know all there is to know about Franky? Well, to paraphrase “Runnin’ with the Devil,” the simple things aren’t so simple...

Dirty Honey's John Notto
“A lot of bands would say, ‘Oh, no, we should start small,’ but we never felt like we weren’t ready.”
Dirty Honey guitarist John Notto explains why this riff-fueled Los Angeles four-piece is ready for anything, including the big, big, big time.

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
Road-tested royalty! The man they call “Kingfish” assumes his throne atop the Delta blues tradition.

Huge sounds from mini pedals!
A handy guide to 10 of our editors’ favorite diminutive tone machines.

November 2021

(Image credit: Jimmy Hubbard)

More artists – and Tonal Recall
In Tune-Ups, we catch up with Danko Jones, Ayron Jones, Alien Weaponry, Enslaved and Liz Phair – and offer up reviews of guitar-centric tracks, including new ones by Gus G, Torres, Black Midi and more. In Tonal Recall, we solve the mystery behind Ernie Isley's tone on the Isley Brothers' 1973 hit, "That Lady."

Lessons and columns
We’ve got columns by Andy Timmons, Greg Koch, Andy Aledort and Jimmy Brown. Speaking of which, you can find the corresponding videos right here.

Gear reviews
This month, we review the Charvel Pro-Mod Series, the PRS Guitars SE Tonare Parlor P20E, the Boss Nextone Special and the Roadie 3 Automatic Guitar Tuner.

Song transcriptions
This month's song transcriptions are Vulfpeck's "Dean Town," Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's “You Got That Right.” 

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.