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.

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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, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.