Metallica is a heavy metal band formed in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Over the 30+ years they have been together; they have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, had 4 members in the band (3 bassists, and 1 guitarist; not including Bob Rock during the recording of St. Anger filling in for Jason), and have released nine studio albums with a tenth on the way (three with Cliff Burton who joined in 1982 and died in 1986, four with Jason Newsted who joined after Cliff's death, one with Bob Rock who was a studio member for the band, and two with their new bassist Robert Trujillo who joined in 2003).
Metallica is pretty much the biggest name in heavy metal -- mostly every band in the heavy metal genre could possibly list their early work before Load (or The Black Album), or the band in entirety as an influence. I find them as an influence myself, mainly with Ride the Lightning that got me into the music. Metallica is a decent band nowadays. They're not really like they were back then. They are trying to fix themselves in their music, which I can appreciate that with Death Magnetic and "Lords of Summer". But they have sold out to be a part of mainstream music with Load by making the album a Hard Rock album, and disappointing a lot of their fans who were waiting for The Black Album 2. ReLoad was pretty decent, and it vaguely touched their old roots with songs like "Fuel", "Devil's Dance", and "Prince Charming".
2001 came around, and they went downhill with "St. Anger". Lars and Bob had told Kirk that the album doesn't feel that it needs guitar solos (as recorded on their documentary Some Kind of Monster, recording all of the bands incidents leading up to "St. Anger"). 2006 came around and they had a chance. 2008, they went back to their old roots with Death Magnentic. It was the first album in 22 years to have a full-on instrumental (not including ...And Justice for All's "To Live is to Die", which features an excerpt of vocals from the late Cliff Burton). Then they had released a collaboration project with Lou Reed, which blew it heavily for the band and their fans. But they seem to have hope with their upcoming album, which I hope features "Lords of Summer".
Set past histories aside, let's take a look at their current live performances. The band is pretty nice live. I had taken the opportunity to see them on Orion Music Festival 2013. They were good. The only thing that I have to complain about their current live shows is most of the bands techniques in their playing. Back then, Lars Ulrich has created double bass drum parts. Some of the songs, like "Fight Fire with Fire" and "One", he can keep up with them. But songs like "Dyers Eve"? They're choppy. It could be age, but then we have to take a look at Dave Lombardo (who is a year and 2 months younger than Lars) who can still manage to keep up with double bass parts. Kirk uses the whammy pedal too much during the solos when performing classics. James is alright. His vocals aren't like what they were in the 80s - early 90s (all rough, and had that "Fuck with me, I'll fuck you up" attitude). But I can see why his voice is not like it used to, due to the bands performance of "So What?" back in the early 90s where James broke his voice box and had many songs to play. Robert... eh... Robert is good as a bass player, but I agree with a YouTube comment that he just doesn't seem to fit in the band; like his presence in the band is too pointless.
Past Metallica (1983-1993) - I give a 9/10.
Current Metallica (1995-Present) - I give a 6.5/10, but still have hope for something that can bring back the legendary Metallica without some collaboration project.
Opinion by Fatal Disease