10 Heavy Metal And Hard Rock Albums That Are Hated By Fans Of The Band

February 12th, 2015 | by staff
10 Heavy Metal And Hard Rock Albums That Are Hated By Fans Of The Band
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Everybody missteps sometimes, even the mightiest overlords of heavy metal sound and fury.

In fact, for a metal band (or any band, really) to truly attain legend status, it seems as though they’ve got to experience one colossal blunder, be it a major performance gone wrong (Guns N’ Roses’ 1991 St. Louis Riverport Riot), a mortifying music video (Billy Squier’s “Rock Me Tonite”), or, toughest of all to take, an eagerly anticipated album that hits listeners in every wrong way possible.

Some audience-rejected records bomb so severely that they blow the band to smithereens. Others just slip into obscurity and everybody simply slinks away from the wreckage. The following musical misfires from fanatically followed metal giants, however, represent catastrophic career milestones that brought on historic hatred from each group’s own most fervent devotees. That accomplishment, in itself, is highly, heavily metal.

1. Metallica St. Anger (2003)

“St. Anger”

Any list of this nature could only begin with Metallica, a group that has spectacularly and repeatedly earned the descriptor, “the band most hated by its own fans.” From cutting their hair to suing Napster, the group’s non-musical endeavors come off prickly enough, but for most of their career now, each successive Metallica album seems to infuriate on immediate impact—while simultaneously selling millions.

The split began in 1991 with the self-titled Metallica, more commonly known as “the Black Album.” Long-time devotees despised the record’s slick songwriting and even slicker production, but the Black Album is what turned Metallica into the biggest-selling hard rock band of all time.

This type of old-fans-out/new-fans-in divisiveness intensified throughout the ’90s over the records Load and Re-Load. Finally, come the 21st century, Metallica managed to unite listeners worldwide as one with the 2003 release of their long-in-the-making opus, St. Anger: seemingly everyone on earth instantly and psychotically hated what they heard.

With producer Bob Rock (already scorned by vintage Metallica fans for his work with Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe) playing bass, St. Anger boasts a hissing overall sound, tinny drums, and, insanely, not a single guitar solo. The songs are harsh, directionless, and repellant enough to suggest that some day some art school nerds might reclaim St. Anger as an avant-garde masterpiece. The rest of humanity will still loathe it, though.

Not helping the album’s reception was Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, a brutally brilliant big-screen documentary that chronicled the making of St. Anger in which two key members of Metallica come off as out-of-touch, egomaniacal brats (hint: there were only three at the time, and one of the slap-inviting blowhards is not lead guitarist Kirk Hammett).

Aside from the 2011 bungle Lulu with Lou Reed, that simply got mocked into oblivion, Metallica have largely healed the rift they caused with fans in the early 2000s. The carefully crafted Death Magnetic was well received in 2008 (although that, too, sparked online uproar over how its sound was “compressed”), and the group has since mounted the Orion musical festival and released the really rather kickass 2014 3D concert movie, Through the Never. Still, they’ll mess up again, somehow. They’re Metallica. That’s what they do.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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