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Metallica to Perform ‘Black Album’ in Its Entirety in 2012

Metallica
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

In news that should prove far more exciting for Metallica fans than their recent collaboration with Lou Reed, the metal legends have announced plans to perform their multi-platinum self-titled effort — commonly referred to as ‘The Black Album’ — in its entirety next year.

There’s a catch, however: so far it looks like they’ll only be doing these shows on the summer European festival circuit – with the first date happening in the UK, where Metallica will be headlining the 10th annual Download Festival at Donington Park on June 9.

The concert will mark Metallica’s eighth appearance at Donington, which has served as Download’s home as well as the site of the Monsters of Rock Festival. They’ve been away for awhile, however, which drummer Lars Ulrich acknowledged in the band’s statement announcing the show. “Six years is way too long to be away from the hallowed grounds of Donington Park,” said Ulrich. “We are beyond psyched and feel privileged to come back once again to soak up the energy and vibe of the most legendary of festival sites.”

The festival’s organizers share the band’s enthusiasm. “I am absolutely bowled over that Metallica will be playing The Black Album at the 10th anniversary of Download,” said Live Nation VP Andy Copping. “The album is up there as one of the greatest albums of all time, everyone knows the songs. The Download Festival has come a long way since we first started in 2003, and to have Metallica back to help us celebrate this milestone is just fantastic.”

With sales of over 15 million units, ‘The Black Album’ is the most successful album of the SoundScan era. Spawning three Top 40 singles and reaching No. 1 on a variety of worldwide charts — including Billboard’s Top 200 Albums tally — it cemented Metallica’s status as one of the biggest bands in the world. In the years since, Metallica has dedicated itself to relentlessly looking forward, adjusting its image and its sound, sometimes to the chagrin of fans who only wanted another ‘Enter Sandman.’ (Editor’s note: or another ‘Kill ‘Em All.’)

Those fans will have their chance to relive those memories next summer, but they’ll have to start saving up for tickets (and plane tickets) now. Festival sales start next Friday at 9 AM through the Download website.

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