Back to 'Black'

The best of Israel’s metal artists pay tribute to the 20th anniversary of Metallica’s cornerstone album.

September 23, 2011 16:19
2 minute read.

Metallica 521. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Metallica’s album Metallica, better known as The Black Album, was their fifth studio album. It was released in 1991 and quickly climbed the charts, becoming the group’s biggest hit and an influence on rock ‘n’ roll around the world. In honor of the anniversary of its release, the who’s-who of Israeli metal music are getting together for a special performance in Tel Aviv, where they will play all the songs on the album, as well as other Metallica hits.

An LA-based metal group, Metallica came from the sidelines to become a household name. According to Rolling Stone magazine, “In the 1980s – when big hair and small ideas dominated heavy metal – Metallica’s blend of brains and brawn gave the genre a muchneeded charge.”

Metallica sold six million copies and brought the group into the spotlight, helping them end up as the biggestselling rock act of the 1990s. The album ranks #252 on Rolling Stone’s list of The Greatest Albums of All Time.

Eli Zulta is the singer for Israeli metal band Almana Shchora, which has been on the scene since 1992. He is one of the artists participating in the performance.

“Metallica was close to my heart. I grew up with that genre,” he says. “By the time I started performing, Metallica was a huge part of rock ‘n’ roll. You couldn’t walk down the street without hearing them.”

He feels that The Black Album was incredibly significant for Metallica.

“Metallica is divided into two worlds – before The Black Album and after. Some people claim that the album made Metallica more commercial and less metal, but I think it was a more developed and mature album. It put rock ‘n’ roll on the world map in a bigger way than it had been up until then, and brought it to a wider audience,” he says.

Metallica also had a direct influence on Zulta him and his band. Zulta anticipates that the concert will draw a wide-ranging audience made up of far more than die-hard Metallica fans.

Some, he is sure, will be coming to hear the performers themselves, many of whom are well known.

“It’s an incredibly professional group,” he says of the concert participants.

For Zulta and many like him, this is about something much more than just music.

“Whoever listens to rock ‘n’ roll, lives rock and roll,” says Zulta. “Rock ‘n’ roll isn’t music – it’s a way of life.”

The performance will take place on Wednesday at Tel Aviv’s Barby Club.

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