Metallica is scheduled to release Lulu this coming Tuesday in the States, a collaboration with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lou Reed, who went in as a member of Velvet Underground (one of the band's biggest influences). The album has been streamed for the last couple of weeks on their website, earning universal panning and parodying the likes of which even St. Anger never saw.
Unquestionably, Metallica's first five albums alone (Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, ...And Justice For All, Metallica) were enough to send them into the Hall of Fame.
However, fans have been separating those five albums (in some cases, even separating Metallica) from the newer Metallica for years. It's either "hit or miss" from Load onward or many fans just can't be bothered to listen to the newer Metallica.
Is Metallica ruining their legacy with recent albums that have been critically destructive or do they still hold their place as one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time?