Metallica is a metal icon. No duh, so why spotlight them? First off, because the majority of readers we have are young, we need to clear the air about Metallica (or in recent years, Rocktallica). You might be too young to have been exposed to 'Ride The Lightening' or 'Master Of Puppets' recorded in their heyday. I was, but it doesn't stop me from from enjoying their old stuff (and wondering what the hell has happened to them since then).
Around the time the Black album was released, Metallica took a ride down the slippery slope into a place we call "Mainstreamvilleton". Mainstreamvilleton is not the kind of place a metal kid wants to find himself after dark--or in broad daylight for that matter. So why the sudden and drastic change in style if the old stuff was so great? Perhaps Metallica did it for the money, maybe they really were being true to themselves (what's more metal than that?), we really can only speculate. One fact remains though, their presence from the early days is still felt, influencing bands from all across the world to make that "sweet drug" you and I consume without reservation. Metallica perhaps embodies the true spirt of metal, that is, sometimes silly, sometimes thought provoking, always moving and ever so often... disappointing.