More Metallica mischief

By Peter Nowak, CBCnews.ca

Oh, Metallica. Why must you insist on making it so hard for people to like you?

Everybody's favourite Napster-fighting metal band is at it again, this time objecting to bloggers who have been reviewing some tracks from their new album. The band recently invited music critics to London to hear six unfinished tracks, then got upset when those same journalists actually - gasp! - wrote about the experience.

Metallica's management contacted the bloggers and persuaded them into taking the previews down, despite the fact that no non-disclosure agreements had been signed. Worse still - as some sites have reported, the previews didn't exactly trash the new tracks. One site, The Quietus, even referred to the new songs as "a return to form."

So why is Metallica getting uppity with the internet again? As Ars Technica points out, it may be an attempt to generate some publicity or buzz about an album that many people had no idea was even in the works.

If that's the case, though, it's the worst kind of publicity a band could ask for, especially given Metallica's history and internet users' long memories. The band alienated a whole mess of fans through its vicious battle with Napster, many of whom punished the band by forgoing its 2003 studio album, St. Anger. Not surprisingly, that album proved to be Metallica's worst-selling release ever. With moves like these prompting one-time fans to declare "Metallica is dead to me," the new album's sales could be even worse.