Kirk Hammett reflected on the unprecedented impact of Metallica’s albums “Kill ‘Em All” and “Ride the Lightning”, stating, “at their release, they were unparalleled.”
The emergence of thrash metal in the early 1980s marked a monumental shift in music, influencing subsequent generations and becoming a cornerstone of the heavy metal genre. Metallica was at the heart of this movement.
Looking back, Kirk Hammett and his fellow band members didn’t anticipate the magnitude of their influence. In a recent chat with Philadelphia’s 93.3 WMMR, Kirk marveled at how they, as young 20-somethings, achieved such a groundbreaking feat.
“We had a shared vision, and our aim was truly distinct,” Kirk shared, also acknowledging the thriving thrash metal community they were a part of. He listed fellow bands, including Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Exodus, Overkill, and Testament, saying, “Many bands pursued that vision, and we were all on the same page.”
He continued, expressing amazement that everyone in that scene was of a similar age and was so cohesive in their musical direction. The music industry took notice, leading to many of these bands securing record deals.
“We accomplished so much at such a young age,” Hammett said, reflecting on the force that seemed to be guiding them. “When those two albums were released, they were in a league of their own. I’m incredibly proud of that. Looking back, I’m astonished.”
“At the time,” he added, “we simply moved on to the next project without dwelling on our achievements. Now, decades later, I can truly appreciate our contribution.”
On a related note, despite past disputes regarding his departure from Metallica, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth praised Hammett. Speaking about Metallica’s new release “72 Seasons”, Dave commented, “People might criticize Kirk, but he’s an exceptional guitarist. For decades, he’s consistently proven his skills. I haven’t heard the new album, but I believe it’s top-notch.”