Consequence’s 2023 Heavy Band of the Year

Our 2023 Annual Report rocks on today with the announcement of Metallica as our 2023 Heavy Band of the Year. Keep it locked for the rest of our annual report, detailing the best music, film, and television of the year. Find our full Annual Report coverage here, and don’t forget to see our 30 Best Metal & Hard Rock Albums of 2023 list, too.


The biggest metal band in the world reasserted their position at the top of the heavy music heap this year. Metallica dominated 2023 from beginning to end, and did it in grand style.

In April, Metallica released 72 Seasons, their first studio album in nearly seven years, earning rave reviews — and a Consequence cover story —  for what many consider to be their best full-length since 1991’s mega-selling “Black Album.” A couple weeks later, frontman James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett, drummer Lars Ulrich, and bassist Robert Trujillo embarked on the band’s ambitious “M72 World Tour,” a unique outing stretching into next year that sees Metallica playing “no repeat” shows on Friday and Sunday in each city, performing a completely different set of songs on each night.

For 40-plus years, Metallica have never been afraid to take chances, and not every risk has been met with enthusiasm from their fans. Whether it was cutting their hair in the ’90s, or exposing their intra-band dysfunction in the documentary Some Kind of Monster, or releasing the big-budget IMAX movie Metallica: Through the Never to meek box office results, Metallica haven’t let any criticism or setbacks stand in their way of taking on the next challenge.

As Hammett tells Consequence in an exclusive year-end interview, “Since the very, very, very beginning [of the band], there’s always been an adverse factor… People didn’t really know what to think of us, and when people don’t understand something, they knock it. They get negative, they criticize it. So, we’ve always had to put up with that factor. As far as I’m concerned, we were the perfect people to be in that position because all of us are ornery and kind of sarcastic and a little angry to begin with, so bring it on!”

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He continues, “It’s always been more a fact of just doing what the fuck we want to do. It’s not like we’re going, ‘Okay, we’re going to take a chance and do this and do that.’ No, it’s just like, ‘Let’s do this. Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. Let’s do it.’ Everyone gets enthusiastic about it, and that’s just another version of ‘we’re gonna do whatever the fuck we wanna do,’ if it sounds like a good idea to us.”

Author: Michael

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