METALLICA To Release Much-Anticipated 'St. Anger' Five Days Early

Due to the unprecedented level of anticipation and the prevalence of sub-standard versions of METALLICA's upcoming CD, "St. Anger", already in circulation, Elektra Records has moved up the release date of the new album, from Tuesday, June 10, to Thursday, June 5.

Elektra and METALLICA have taken this extraordinary measure to ensure that counterfeit copies of the band's first studio album in six years do not proliferate in the marketplace. METALLICA unanimously approved the move, guaranteeing that fans get first crack at hearing the acclaimed disk the way the band intended: Loud and unadulterated.

A spokesperson for Elektra indicates that this is a rare exception to standard release policy for the label, pointing out that demand for the new METALLICA album warrants every measure be undertaken to prevent unauthorized leaks of "St. Anger". In the past year, superstar artists such as EMINEM and 50 CENT have both moved up their respective release dates to stem illegal piracy. METALLICA is the first rock band to move up a release to counter the spread of unauthorized copies. According to noted magazine's Spin and Blender, METALLICA followers will be ecstatic to hear "St. Anger" the way the band intended. Says Spin: "This is the album METALLICA lifers have been waiting for: an inspired return to the complex savagery of old." Blender raves: "Once again their music is about bringing the carnage...whiplash time shifts and thrash guitar evoke prime METALLICA."

In other overtures to fans, METALLICA has conjured up a slew of unique activities and promotions to celebrate the release of their 10th album, "St. Anger".

The band has crafted a DVD Treasure Hunt for fans hungry for METALLICA performances of new material. The first ever-online music promotion of its kind, the Treasure Hunt coincides with METALLICA's recent announcement that they would be including a unique live performance DVD as an added component of the disk. The performance features the group playing all of "St. Anger"'s songs live in "shitty 5.1 sound." METALLICA's Treasure Hunt will include every track from the DVD, each streamed to a different site — not necessarily affiliated with music — so that fans will have to hunt for the rare performances themselves. Clues to finding the hidden 'treasures' will be made available on METALLICA's web site, www.Metallica.com. The DVD Treasure Hunt is set to kickoff on June 3.

The legendary group, who were recently named MTV Icons by the music channel with a special all-star tribute show broadcast on May 6, will also be providing a special digital access pass to every one who purchases the "St. Anger" CD, granting entry into a METALLICA vault of unreleased live performances by the band. The promotion, hosted in conjunction with independent broadband provider Speakeasy, provides each record buying user with a unique access number contained in the CD packaging that entitles the purchaser to log on to www.Metallicavault.com, punch in their number and enter a digital vault filled with METALLICA live gems.

The group recently offered a rare opportunity for fans to see METALLICA play live in an intimate theatre setting in one of rock's most historic venues, San Francisco's famous Fillmore. Lucky members of METALLICA's fan club won tickets to the once-in-a-lifetime free concert series, which took place to rave reviews on May 18, 19, 21 and 22. METALLICA will kick off their much-anticipated Summer Sanitarium Tour in June, featuring LINKIN PARK, LIMP BIZKIT, DEFTONES and MUDVAYNE.

Yahoo.com has also named METALLICA Launch Artist Of The Month for June. Yahoo's Artist Of The Month Page is accessed over two million times during the month, and will give METALLICA fans an up-close glimpse of the band via unique and comprehensive content, including exclusive interviews, a complete video retrospective, and a rare, live, in-studio performance, among other features.

METALLICA also staged an extremely rare performance while making the video for the first clip from their album, the title track from "St. Anger". The group performed in front of inmates at San Quentin Prison, all part of an 18 hour shoot for the new clip, directed by the Molloy brothers (LIMP BIZKIT, FOO FIGHTERS, among others) and featuring the band in all their hellacious glory. Among the songs the band performed for the inmates were "For Whom The Bell Tolls", "Fade To Black", and "One".

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