By Gregory AdamsFollowing a 26-year partnership with Elektra/Warner Music, heavy metal titans Metallica announced today (November 30) that they have regained control of their entire back catalogue and will now release material through their own Blackened Recordings. This marks the first time the band have been on an independent since issuing their first two LPs through Megaforce.
News of the ownership switch came via a press release, which explained the deal was a long time coming. Metallica had negotiated the deal back in 1994, ensuring that all the rights to the band's material would revert to their hands as of today. The deal includes all of the group's albums, as well as their arsenal of video releases.
Blackened Recordings first release is the previously announced Quebec Magnetic, a concert film shot in Quebec City over two nights in 2009. The live flick hits retailers December 10 on double DVD and Blu-ray.
While no other specific releases have been announced just yet, chances are good that the band could roll a number of reissues from throughout their 30-year career.
"Blackened Recordings was created by the band as a home for all of their recordings, both audio and visual, and anything else that suits them," the press release explained.
While the news transfers the rights of Metallica's tunes back to the band, it was added that Rhino Entertainment will manufacture and distribute any upcoming releases in North America, while Blackened Recordings will license products to Universal Music Group internationally.