Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson recently had a conversation with Classic Rock and revealed that Iron Maiden couldn’t do what Metallica did and praised their ‘Black Album.’

August 12, 1991, was the day Metallica released their legendary self-titled album also known as the ‘Black Album.’ It’s their fifth and most acclaimed album that took its place on top of Billboard 200 for four weeks. It is one of the most selling albums worldwide, and in 2012 it received 16x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The album was not only formally appreciated but many other rock and metal bands have been inspired by its musicality and success. It was a turning point for Metallica, and its contemporaries such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, or Pantera didn’t have as much success as Metallica after the release of the ‘Black Album.’

Bruce Dickinson, the vocalist of Iron Maiden, talked about this album and revealed his opinions on how it became successful. He also admitted that Metallica was very brave for taking a risk by switching from thrash metal style to a more heavy and refined sound in that album. 

Here is what he said about Metallica in the conversation:

“Ourselves, Judas Priest, and Pantera all reached a crossroads where we had the chance to really step up to the next level. But none of us had the balls to do it. Metallica did, though. You have to give them huge credit for grabbing the opportunity when it came up, taking the risk, and deservedly reaping the enormous rewards. You cannot underestimate their achievement with this album.

It’s one of those seminal albums, that just gets it right. It’s extremely well-produced, and every note on that album is totally under control. I admire how they did it, and what they did with the songs, and it was very effective: it undoubtedly did help push metal into the mainstream.

I know it wasn’t Mutt Lange who produced it, but Bob Rock had that similar thing where the producer was very much in control. We could never do an album like that because we’re not that under control, and we don’t want to be. With us, the wheels would fall off the bus, and we’d end up firing the producer!

Dickinson also claimed that this album was a turning point in not only Metallica’s career but also for the metal industry. Thanks to the ‘Black Album,’ the metal genre was now mainstream. One of the reasons for that is because Metallica was entirely under the control of what they are producing, and this control gave them eventual success.