Somehow, our invitation to the Metallica listening party got lost in the mail, but Brit bloggers The Quietus had the opportunity to listen to most of the album, then proceeded (as bloggers are likely to do) to write about it. What happened next was a little strange.
The story behind the removal of the article runs as follows: Metallica held an album listening party for selected music journalists in London this Wednesday past. One of the writers was kind enough to write a piece about the album which, if you were lucky enough to read it before it was taken down, was full of praise about a return to form. At no point was the writer ask[ed] to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The Quietus and other websites ran pieces on the album, but were quickly contacted by Metallica’s management via a third party and told to remove the articles. The Quietus kept our article up the longest and, as no non-disclosure agreement had been signed, [was] not prepared to remove it merely due to the demands of Metallica’s management. We only eventually removed the article earlier today to protect the professional interests of the writer concerned (the piece was written anonymously). Seems Metallica’s fear of the internet shows no sign of abating.
Understandably, the Quietus made an effort not to have their writer blackballed in the future, but if you’re planning on inviting bloggers to anything, it seems reasonable to expect some immediate coverage. Sure, Metallica are making an effort to suppress anything but full and total adulation for their new material, but after St. Anger, is that a reasonable expectation? And to repeat, they invited a blogger to a listening party, without having the sense to have that blogger sign a non-disclosure agreement. What was the expected result?
Metallica Album Preview Cover-up? [Blinded By The Hype]