This story’s a bit of a mess. We know some UK bloggers were invited to listen to an “unmixed” demo of the new Metallica album and weren’t required to sign any non-disclosure agreements or stick to an embargo regarding what they heard.
Which meant they could all, quite legally, tell the world all about it on their blogs.
So sites like The Quietus ran with reviews (cached version here) – only to get told to take them down shortly afterwards. This has, predictably enough, turned into a mammoth Metallica HATE-FEST with everyone blaming the put-upon band for trying to break the internet again.
On the official Metallica forum, among such posts as “How many people listen to nothing but Metallica?” and “Metallica Breakfast Cereal” is this thread about the situation, in which fans try to work out who’s being the review Nazi and trying to stop the free press from having its say.
It seems that the UK PR agency handling the listening event messed up, forgot to get the bloggers to sign NDAs, then got a bit heavy-handed when they started telling kids if it’s a “buyer” or just a “downloader.” The only remaining preview/review is over on Kerrang – and it’s suspiciously positive. And an advert for the next issue of its magazine. The PR world is an odd place.