It's taken a couple years to put together, but you could say Metallica: Back to the Front has really been in the making for three decades. Not only is the book chock full of exclusive photos and stories from the Master of Puppets days, it is the first-ever Metallica-authorized book focused on the 1986 album and tour ... so needless to say, the book is of the highest quality from, well, the back to the front.

Of course it's tough to talk about anything related to Master of Puppets without thinking about the tragic loss of bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident while on tour in Sweden in support of the album. The impact that Burton left on the metal world is indescribable, but his 'Tallica brothers do everything they can to pay him the utmost respect. In fact, the book opens up with James Hetfield screaming, "I MISS CLIFF!!!," and it even closes with Burton's father writing a heartfelt note to the Metallica family about how much their love for Cliff means to him.

It's not always easy to flip through the pages of Back to the Front, but tragedy is part of the Master of Puppets story, and everything is on full display in this new book. From a minute-by-minute breakdown of that fateful bus crash in Sweden to a thorough retelling of when Hetfield broke his wrist and had to pass off his guitar duties to friend and roadie (and future Metal Church member) John Marshall, the massive book leaves no stone unturned -- all the while incorporating the help of fellow bandmates, fans and even other rockers, like Charlie Benante (who actually helped kick-start the book) and Scott Ian.

Back to the Front is more than just stories, too, as nearly every single page is packed with photos of the band on tour, crazy memorabilia you probably didn't even know existed and letters fans wrote to the band in '86. Every time you turn the page you get smacked in the face with an unforgettable 'Tallica nugget, making Back to the Front a must-have for even the smallest of fans.

Check out our unboxing of the book in the video above, and be sure to flip through the Back to the Front photo gallery below. Written by Matt Taylor, Metallica: Back to the Front -- A Fully Authorized Visual History of the Master of Puppets Album and Tour is out now via Insight Editions and is available at Amazon. You can find more details on the book at Metallica's official website.

Photos From Metallica's Back to the Front

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