For more than three decades, Metallica have reigned as one of metal's largest and most influential acts. One interesting way to chart the twists and turns of their long career is by looking through the magazine advertisements and other promotional materials collected above.

The ads, posters and flats were designed to promote the band's 10 studio albums, as well as various live records, covers collections, home videos and singles, dating from 1984's Ride the Lighting all the way up through last year's Hardwired ... to Self-Destruct.

Arranged chronologically, these ads chart the band's progression over time in many ways -- from smaller black-and-white notices hailing the band as the next big thing to more colorful and increasingly large sizes as their meteoric rise to fame led them to their current status as the undisputed kings of heavy metal.

As years roll by, you'll see changes in the band's logo, lineup and haircuts (and, in some cases, hairlines), as well as an increasing level of sophistication in the artwork.

Metallica are currently in the middle of their global WorldWired tour, and we've been tracking each and every concert on the North American leg, reporting on the set-list changes and any other interesting news from the shows. You can also check out our recently updated "worst to best" ranking of the band's discography. If you disagree with those ratings and suddenly feel the need to blow off some steam, feel free to enjoy our list of Metallica's 10 angriest songs.

More From 99.1 The Whale