In a surprising move that takes a cue from the "visual album" playbook, Metallica have put their entire new album Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, on YouTube for free.

Starting Thursday, the band has uploaded 10 new music videos to their official YouTube page, while also making the new set available to all streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music.

It certainly makes good on their promise to fans that the new record would "be available everywhere November 18th."

This is a particularly interesting turn of events considering Metallica's complicated history with "free" music, which dates all the way back to the Napster days. You could argue they are the original pioneers of fighting for the value of digital copyright. But YouTube has proved to be another obstacle entirely.

The band's longtime manager, Q Prime's Peter Mensch, told a BBC documentary in April that they "don't get paid at all" from the fuzzy economics of YouTube, calling them "the devil."

Metallica owns the master copyright to this new album via their own Blackened Recordings Inc. Stay tuned.