The 'Until it Sleeps' group topped the poll compiled by Kerrang! to win the title of best rock band of the past 30 years, beating a top five comprising of Green Day, Iron Maiden, Slipknot and My Chemical Romance respectively.
"It gives me a very warm and fuzzy feeling that Kerrang! have voted Metallica as the band that most changed their lives," drummer Lars Ulrich told the magazine.
"I remember the first issue of the magazine in 1981. I had made a pilgrimage to England because I was obsessed with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. I travelled all over the country and that first issue accompanied me everywhere."
Lars also paid tribute to third-placers Iron Maiden, adding: "Iron Maiden have been the blueprint for everything that we have ever wanted to do."
On veteran rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who came ninth on the tally, he admitted: "That Ozzy is even alive today is enough to warrant his inclusion on the list, so herculean has his drug and alcohol intake been over the years."
Metallica formed in 1981 and have since gone on to release nine studio albums. They are due to play a string of arena shows across Europe next month.
The top ten most influential rock bands of the last 30 years compiled by Kerrang! are as follows:
2. Green Day
3. Iron Maiden
5. My Chemical Romance
6. Linkin Park
7. Bullet For My Valentine
8. Blink 182
9. Ozzy Osbourne
10. Foo Fighters
Watch Metallica perform 'Enter Sandman' live at Moscow's 'Monsters of Rock' show in 1991 below: