Alice Cooper has hailed Metallica for paving the way for angry metal bands.

The 'Poison' rocker has heaped praise on the Grammy-winning metal legends - comprising of James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo, Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich - for being the poster band for not being ''afraid'' to get angsty and heavy with their music and proving it's possible to be seen as a ''threat'' and have hit records.

Speaking on AXS TV's 'At Home And Social Online' series, Cooper said of the 'Nothing Else Matters' group's 1984 power ballad, 'Fade To Black': ''Well, first of all, that was my first year of sobriety; I got sober in '83.

''So '84 came along, and a lot of things in rock had changed.

''All of a sudden, metal that was underground is now at the forefront -- you know, your bands like Iron Maiden and all these bands, and then here's Metallica who are getting played on the radio who would not have ever gotten played in the '70s. So it was a new era.''

The 'Don't Give Up' rocker added: ''I always looked at Metallica as being sort of the metal band.

''Because they were so good at what they did -- they had the anger, they had the songs, they had the stage presence, and they never did a bad show.

''So that's a good combination, when you get that onstage.

''I looked at it as a stage thing, because that's how I look at things -- almost Broadway-ish.

''Why is this so good? 'Cause they're relentless.

''They spoke for a generation that before was a little bit afraid to say they were metal.

''Now these kids are going, 'We want a little anger in our rock and roll. We don't want it to be nice.'

''That's why they liked me -- 'cause I wasn't nice. Alice Cooper was a threat.

''And I think Metallica was a threat, but they were also making hit records. That's the Willy Wonka gold key -- is the hit record.''