Metallica are set to receive the music industry's answer to the Nobel Prize this Spring; that is, the coveted Polar Music Prize. The award includes a monetary prize, which they are planning on donating to their own charitable organisation All Within My Hands.

Metallica perform live in LondonMetallica perform live in London

After almost forty years of metal, Metallica are finally being honoured for their musical legacy with the Swedish prize that was initially founded by Stig Anderson of ABBA in 1989. The award is given out each year to a contemporary musician and a classical artist.

'It puts us in very distinguished company', said drummer Lars Ulrich. 'It's a great validation of everything that Metallica has done over the last 35 years. At the same time, we feel like we're in our prime with a lot of good years ahead of us.'

Frontman James Hetfield added: 'As myself and as Metallica I'm grateful to have this as part of our legacy, our history.'

The band are going to donate their winnings, one million Swedish kronor (or $126,000), to the All Within My Hands organization; named after their 'St. Anger' song of the same name, the foundation aims to support local and global communities on an educational, environmental and nutritional level.

They're the first contemporary band to be awarded the prize since Pink Floyd in 2008, and follow last year's winner in their category, Sting. Paul McCartney was the first to receive the prize in 1992, and it has since seen winners the likes of Patti Smith, Led Zeppelin, Bjork, Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

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'Not since Wagner's emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky's cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible', Polar Music Prize organisers wrote on the website. 'Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica's world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla.'