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3.32 | 27 ratings | 5 reviews
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EP · 2011

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Hate Train (6:59)
2. Just a Bullet Away (7:11)
3. Hell and Back (6:57)
4. Rebel of Babylon (8:01)

Total Time: 29:08


- James Hetfield / lead vocals, rhythm guitar
- Lars Ulrich / drums
- Kirk Hammett / lead guitar
- Robert Trujillo / bass

About this release

December 13, 2011 (Download) / January 30, 2012 (CD)
Produced by Rick Rubin

The EP consists of previously unreleased rough mixes from tracks left over from the Death Magnetic sessions. The tracks were premiered live during the Metallica 30th Anniversary shows at The Fillmore in San Francisco between 5th and 10th of December 2011, one track each four nights in the EP's running order, and following each premiere the track in question was immediately made available to all Metclub members free of charge. The entire four track EP was released commercially on December 13, 2011 via iTunes in North America and iTunes as well as additional online retailers in the rest of the world. CD version will be available world-wide on January 30, 2012 and in North America on January 31, 2012.

Thanks to Pekka for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Jokingly considered an apology to fans for the 'Lulu' album, which saw the band team up with Velvet Underground front man Lou Reed (to absolutely dismal reviews), 'Beyond Magnetic' is an EP consisting of leftovers from the 'Death Magnetic' recording sessions. Somewhat viewed by fans as the band trying to compensate for what was such a poorly-received release, sadly, 'Beyond Magnetic' isn't much better.

Everything about the four tracks featured seems so lifeless and "just there". It feels like the band are trying to be progressive, but the long, drawn out songs just don't favour them like they did in the 80's, and does more to emphasize their weaknesses as musicians than their strengths as songwriters. None of the riffs fit together and they all seem so disjointed, none of them flowing organically.

Three of the songs hit the seven-minute mark, while one of them staggers on to eight minutes, and it's just too much. They all drag with not enough interesting ideas to justify such long durations.

While 'Death Magnetic' is a great album, one of my major criticisms is the length, with each song in need of some serious cropping. However, it's all a moot point here, as no amount of cutting and editing could make these decent songs, and it's no surprise they weren't included on the record. If I had to be generous and find something positive to say, 'Just a Bullet Away' is a catchy track, though also suffers from jarring riff-changes and a tiresome duration.

Overall, this release is dirt cheap and easy to get hold of, but is only really worth the effort if you're a fan who needs to own everything.
"Beyond Magnetic" is an EP release by US thrash/heavy metal act Metallica. The EP first released digitally through iTunes in December 2011 and saw a CD release in Janary 2012 through Mercury/Universal. The four tracks on the EP are previously unreleased rough mix outtakes from the "Death Magnetic (2008)" sessions.

...and it´s safe to say that the four tracks on the EP are in the same style as the tracks on "Death Magnetic (2008)". That means a combination of thrash metal and Metallica´s take on heavy metal. While there are memorable vers/chorus parts in the tracks, all tracks feature structural twists and turns to keep the EP entertaining throughout. The playing is as always on a high level and James Hetfield´s distinct vocal style provides the music with an original sound. The sound production is slightly more raw than on "Death Magnetic (2008)", but keeping in mind that these tracks are rough mixes, that´s no surprise. The sound production is still professional and powerful. The bass drum sound could have been a bit higher in the mix, but that´s a minor issue to my ears.

All four tracks on the 29:08 minutes long EP are entertaining, powerful and catchy. Metallica successfully manage to combine thrashy riffing with more melodic tinged and groove oriented heavy metal. The fact that the tracks feature a few surprises along the way also provide the EP with a longivity effect that not all releases possess. If you are not a fan of "Death Magnetic (2008)", "Beyond Magnetic" pretty surely won´t do much for you either, but fans of the album should find lots of enjoy here and I think a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
"Leftovers... I hate leftovers." -James Hetfield (backed with an appropriate wife/cooking joke)

Well that's just what these songs are, technically at least. Fourteen songs were recorded for Death Magnetic, and since the first ten were released in 2008, many people have been wondering whether the rest would ever see the light of day. But here they finally are, after being premiered in the unspeakably cool 30th anniversary shows. Shine, Hellenbach, Holy Revolver, they're all here. Titles you might remember if you followed the MissionMetallica website during the DM sessions.

Coming from the same sessions the style and sound is obviously very much the same as the original album, with the exception that these are unfinished rough mixes. Which doesn't make much of a difference to be fair, as the DM mixes were already very rough indeed. What we have is a bunch of songs that quality wise could replace pretty much anything on DM, but they were in the previously quoted man's words "maybe too long, too something" to be included. They just didn't fit.

Bad songs they aren't. Aside from a redundant intro here and a messy solo there the tracks are very good, and as the EP goes on, they keep getting better from the rather Fuelish Hate Train to the closing Rebel of Babylon, which features some absolutely brilliant riffage, wild tempo changes and some deliciously twisted guitar harmonies. Better late than never, this particular track would've shone brightly on the original album as well. Hell and Back is a treat too; my favourite snippet from the MM website was a dirty little bit which went something like "when the sun goes hellbound, and the blahblah resurrects the night..." and my disappointment was a big one when it was nowhere to be heard on DM. But here it is.

A worthy addition to the Metallica saga. If you need something to cure the Lulu headache, go grab this one.

Members reviews

BEYOND MAGNETIC was released between the excellent DEATH MAGNETIC and HARDWIRED TO SELF DESTRUCT. DEATH MAGNETIC is one of my favorite Metallica albums, but critical consensus varies considerably. Your take on this EP may fall in line with what you think of DEATH MAGNETIC. The sound of BEYOND MAGNETIC is similar to the earlier album; my favorite track here is "Just A Bullet Away". I think "Rebel of Babylon" overstays its welcome.

The musical skills of the band are well documented, so I'll only single out Lars Ulrich. I'm not a musician, but I don't quite understand the disdain normally directed at him. "The Day That Never Comes" and "All Nightmare Long" are enough to convince me that the drummer knows what he's doing. This EP doesn't break new ground but Metallica doesn't need to at this point. On the whole, BEYOND MAGNETIC measures up the usual high standard set by one of the most innovative bands in metal history.
After the disaster piece "Lulu" and the overall very negative reactions, Metallica try to beg for pardon with this release and want to underline their thirtieth anniversary at the same time. During their four anniversary concerts in San Francisco, the band presented a brand new track each night and released this EP with the four tracks exclusively a few days later. What we have here are four tracks that didn't make it on Death Magnetic. They exactly sound like the overall sound of this record and have a quite mediocre production by the overrated Rick Rubin.

When we listen to the songs, it gets quite clear why they didn't make it on the record back at the time. The tracks sound too alike to many solid tracks on Death Magnetic and desperately try to sound like the band's early thrash albums, but horribly fail. The tracks have more or less memorable riffs, always the same vocal ranges, quiet inaudible bass lines, and a mediocre drumming that sounds too loud and present once again. After a few minutes, everything is said in the songs but Metallica need to stretch them too artificially epic lengths. In fact, many old metal bands seem to think that long tracks are epic tracks but they're all wrong. I miss the band's ability to write short and sweet killer tracks like "Fight Fire With Fire", "Battery", or "Dyers Eve".

"Hate Train" is an overall solid track, but sounds like a stretched version of "Fuel". What really annoys me about the track is the pronunciation of James Hetfield. He always sings in a very artificially aggressive way and adds the letter "a" to many of his words like "stand-a", "you-a", "send-a" and so on. He always had this tendency, but it just sound too ridiculous on this one. Maybe he should take some lessons in speech and language pathology and correct this strange trademark.

"Just A Bullet Away" should have ended after four minutes, but has an unnecessary melodic break that destroys the dynamics of the tracks and leads than back to the original style. This is as predictable as it is boring.

"Hell And Back" starts promisingly, but turns around worn out riffs again after awhile. The whole tracks sounds as if the band had recorded two minutes of music and aligned the same bit two times for a length of four minutes before another predictable bridge with a guitar solo kicks off as in any other standard Metallica track from Death Magnetic or the early days. The chorus is repeated as often as in some tracks on Lulu.

"Angel Of Babylon" starts off slow, then kicks off as another fast-paced thrash track, but when I start to get bored the song has some interesting breaks and variations without losing its energizing spirit. The vocals especially show some great efforts and are quite catchy. We even have a little bass solo line in this track, but once again the band could have shortened this track about two minutes or so. Nevertheless, this song is without a doubt the best one on here and is the only one that should have made it on Death Magnetic instead of, for example, "The Judas Kiss". It's not an excellent classic, but surely a pretty good song.

In the end, this is a rather mediocre attempt to beg for pardon, but for most of the fans this strategy worked surprisingly well. People easily change their minds. After "Lulu", many never ever wanted to listen to this band and now everybody says they are back in strength. I can't agree on this. We have three mediocre and one quite good song. The tracks suffer from their useless length, their bad production, and their similarity to Death Magnetic. In the end, I would only recommend this release to diehard fans as anybody else might skip this and listen to the better tracks on Death Magnetic instead. There are too many flaws on here to say that this is a worthy release.

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