Death Magnetic
METALLICA

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3.46 | 123 ratings | 10 reviews
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Album · 2008

Filed under Thrash Metal

Tracklist

1. That Was Just Your Life (7:08)
2. The End of the Line (7:52)
3. Broken, Beat & Scarred (6:25)
4. The Day That Never Comes (7:56)
5. All Nightmare Long (7:57)
6. Cyanide (6:39)
7. The Unforgiven III (7:46)
8. The Judas Kiss (8:00)
9. Suicide & Redemption (9:57)
10. My Apocalypse (5:01)

Total Time: 74:46

Bonus disc: Demos
1. Hi Guy (7:11)
2. Neinteen (7:35)
3. Black Squirrel (6:13)
4. Casper (8:14)
5. Flamingo (7:59)
6. German Soup (6:31)
7. Un3 (7:50)
8. Gymbag (7:55)
9. K2lu (9:30)
10. Ten (5:18)

Total Time: 74:16

Line-up/Musicians

- James Hetfield / Rhythm Guitar & Vocals
- Kirk Hammett / Lead Guitar
- Robert Trujillo / Bass
- Lars Ulrich / Drums

with

- David Campbell / Orchestration

About this release

Label: Warner Bros. Records
Release date: September 12th, 2008

Thanks to metalbaswee, rushfan4, adg211288, diamondblack, Unitron for the updates

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martindavey87
There was 'Load' and 'Reload' that massively divided fans, there was a covers album, and a live album that featured an orchestra. Their bassist left, and their supposed big "comeback album" ending up being a critical flop. To make matters worse, they released a DVD which did nothing but portray the world's biggest rock stars as petulant children. It'd certainly been a tough decade Metallica.

But all of that was about to change.

Deciding to finally go "back to their roots", Metallica released 'Death Magnetic' in 2008, which sees the band bringing back their thrash-inspired sound not heard in 20 years. And it kicks all the critics square in the face, firmly establishing that despite their age and everything they'd done over the last decade, Metallica were still the kings of metal (Sorry, Manowar).

While 2003's 'St. Anger' had its faults (I don't mind that album, for the record), it was definitely a step in the right direction in terms of Metallica returning to the metal sound that made them famous in the first place. But every cringe-inducing problem that record may have had has been rectified ten times over with this release. The riffs are heavier and more complex than before. The guitar solos are back. The lyrics are more inspiring, and James Hetfield's voice sounds much, much better than it has done in a long time. Even Lars Ulrich's fairly simplistic drumming is more intense than anything he'd done on the previous album.

Metallica are back, baby!

The production on this record is far from perfect, but it's certainly beefier than it was on 'St. Anger', and despite the mix levels being a bit off, at least the drums sound like drums again!

The songwriting harkens back to the days of 1988's '...And Justice For All', with a return to intricately structured ten-minute songs. And although a lot of them are full of energy and complex musicianship, this is mostly the only major detriment to this release, because towards the end the album really does feel like it's dragging a bit. As awesome as the songs are (and indeed, they are!), each one of them could have benefitted by a minute or two being cropped off. Aw well...

'That Was Just Your Life', 'Broken, Beat & Scarred', 'The Day That Never Comes', 'All Nightmare Long' and 'The Judas Kiss' all demonstrate that despite all the years and everything this band have been through, there is still plenty of gas left in the tank.
UMUR
"Death Magnetic" is the 9th full-length studio album by American heavy metal/ thrash metal act Metallica. The album was released in September 2008 by Warner Bros. It´s been five years since the release of the disappointing "St. Anger (2003)" and new bassist Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne...etc) has now had the time to become a full contributing member of the band. I´ve read interviews with Robert Trujillo from around the time when he joined Metallica and he often stated in those interviews that he loved the old Metallica albums and that he enjoyed playing the old songs more than anything. I´m not sure Robert Trujillo should have all the credit for the sound on "Death Magnetic", as Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield are still the main songwriters, but this is very much a back to the thrash metal roots album. More importantly though the album is a much appreciated return to form after three relatively weak and for most fans disappointing albums. "Metal Up Your Ass baby!"

As mentioned above there are plenty back to the roots thrash metal elements in the music on Death Magnetic. The music is not only retro old school eighties thrash metal though as Metallica wisely utilizes some of the melodic elements they introduced on "Metallica (1991)" which means that the music on "Death Magnetic" sounds contemporary and fresh. What is most important about the songs on "Death Magnetic" though is the fact that they are all memorable and powerful which is something that can´t be said about most of the material on the last three studio albums by the band. If you ever need a soundtrack to do the toxic waltz "Death Magnetic" certainly applies. Another thing I greatly enjoy about the music on "Death Magnetic" is that the style is now again what I would call REAL metal and not watered down metalized hard rock/ heavy rock as on "Load (1996)" and "Reload (1997)" or the disastrous attempt at sounding contemporary and experimental as on "St. Anger".

There are ten tracks on the album and most of them are pretty long which means that the total playing time is 74:42 minutes. I had my fears that such a long album would be a bit too much and that there would be filler material on the album. Fortunately that´s not true at all. All ten compositions are excellent, memorable and powerful. Take a listen to songs like "All Nightmare Long", "The Judas Kiss" (try and imagine Chucky Billy singing on this track and it would almost sound like Testament) or the really fast-paced closer "My Apocalypse". Strong and powerful thrash metal tunes that greatly impress me everytime I listen to them. But the album doesn´t lack variation either which the almost progressively structured "The Day That Never Comes", The slightly orchestrated "The Unforgiven III" and the heavy instrumental "Suicide & Redemption" proves. The album is filled to the brim with heavy riffs, aggressive yet melodic vocals, powerful rythms, enjoyable guitar solos (well... they sound like they always have, so nothing new there) and the return of what I see as a trademark Metallica feature: The multilayered guitar harmonies. I just love when they appear. It sounds so epic. In many ways "Death Magnetic" is the missing link between the powerful and technical thrash metal of "...And Justice For All (1988)" and the melodic heavy metal of "Metallica".

The production by Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash...etc.) definitely deserves a mention too as it brings so much to Metallica´s sound on "Death Magnetic". While the album has a powerful and metallic sound it also features lots of warmth and debth. Rick Rubin is in a league of his own and who else could help re-ignite a seemingly tired Metallica in such a succesful way?

After listening to "Death Magnetic" I Suddenly remember that I used to be a passionate fan of a band called Metallica 15-20 years ago. All those intermediate years of disappointing albums had really made me totally indifferent towards the band but I guess my fan days aren´t completely over because with the release of "Death Magnetic" I have high hopes that Metallica have now gotten their act together and will start releasing quality heavy metal/ thrash metal again. "Death Magnetic" certainly qualifies as being just that and a 4 star rating is fully deserved. It´s like the return of a long lost child. Welcome back!
bonnek
I don't like back-to-roots albums. I need to make that clear before starting to assess the actual music here. As soon as a band starts to shout they've gone back to their roots, they will only meet double scorn from me. My first reaction being "So, you guys do think as well that your previous albums where rubbish!", and my second "So, you admit you don't have the creativity nor imagination to pull off something new!". Sad, really sad.

Besides, most of these back to roots aren't good anyway and only makes one nostalgic for the days the band was really exciting. There are a few exceptions though, to stay in the thrash scene, both Testament's recent Formation of Damnation and this year's Endgame from Megadeth are good albums. But Metallica's Death Magnetic doesn't come near.

First of all I have to mention the production again, or the mastering if you like. It's been discussed to death already so I'll keep it short and simple: this album is compressed too much, resulting in a non-dynamic sound that makes your ears ring after 20 minutes.

On occasion. strong pieces like the opener That Was Just Your Life almost make the old glory come back, but generally every track is at least 2 or even 3 minutes too long. has some potential but at 8 minutes? C'mon, this gets weary after 5.

On top of that, most of the material is devoid of good hooks and melodies, Broken, Beat & Scarred tries to be exiting for 6 full minutes but ends up being as bland and faceless as any track on St Anger. The Day That Never Comes is a disaster. How can anyone listen to this and not want to play One or even Nothing Else Matters instead? It ends in One fashion with fast parts and solos but it's completely derivative and stale.

All Nightmare long is the only track with some merit here next to the opener. It's way too long again and it has trite vocals. Essentially this is no Metallica but Slayer, but still it is enjoyable once in a while. Cyanide however is a boring blues stomp that is completely devoid of good riffs and melodies. And it's not that I only like music with good riffs or melodies, but this is heavy metal, a genre that has to survive on hooks and catchy leads. None to be found here though.

Well I've made my point by now. This album is almost as bad as St Anger. But if you can ignore the loud mastering you may find a few interesting moments. Nothing special, ok for a few spins. Fans like it though so that is where I'll put it. 2.5 stars.
poslednijat_colobar
...And Justice for All part II. The unexpected return to form.

Congratulations to Metallica, again! Again, but twenty years later. It's incredibly how they returned from trash to thrash! I think the most important about this record is Metallica is back. It's the same old band. Metallica are again creating music in the genre they are able to: thrash metal. And this is wonderful! They are made for thrash metal, not for country, blues, alternative music or noise. It's popular they failed when they try to create different kind of music. Just look at Load, Reload and especially St. Anger... But not it's all in the past and Metallica are going to save their honour. In fact, they have already saved it - with Death Magnetic!

In my opinion Death Magnetic is direct successor to the best Metallica album - ...And Justice for All in terms of everything. It has been made with the philosophy and the tradition of 80's Metallica, without being repulsively commercial as Metallica have been the last twenty years. It's again based on complex sutructures and ideas, and nicely-heavy tunes in thrash manner. There is demo version of the album, before the release as it has been until ...And Justice for All album. Death Magnetic have been recorded in E tuning, as they did on their first five studio album. The band had previously played in E flat during the recordings of Load and ReLoad, and dropped C on St. Anger. That's indicative of the return to old days, too! All that helps Death Megnetic to become a new reason of pride for the band. But the return to old style is not the only necessary element for a pleasant album. There are more...

The previous paragraph in my review shows one thing - This album is the missing link, between ...And Justice for All and Metallica. Moreover, directly, it's the best Metallica album in twenty years. It's the logical sequel to ...And Justice for All. They continue from where they have stopped in the late 80s. Death Magnetic is very close to ...And Justice for All in terms of style, so the title of my review is ...And Justice for All part II. If we look back to Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, they are little different type of thrash metal, than ...And Justice for All and Death Magnetic. As whole, each of them are logical sequels to the previous one.

I thought whether to review all songs one by one or not. At the end I decided not to review them one by one, because they all carry the spirit of the album as a whole. The impression is as an album just like it should be! This doesn't mean the songs aren't memorable, contrary. There aren't weak songs here. All of them are catchy and interesting, complex and full of surprises (this wasn't happening for about fifteen years), as well as very long. The drumming style of Lars Ulrich is highly addictive, the solos by Kirk Hammett are very fast and completed, the vocals by James Hetfield are charming. The album is full of rhythm guitars which took partly the role of bass player - Robert Trujillo, who appears as a debutant on a Metallica studio album. Bass guitar is very low tuned and often sits at the background of the performance, but it's usual for Metallica.

As whole Death Magnetic is very dynamic and energetic album with superb musicianship and ingenious songwriting with little number of non-thrash metal elements. There is one exception and it is The Unforgiven III. It's a sequel ballad to The Unforgiven series (I and II), which I consider as perfect song. It shows high level of human maturity, in my opinion. It's the best Unforgiven song I think. The Unforgiven III is one of the two dramatical pieces on the album; it contains fresh dramatical balance between ballad and heavy rocking song. The other dramatical piece on Death Magnetic is the first single of the album - The Day That Never Comes. Its structure reminds directly to One, the breakthrough single by Metallica from ...And Justice for All album. It begins as a ballad and gradually convert to more and more dramatical piece until its culmination like thrash monster. The other resemblance is their number on their respective albums - 4. This makes The Day That Never Comes direct reference to One and Death Magnetic direct reference to ...And Justice for All.

Highly addictive, the most progressive album by Metallica , Death Magnetic - 3 3/4 stars!!!
The Angry Scotsman
Metallica, one the best metal bands there ever was, died in 1991. I thought they'd stay that way forever, but one day the metal gods decided they could not deny us loyalists any more, so they revived them! Yeah, being silly and dramatic but as a die hard early Metallica fan/rabid hater of their post AJFA stuff it really was like a godsend.

"Death Magnetic" is indeed a throwback to the thrashy days of Metallica. While it does have that, and some moments are certainly thrashy!, it is not too bad overall. The song "My Apocalypse" is the thrashiest song, and a great way to end the album.

There is no real bad song on this album. The weakest is "The Unforgiven III" but even this one is not terrible. The best songs are "The Day that Never Comes", "Suicide and Redemption" the nearly ten instrumental, and a great one at that, and "My Apocalypse". This album has a lot of really great riffs, some awesome rhythm guitar work from Mr. Hetfield, (who is the better musician IMO), some thrash, some melodicism, some heavy, some mellow. Good variety on the album. There are some pretty good solos, and they actually sound kind of unique, (one of Kirk's criticism I've heard were solos that all sounded the same). And perhaps the biggest musical improvement is the drumming!

I have made no secret that I think Lars is a mediocre drummer, but really St. Anger was abysmal. With "Death Magnetic" Lars seems to have relearned the absolute basic of drumming, keeping a beat. Yeah, he can keep a thrash beat on tempo!

One major downside is the sound quality. This is usually not an issue with me, so when I bring it up we have a problem. Apparently, running this album through a sound program shows all the volumes are just pumped to the max. I don't know about all that, but this album is of pretty poor quality considering the band involved. There's a lot of static. Some parts, (I noticed it real bad on The Day that Never Comes) are just awful. My brother gave me the Guitar Hero Version, (the whole album was uploaded for a guitar hero game). The quality is MUCH better! If you can somehow get your hands on this, it is a huge upgrade. Also, this version has 2 different versions of Suicide and Redemption. One with a Hammett solo, and one with a Hetfield solo. I think they mixed the two together for the album. I prefer Hetfields! Anyway, that is not this album, per se.

A good album. Lots of really damn good riffs, good song compositions, solo's, just everything. Sure, like a lot of Metallica some parts drag, but it's not too big an issue. The sound quality is pretty poor, but it wasn't enough to stop me the first time I listened. Please though keep in mind, you will hear static, and when I complain about the quality, you know it's not that good. Poor quality is never an issue, unless it's god awful, but here on DM the volume is just way too high.

Anyway, the return to Metallica's good ol days, and it is a good work.

Four Stars
AtomicCrimsonRush
The highly anticipated Metallica's 'Death Magnetic' is a welcome return to form after the appalling 'St Anger'.

The only way was up of course but this new effort really lifts to new heights and works as a type of sequel to 'And Justice For All' with lengthy tracks and hammer smashed face guitar riffs. There are also quieter moments to balance the tracks with some beautiful acoustic work, piano and strings. Overall this is the one the fans were waiting for. It is a return to the roots of what made Metallica great in the 80s and yet they reinvent their trademark style with some innovative melodies and highly original structures in each track. The new bassist, Trujillo, is particularly good and compliments the Metallica sound as Cliff Burton did in the early 80s era. I am already a fan of this album and have only heard it a few times. It tends to grow on you the more you listen to it and it is easy to identify the highlights being the first three tracks and tracks number 7 and 9. I read some reviews here who detested Metallica returning to the same old thrash style of the 80s but that is Metallica. If you don not like that style listen to Tool or Opeth. Metallica should be all out thrash becasue that is what they are all about. I am glad that they have returned to the old school style becasue when they do other stuff they sound way off kilter and it is a poor quality album (St Anger, Load, Reload). But when they hit the heights with killer riffs and breakneck speed rhythms, mixed with ballads and instrumentals, they are unbeatable (Masters Of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, And Justice For all and now Death Magnetic). Here is a breakdown of each song.

'That Was Just Your Life' is an excellent opening track that sets the pace for the shredding to come. It begins with the Pink Floydian heartbeat and then it breaks out through the wall and grinds up the silence with driving ferocity. I was amazed at the intensity and the time signature changes, and Hetfield is spot on in his vocal performance. Destined to become a Metallica classic.

'The End of the Line' has some of the best riffs churned out of the Metallica machine - on a par with 'Masters of Puppets' tracks in fact. Running for almost 8 minutes, it storms along with blistering speed. Hammet's soloing is incredible and a bit like Spinal Tap I guess, one of the bands favourite films. It sounds alot like 'Creeping Death' in places, but that is not a bad thing as that is perhaps one of their best songs.

'Broken, Beat & Scarred' is another one of the best tracks from the album featuring awesome lead breaks and crunching killer riffs to dazzle the senses. The lyrics are wonderful too.

'The Day That Never Comes' slows the pace down for a while and is beautifully performed. I absolutely love the intro and was hooked from the moment I first heard it.

'All Nightmare Long' is as good as Metallica gets with bludgeoning guitar riffing and soaring lead solos, though it does not work for me lyrically.

'Cyanide' is one of the weaker tracks but still thrashes along at a nice pace.

'The Unforgiven III' is another instalment to the vague 'Unforgiven' saga and it is absolutely brilliant. Terrific melody sung with melancholy ease and with great lyrics. One of the finest Metallica tracks and may become a fan favourite sooner that you might expect.

'The Judas Kiss' is another track I don't particularly go for both in terms of lyrics and style. But it still smashes anything on 'St Anger'!

Suicide & Redemption' is a very long guitar filled prog instrumental and absolutely one of the best Metallica instrumentals in the catalogue. I love this the more I listen to it.

'My Apocalypse' ends it all with a 'Whiplash' style speed and it all comes to a grinding halt. Immediately I put the album on and listened to it again and it was even better. At almost 76 minutes, this is an excellent quality album worthy of the Metallica canon - not quite 5 stars but good enough!

This is highly recommended and perhaps is Metallica's proggiest album ever. Absolutely one of the best CDs of 2008.
Pekka
Despite supporting Metallica through the lean years of the turn of the century and liking all their releases to some extent, I too think they peaked during the three albums released from 1984 to 1988 and when there were talks of their return to "proper" metal with the album they were now making I guess my hopes got pretty high. But when I heard that they were listening to their old albums and trying to get into that mindset I got cautious, I didn't want them to make their old albums again. Part of my respect for Metallica comes from the fact that they've always been going forward, more or less succesfully.

Then came the Mission Metallica website with studio clips and finally a complete song in Cyanide. I said hell yeah. Something from the 80s, something from the 90s, something completely new. Despite one pretty clumsy transition during the instrumental section this is still one of my favourites from the album. To give some insight into my Metallica fanboyism I had ordered the coffin box set version of the album, but as that was delayed I went and stood in queue outside the record store in the middle of the night the night the album was released to get the regular version to spin.

They're certainly back in a more thrashy scene and that produces some fine results in tracks like That Was Just Your Life and My Apocalypse, but not surprisingly my favourites from the album are the ones where I feel like they're doing something that they haven't so much done before - the twists-and-turns hyperactivity of All Nightmare Long, the aforementioned Cyanide and the epic piano-laden Unforgiven III. They almost cover some of their former songs in the likes of The Day That Never Comes and Suicide & Redemption, but both fall a bit flat after promising starts, the former because of its patchy instrumental section and the latter because of its repetition of quite solid but ultimately unmemorable riffs. Really fine parts in both songs, but especially the first reveals a couple of major problems this album has.

Problem number one: There are a couple of "what the hell was that?" moments on this album, most glaringly the unbelievably clumsy "This I swear!" part on The Day. Problem number two: Lars has always known he's not the most gifted drummer on the planet, and while on the earlier albums his efforts to compensate for his shortcomings resulted in some very creative stuff, on this album he settles for the shaky, straight beating without trying to make it interesting in any way. As he's done live for quite some time, he doesn't drive the music forward but tries not to fall behind. Problem number three: Despite some promising parts in for example The Unforgiven III and The Day That Never Comes Kirk's solos offer absolutely nothing memorable. Soloing for the sake of soloing after being locked down on St. Anger, he makes a couple of good starts but more often than not ends up shredding his way into dead end. And the Problem number four: The sound. I haven't listened to the original version of the album for ages because my ears couldn't take the super loud beating of the compressed production, luckily I was able to get my hands on the remixed Guitar Hero version.

Despite all these problems this album offers a lot of enjoyable music, most of the material being very solid by all Metallica standards. Not really up to par with their 80s albums and in my book not really up to par with Load, but definitely worthy of checking out if you enjoy their material.
arcane-beautiful
God, Metallica were once an intresting band. The 80's was a great time for them, 4 quite great albums, good songs, they even were flirting with prog and at times classical music, making very beautiful compositions which appeased to both prog and metal fans.

But what is this filth, oh my god. Words can't even describe it.

Basically to put short, ever since Load & Reload (2 quite average albums, but had some good songs on em), Metallica probabbly suffered a brain heamorrage and couldnt make any songs of their own (Garage Inc was actually very good and they performed these covers better than the originals themselves and even better than the music they were currently making.) Then a dangerous flirt with an orchestra (S&M) was very risky but turned out very good, Michael Kameon (RIP) was a great conductor, and Metallica had performed the songs excellently. But then once this century entered, Metallica had just lost it. St. Anger was a poor album, with bad mixing (no snare could be that loud) and the songs were quite poor, but even from that there were some great songs, e.g. Frantic, The Unamed Feeling, Sweet Amber etc. The songs were good, the lyrics had some sense at least and even though there was lack of solos (thank god, the wah was in pain). But the movie was just frightening. No band needs to do this, no band needs a therapist unless something is wrong, there was nothing wrong with any of them (bar Hetfields drink problem). But everyone (except Kirk) came of as not nice people...and can you blame them, i would rather sit on Mike Portnoy's lap than even speak to Lars Ulrich (although sitting on Mike Portnoy's lap wouldnt be too bad...i should try that some day)

But this...ahhhh. God it just reaks bad. Now Rick Rubin is a good producer and one of the only good points about this album is the mixing. Rick did a good job, although he couldnt tame Lars down too much (snare is still a bit clangy) But these songs are just utter sick. They have no real soul or meaning, the lyrics make no sense, it looks like he just took the most stereotypical metal lyrics and just through them together, the solos are back (Kirk, seriously, you're not that good, and you get the feeling that this album was just made so that it gave them a chance to just make a load of money from it just because they knew it would sell and to start touring again (even though it tooka year to make...come on, i could have made it in a night).

1. That Was Just You're Life - Not the worse song in the world, good Tool based intro. Good enough start, but the songs is ruined by the solo (wah wah wah wah)

2. The End Of The Line - Way too much testoesterone, not remerable, and the instrumental sounds like something early Maiden would have thrown away. There's a good Cathedral like riff in it.

3. Broken, Beaten & Scarred - Same as 2 basically, boring and just tedious.

4. The Day That Never Comes - This song isn't that bad, it's listenable. The lyrics are absoulte tripe and the video for the song makes no sense...so you're in Iraq...big woop.

5. All Nightmare Long - One of the o.k. songs, theres another ok Tool like intro, and a riff that sounds like Strapping Young Lad (but is ruined by bad drumming)

6. Cyanide - Utter tripe, if the chorus wasnt' a bit catchy.

7. The Unforgiven III - Probabbly the best song on the album, the lyrics aren't that bad. Before the solo Hetfield hits an intresting note before the solo. The solo is quite good, some nice Maiden esque melodies but is ruined by Kirk's sloppy use of the wah.

8. The Judas Kiss - Snare is too loud, links inbetween the verses aren't that bad. But I fear that Kirk can only play hammer ons.

9. Suicide & Redemption - This song proves my theory that long songs can be at times very boring. Seriously compare this to an early Metallica long instrumental, e.g. The Call Of Kthlu & Orion. Playing the same riff over and over again really. Lyrics could have been easilly added, but do you really want them. You can guess what all these songs sound like.

10. My Apocalypse - I think i turned my c.d. player off so meh.

CONCLUSION - Is this album absolute tripe. Not really, it is very very very bad, but not tripe. There is some ok moments on it, but i think this is the end of all the good metal bands. It is time for newer bands to better em really. Metallica won't make another album for another 20,000 years so it's ok. The best thing about this album was the artwork, it was very intresting, shame about the songs.

Members reviews

kluseba
With "Death Magnetic", Metallica heavily tried to satisfy many fans from the old days that were disappointed with the more experimental records the band had done before. This album goes back to the thrash roots of the band and could have been the successor of the band's masterpiece "?And Justice For All" but it ultimately isn't. The only comparable basis of both records is the bad sound and production but they also differ in this point. While "?And Justice For All" had a very thin production with a bad drum sound, "Death Magnetic" sounds overproduced and is a perfect example for the loudness war trend.

The band simply isn't able to go back to the power, originality and authenticity of the early days. Most of the songs are still enjoyable but offer nothing we haven't heard in a similar and often better way before. The riffs feel worn out, the song structures are predictable and the pieces themselves are often too long and miss the point. The second half of the record is slightly more experimental but not in a good way. "The Unforgiven III" is absolutely unneccessary and can't catch up with the previous two parts at all and "Suicide And Redemption" might be the worst instrumental track the band has ever done and is artificially stretched to an unhealthy length of almost ten minutes. The experiments are missed but at least the band still knows how to write good thrash metal songs.

After all, there are some highlights in the first half of the record. The first single "The Day That never Comes" sounds like a modern copy of "One" but as I liked the original track, I also like the new one that mixes a very melodic first half with an energetic thrash shredding passage in the second half. I can understandthe low rating of the song as it isn't very original but I must admit that this track is catchy and very emotional and convinces with its traditional charm.The best track immediately follows with "All Nightmare Long", a great thrash song with a lot of energy that never gets boring in comparison to many other overlong tracks on this album. The song has some really sharp riffs, amazing guitar solos, fast and energizing drum parts and a very good vocal performance even if James Hetfield even adds more than before some "ehh's" and "aah's" to his words. Even if this has somewhat become a trademark I would like "James-eeh Hetfield-ahh" to stop this as it sounds quite silly on a full album. The third and last highlight of the record is the next track called "Cyanide". It's a slower track with a nice pumping bass line and a groovy feeling and an intensely menacing atmosphere that copuld have fit on the records of the nineties as well as on the records of the late eighties.

In the end, Metallica offer nothing new but throw in some solid and catchy thrash metal tracks where the band goes back to the roots. This record is a decent effort and surely has its moments. Most of the the songs are energizing and work very well in concert, too. The record has a great flow and clear line and might please to a larger fan basis than the previous albums. On the other side, the band though threw almost all experimentations and variations overboard and can neither surprise the fans nor catch up with their first four records while the modern loudness war sound ruins a certain charm that this record could have thanks to the overrated Rick Rubin.
jampa17
The best comeback of the decade.

I have never been fan of Metallica in general and during all my teen years I grow hearing the boring albums of them in the 90's. After St. Anger I really wished they split because it was enough road downhill... but a friend showed me this album and I didn't expect it. Right from the start you know they really were back. It's incredible how they spent more than 10 years doing bad music and suddenly decided that they really wanted to do music again! so, let's see about the album:

The album has everything Metallica is known of. Heavy and creative riffing courtesy of the best riff guitar player of metal, Mr. Hetfield, tight and fast solos by Hammet at top form, even Ulrich sounds like he is a great drummer (he is the most overrated average drummer, but he really plays loud on this) and a lot of instrumental sections, switching time signatures and the best Thrash metal you can get as well as moody melancholic songs. All in all, this album has everything you want if you are a Metallica or are Metal fan in general.

Highlights of the album: Broken, Beat & Scarred, The End of the Line, All Nightmare Long and Unforgiven III (with a nice piano that is always welcome between a too metal mix) but in general all the songs are heavy, tight and somewhat creative, for a metal measure, of course.

The bads: a totally subjective for me, Hetfield's voice is not that great and I don't like it too much and sometimes it really bores me but the music was good enough to keep me interested. The instrumental song (Suicide and Redemption) is a little too metal and is not that great as the rest of the album but it's still good, especially for metalheads. The lyrics are stupid, but they have never been known by their brilliance in the lyric themes, but is not that bad to not appreciate the music.

I'm very pleased about this comeback. It has everything Metal is all about and that's enough for me. Attitude, experience and good compositions. I didn't expect to give 3 masterpieces to them... but they deserved it, for sure.

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