Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Metallica, Death Magnetic

A review

Death Magnetic, Metallica's ninth studio album, is a return to form after the dire Load, ReLoad and St. Anger. With Rick Rubin replacing Bob Rock behind the desk, the album's been hailed as the missing link between 1988's And Justice For All and 1991's Black Album. And it's partly true. Tempo-changes, solos and boiling frustration bring back glimpses of one of the world's best bands.

Logically, if you were expecting four world-famous millionaires in their forties to have the same creative drive as a bunch of kids in their early-twenties, you'd be inhabiting DelusionLand. However, Death Magnetic is the sound of an invigorated, mature, skilful four-piece still oozing raw energy and able to instigate feelings like younger bands could only dream of.

The album contains ten tracks averaging 7 and half minutes each and it's pervaded by a dark mood throughout. James Hetfield admitted that it's mostly centred on the themes of death and mortality. Whereas first single The Day That Never Comes hints that things are looking up, it's with My Apocalypse (whose lyrics inspired the album title) that you get the impression Metallica are firing on all cylinders. And that's without counting Kirk Hammet's explosive solo, possibly one of his best ever, along with more fine guitar display on The End Of The Line. The stunning All Nightmare Long is punctuated by the tempo changes that defined the And Justice For All era, i.e. Metallica at their best. A special mention goes to the roaring Cyanide, the third single, possibly the main contender for best song on the album, whereas The Unforgiven III is the only ballad.

The return of Metallica's legendary logo, with the bigger first and last letters in the style of their first five albums, is the best indication that Hetfield, Ulrich and Hammet are back.


The Patriot said...

Saying that Load, Re-Load and St Anger were bad is disputable to say the least.

Emma said...

Another positive comment from The Patriot for a change :)