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Metallica - Death Magnetic

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2008-09-16 23:46

I've been listening to Metallica's latest release, Death Magnetic. With everybody touting it as a release to their 80s form, here is a track by track review of the album.

  1. That was just your life: A thrashy beginning that wouldn't be out of place on Kill 'em all.
  2. The end of the line: The riff reminds me of Pearl Jam's Alive. Decent track with the interlude and the leadup to the coda being of particular note.
  3. Broken, beat & scarred: Great intro and riff carry the burden of this otherwise ordinary song.
  4. The day that never comes: Very One-esque in parts - albeit not at the same level - this is probably one of the more notable songs on the album. This is attested to by the presence of a pretty decent video (if you discount the bad acting), which incidentally also deals with war just like One.
  5. All nightmare long: Probably one of my favourite songs on the album. Lots of melody, great build-ups and a nice chorus make for a nice package.
  6. Cyanide: This is more like their 90s stuff. Good song with a nice verse and some interesting setups.
  7. The unforgiven III: I'm a sucker for these metal ballad-sy songs (in structure, not necessarily in subject matter). Great song.
  8. The Judas Kiss: This is like Master of puppets II. Decent, if nothing special.
  9. Suicide & Redemption: This wouldn't be out of place on the Black album and is another favourite of mine. An instrumental, this song probably has the best lead work in the album. A couple of passages are very reminiscent of Friedman's solo work.
  10. My apocalypse: Nice intro and some gratuitous thrash to round off the album. Average track with no other highlights.

Most tracks are roughly around 7 minutes in length which is right up my alley. However, I was very disappointed with the solos which, with some exceptions, were just Kirk masturbating endlessly especially when he gets his wah out. Lars' drumming also gets too predictably thrashy and some of his drums sound very dodgy in their tone.

Additionally, the recording levels are just way too high and feel very normalised, making for a harsher listening experience than I'd have wished. That said, I think that this is the best release in a while for Metallica. A solid 7.5 out of 10 - the half-point is a thank you of sorts :)