Review: “Death Magnetic,” Metallica

This Friday, Metallica will rule the earth once again.  That’s the release date of their newest album, Death Magnetic, and not only is it the metal album of the year, it’s one of the better rock efforts of the past few months.  You don’t have to go very deep into the first song “That Was Just Your Life” to get the Metallica sound that many fans despaired of ever hearing again – Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield’s guitars explode like an atomic bomb.

Far as I can figure, Death Magnetic is tied together with a despairing theme of death, war, violence, whatever.  It’s kind of tough to decipher what Hetfield’s singing about at times, although the domestic violence imagery hits hard in “The Day That Never Comes” and “Broken, Beat & Scarred.” 

This certainly isn’t the Metallica who made the idiotic St. Anger in 2003 – the group has ditched their old producer in favor of career resuscitator Rick Rubin and he helps the group bring the thunder once again.  For one thing, he unleashes Hammett’s incredible riffing and Lars Ulrich’s high-speed (and sometimes annoying) drum technique. 

“The Unforgiven III” sounds like the old Metallica of the 1990s, and that ain’t bad at all.  “My Apocalypse” and “Cyanide” more than make up for the quiet(er) moments with unleashed fury and “All Nightmare Long” slashes like a runaway buzzsaw. 

Metallica has become a very commercial band that depends on moving millions of albums and selling lots of concert tickets.  Death Magnetic should manage to do both for these boys; it’s a great comeback. 

Stream six songs from Death Magnetic on Metallica’s website

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: