METALLICA – Death Magnetic

Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008, Warner Bros. Records)

Track Listing:
1. “That Was Just Your Life” … 7:07
2. “The End of the Line” … 7:51
3. “Broken, Beat & Scarred” … 6:25
4. “The Day That Never Comes” … 7:55
5. “All Nightmare Long” … 7:57
6. “Cyanide” … 6:39
7. “The Unforgiven III” … 7:45
8. “The Judas Kiss” … 8:00
9. “Suicide & Redemption” … 9:56
10. “My Apocalypse” … 5:00

James Hetfield – Vocals, Guitar
Kirk Hammett – Guitar
Robert Trujillo – Bass
Lars Ulrich – Drums

Produced by: Rick Rubin

Oh, the controversy! I guess Metallica hasn’t been able please anyone since they released the Black Album way in back 1991. I’m referring to the great mix/master controversy that has gone on about this album. Is it really THAT bad? I don’t think so. Admittedly, I don’t have the ears to pick up things like this, but for what I’m playing my CD through, everything sounds fine (other than some of the drums which I think are a bit too much like St. Anger sometimes).

There’s always been a very vocal group of Metallica “fans” that complain about everything the band has done since …And Justice for All and they’re out in full force again over this one. I’m not saying there isn’t a difference between the album mix and say the Guitar Hero III downloads, but to *most* people, it’s not an outstanding difference and they’ll do just fine listening to the CD. There’s no need to jump off a bridge over this (or to get Metallica and/or Warner Bros. to do the same).

Now, to the music– Easily the best stuff they’ve put out since the Black Album (which I happen to think is great, so those same “fans” can stick it). It’s a return to their heydays and a lot more focused than the emo St. Anger.

Many of these songs harken back to their 80s material such as “This Was Just Your Life” and “My Apocalypse”, but there’s also some Black Album sounds on songs such as “The Day That Never Comes” and “The End of the Line”.

Even Load/Reload influences appear with “The Unforgiven III”, which is a pretty unnecessary sequel. “The Unforgiven” was great, “The Unforgiven II” was good, “The Unforgiven III” is just filler. At least they tried doing something different, whereas the first two “Unforgiven” songs were sonically similar, but it just screams Load to me and that’s not what I wanna hear.

Definitely one of 2008’s best releases. Oh yeah, one more big positive for this album… GUITAR SOLOS!

But alas, not all is well with this release (which for strange reason won’t play in my car stereo without clipping)… The packaging could’ve used some more thought. When it’s on the shelf at the store, it looks great. The old Metallica logo is back in silver and you’ve got “DEATH MAGNETIC” right on the front as well. But you tear off the shrink wrap and what do you get? Nothing, because the text is a PART of the shrink wrap. I originally thought I had torn the cover while tearing the plastic open! The design with the coffin holes is pretty cool, but it needs SOMETHING covering it because I can just imagine this CD getting snagged and torn easily thanks to the open hole on the front. Also, thanks to the coffin hole, some of the lyrics are cut out, when they could’ve easily shifted them *around* the hole. Minor quibble, but worth quibbling about nonetheless.

Highlights: Everything but…

Lowlights: “The Unforgiven III”

Posted on September 19, 2008, in Collection, Metallica and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I find this album good, I probably only care for My Apocalpse, The Day That Never Comes, All Nightmare Long and The Unforgiven III, the rest of it I don’t like for a couple of reasons, one the guitars don’t sound as heavy, two it sounds more like a bunch of sound then a melodic or semi-melodic song. overall I say this is a step up from St. Anger, but I don’t care for it,

  2. Dr. Feelgood

    Oh and some places like Best Buy had this in a jewel case with the full lyrics, mine seems to work well in the car but I have the cardboard version as well so no logo or lyrics

  3. Hands down the best Metallica disc since the Black Album, I’ll agree. That said here’s this:
    How can a Metallica fan hate Metallica. Hmm where this band is concerned, I can tell you. I was a Metallica fan from 1985 or so… I saw them on the Master of Puppets tour with Ozzy… Cliff was still alive (for a month or so) and James Hetfield still had his arm in a cast (said it was a skateboarding accident…found out after the fact John Marshall was playing rhythm guitar behind the scenes). So I think I can qualify as a fan from close to the beginning.
    My problem with Metallica is not their chasing commercial success but their attitude towards it as the years went on. “One”, however uncompromising, got them a taste of the top 40… The Black Album completed this, then grunge took over. That’s just history. Many bands cut hair and tried to change with the times, but Metallica was generally successful there where many (Queensryche, Warrant, et. al) were not.
    Ask yourself, what band does the following when their bass player dies: 1) intentionally turns down the bass in the mix (an essential part of Heavy Metal, ask Steve Harris) on an album with a new bass player, then incessantly hazes him til he leaves the band? 2) after issuing a disc that was widely reviled by their core fan base (“Load”) following with a sequel called “Re-Load”? 3) is the leader in a fight against a popular online music service, then releases in leiu of a new studio record to capitalize on their new found popularity, a re-release of old stuff with new covers? And then a disc with an orchestra (“S&M”)? These things are taken for ok for pop artists, but not a core metal act. 4) find their next studio album “St. Anger”) with no guitar solos? Really… on a metal record? 5) completely compromise the sound on their next disc… the disk in question, and 6) release a movie attraction (also based on past efforts) as their major contribution to their comeback in 2013. Myself, I find it intriguing that “Through The Never” is not on the soundtrack of the same name.
    You gotta understand, this is not Mariah Carey we’re talking about, it’s one of the big four… certainly THE biggest metal band of all time. Cliff Burton must certainly be rolling over in his grave. Change is great, and I love seeing a band progress, but their self-indulgence is tragic. So I can see it. It’s extremely frustrating being a Metallica fan.

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