Death Magnetic


With METALLICA there is a long-lasting tradition; every album faces the severe criticism of all […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
September 15, 2008
Metallica - Death Magnetic album cover

With METALLICA there is a long-lasting tradition; every album faces the severe criticism of all the metalheads who are grouped in two major conflicting parties. The first is totally stuck in the band's first era (prior to ...And Justice For All album that is) when as they say used to release ‘true' albums without just the aim to earn publicity and money. The second group finds every METALLICA album as a groundbreaking release that brings a fresh air to the Metal scene. The aforementioned parties have one thing in common; they all spend a lot of time talking and writing long reviews talking about METALLICA's works disagreeing whether they are doing their Metal duty in the right way.
Personally, I just stick to the music itself being extremely bored to make comparisons and find where METALLICA have copied themselves or just followed the mainstream. Once again, there is the matter of artistic freedom; the albums are the property of the band and not the fans'. So, if you don't like what you hear just don't buy the album and don't go to the live concerts. It is very simple. The fact that we have connected this magnificent music to our personal experiences and feelings does not mean that we own it!
So, after this long and maybe useful intro let me share my thoughts about Death Magnetic. First of all, I have to say that I really like this album and yes it is better than St Anger and at some degree than the Load / Reload package. METALLICA chose this time to make a guitar based album with a whole bunch of riffs and the so missed solos by Kirk. The songs are long in time duration comprising rhythm and tempo changes that most of the times will give an excellent reason for some serious headbanging. There are two reasons that I appreciate this band; firstly, they give me the impression that they give 110% of themselves in every live show proving that they do care about the fans (I don't care if they are faking since I like what I see) and secondly I believe that they are making music as they feel and not because somebody said so (the label or the producer).
Many will say that this album sounds like the Black Album or St Anger or whatever. I think that in Death Magnetic METALLICA refer to their entire catalogue by embedding various elements in every song. Take for example The Day That Never Comes that clearly refers to One, the Thrash killer My Apocalypse that takes us to Master Of Puppets sounding like a second version of Damage INC. The End Of The Line breathes some Black Album air with the staccato rhythm and joins the Reload era with the main guitar riff. I could make a list with all the references but I think I would spoil the ‘surprise.' My point here is that METALLICA have taken a step forward and not backwards like many believe or just say. Come on guys, they do not need to make fan friendly albums to earn more money or publicity because they have plenty from both. The album is very good and probably better than most of the albums many of the ‘big' bands are releasing (no I won't say names here).
My personal complaints for the album? Well, I am still trying to digest Hetfield's higher pitched vocals and the sometimes confusing almost noisy sound production especially when things get heavier. Additionally, I cannot understand why they did a third part of Unforgiven; musically the song has little to do with the first and original plus I consider it as the weakest part of this album.
Among the highlights I am currently stuck with Broken, Beat & Scarred, The Day That Never Comes, Cyanide and of course My Apocalypse. As the bottom line I can say that METALLICA along with MOTLEY CRUE managed to impress me with two comeback albums that meets their own standards.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Death Magnetic" Track-listing:

That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
Broken, Beat & Scarred
The Day That Never Comes
All Nightmare Long
The Unforgiven III
The Judas Kiss
Suicide & Redemption
My Apocalypse

Metallica Lineup:

James Hetfield - Guitar, Vocals
Lars Ulrish - Drums
Kirk Hammet - Guitar
Robert Trujillo - Bass

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