Posted by: Dave on September 19, 2008 at 12:04 pm

MetallicaDeathMagneticNote: This is the first Metallica album produced by the legendary Rick Rubin (the guru responsible for overseeing landmark albums by a wide range of artists from Run DMC and Red Hot Chili Peppers to Johnny Cash and Dixie Chicks to Slayer).
Also Note: This is the first album with Robert Trujillo (former member of Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne’s band and more) playing bass. He’s been an official member of Metallica since the release of 2003’s St. Anger, but the band’s long-time producer Bob Rock actually played the bass parts on that release.
Sound: A return to their ‘80s heyday. Multi-sectioned, hook-filled, metal epics made up of bruising, crunchy, chugging riffs; blistering, virtuosic solos; pounding, furious drums; and James Hetfield’s signature growl – which is more vicious and gripping than it’s been in years.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “That Was Just Your Life” (Top 20 Songs of 2008 Candidate); “Broken, Beat and Scarred” (Top 20 Songs of 2008 Candidate); “All Nightmare Long”
Medium Rotation tracks: “The Judas Kiss”; “The End of the Line”; “Cyanide”; “My Apocalypse”
Recommended: After years of ill-received experimentation (1996’s Load and 1997’s Re-Load went in an alt rock direction, while 2003’s St. Anger was raw and visceral but was almost completely devoid of their bread-and-butter guitar solos, making for dull and endless tracks), Metallica have decided to just go back to what they do best. Revisiting so many of the sounds and styles heard on albums like 1984’s Ride the Lightning, 1986’s Master of Puppets and 1988’s …And Justice For All is a bit of a cop out and seemingly an admission that their forays into other musical territory were flawed. And there’s very little on Death Magnetic you haven’t heard from them before, but it’s completely invigorating to hear them resurrect their classic sound with such renewed energy. Eight of the ten tracks would fit nicely on the aforementioned albums, but they do, as usual, slow down the tempo on two tracks. Unfortunately, those power ballads (“The Day That Never Comes” and “The Unforgiven III”) are nearly insufferable momentum killers that pale in comparison to some of their great mellow moments of the past (like “Fade To Black,” the beginning of “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” the beginning of “One,” even “Nothing Else Matters”). These missteps do get in the way, but they don’t taint the fact that die-hard Metallica fans now have at least seven (the 10-minute instrumental “Suicide and Redemption” is expendable) new songs to enjoy that hold their own with the revered Metallica catalogue of the ‘80s.
Grade: B+

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes

One Response to “Metallica Death Magnetic (Warner Brothers)”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Hey Dave,

    I noticed your list of the top albums of 2008. You got a pretty good list going so far, especially your choice of band of horses.

    My name is Ryan and I’m from JamsBio, a social community to share your life through music. I am reaching out to you and a few other music bloggers in hopes that you’ll want to participate in one of our upcoming promotions. You may want to try them out and even share your honest opinion by posting a review on your blog.

    We have two promotions this coming week that might interest you and your readers. (Our last promotion — called SongBlitz Megachallenge — received over 1,300 Diggs in one day!) Let me know if you’d like more information, links, images, etc.:

    * Top-5 Lists ( Create a top 5 list from best albums to worst artist. Make a list and share with your readers so they can comment on it or make changes to it.

    * $50/$50 Challenge ( For a week, the top scoring players each day for both JamsMatch and SongBlitz will win $50. So that’s two games, two winners, every day, starting Monday, September 22.

    On another note, we’re partnering with lots of music artists and labels in the coming months — including U2 (starting 9/30) and Bob Dylan (10/14) — and would love to build a relationship with your site. My supervisor Clint Schaff and I hope to work with you, and would love to discuss or provide more information via email, if you’re interested.


    P.S. JamsBio encourages full transparency; please feel free to share with your readers that we contacted you.

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