Customer Review

60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NORMAL SERVICE IS RESUMED...., 19 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Death Magnetic (Audio CD)
A BIG return to form here! This album takes all the experimentation of the past (the groove of Load, the raw anger of St Anger & the prog touches of And Justice For All) and successfully melds it with the thrashier elements of Lightning & Puppets.
The problems of St Anger have been erased; the lyrics are far less self loathing and repetitive, the arrangements are more varied and technical, the drums sound like drums, the bass is once again the holding player in midfield and the solos are back in style. This album showcases Hammett's most emotive & powerful lead work in over a decade! And there is also the small matter of some of the band's best riffs since 1986!
Hetfield is more 'in control' than on the 2003 misfire, and the production while not in the Black album sphere, is clear and powerful. Personally I would prefer a slightly fuller snare & less clicky bass drum but the guitars and bass are really strong. Had my doubts over Trujillo - not as a player, but more if he was suitable, but I have to say I'm really impressed.
There is much for all here; from the symphonic orchestration on Unforgiven 3 (STUNNING lead break) to the all out Thrash Metal of My Apocalypse and the epic The Day That Never Comes (similiar to One but better. Really!).
That Was Just Your Life is a corker of an opener and is reminiscent of the St Anger days but with better quality.
Instrumental track Suicide & Redemption has a real groove with some seriously crunchy riffs, and tasty leads. Not as good as Orion or the S&M version of Call Of Ktulu but more engaging than the plodding To Live Is To Die from 1988's AJFA.
What strikes me here is how clear the influences shine through; the rhythm of Zeppelin, the riffs of Sabbath, the swagger of Motorhead. Even the odd hint of Maiden & Priest. And yet this still sounds very modern.
I can't see how any Metallica, or Metal fan could fail to appreciate this. Please don't read too much into all this talk of a distorted sound -it's really not the case.
Here's to another good decade from the Masters....
And the second coming of Thrash gathers pace...
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Sep 2008 14:42:57 BDT
Ratnaz says:
"NORMAL SERVICE IS RESUMED" - God I wish I'd thought of that title for my review!

"And the second coming of Thrash gathers pace... " - Oh yes, I'll raise a glass to that....

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2008 17:43:54 BDT
Adam Jackson says:
Cheers!

Posted on 25 Sep 2008 12:59:59 BDT
Andy Sweeney says:
Spot on review, couldn't agree more!

Posted on 27 Sep 2008 10:10:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Oct 2008 17:54:33 BDT
E. M. Flynn says:
Adam, good review. Do not agree with your To Live ls To Die statement, one of my favourite Metallica tracks! However, each to his own. I am so glad you mention the sound quality issue. It is no where near as bad as people are making out, I listen to it mainly on my midi system upstairs and have no problems with it. Yes, on my 'serious' set up there is a little distortion but it does not stop me from enjoying the music, and there is a lot to enjoy, this is a great album. As you rightly say, there are some serious riffs on Death Magnetic and it incorporates elements from ALL of their albums. I have played the album non stop since it was released. This is a first class metal album.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Sep 2008 00:17:58 BDT
I have to agree on that. Maybe there are some problems on the sound but we are missing the point if we just focus on that.

the point is that metallica after some years has gone back to there routes. i didnt had any problem to tell you the truth with load reload...Didnt like St Anger......but over here....they made good heavy metal. Thats how we met them thats how we love them. end of the line....

in this album you have some really good songs for headbanging and riffs that will stick in your mind....as you said...NORMAL SERVICE IS RESUMED!

Posted on 1 Dec 2008 09:59:03 GMT
Great review... although I would add the heavy influence of some of the bands Metallica covered in "Garage Days", for example the break in "The Day The Never Comes" that's ripped straight from "Am I Evil"... but in a good way! :-)

Posted on 2 Dec 2008 02:05:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Dec 2008 02:05:30 GMT
"Please don't read too much into all this talk of a distorted sound -it's really not the case. "

Really?

Well funny it was featured on BBC Radio 4's "You and Yours" Consumer rights programme (Noon weekdays), where I heard all of its awful, clipped, way-past-line-level-saturation of CD Redbook reproductive ability uglyless. And no, it wasn't my system. It was played through an Arcam DAB Tuner (on zero compression), via Meridian amplifiers and KEF reference speakers, so I heard it all-right. As another commentator said, perhaps one can get around this braindead, 'return the album to HMV for unfitness of purpose' type idea by buying the vinyl version?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2009 12:58:31 GMT
Adam Jackson says:
I have to agree that when I listened to it the other night for the first time in 2 or 3 months, I did find that the vocals & guitar seemed to be on the same level, and the rhythm guitar does seem to crackle a bit in parts. On the plus side, though, the drums & bass sound great, very organic & crisp. I think that Metallica will always have production issues heavily scrutined after the likes of And Justice For All and St Anger on the negative side, and yet having released the awesome Black Album as well.
I still say, the album is still excellent and people shouldn't be put off too much...

Posted on 3 Jan 2010 21:17:18 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 22 Dec 2010 15:48:29 GMT]

Posted on 22 Dec 2010 15:52:51 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 8 Jan 2011 23:25:42 GMT]
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