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Death Magnetic CD
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Death Magnetic [Explicit]
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Death Magnetic is the ninth studio album from heavy metaltitans Metallica, who link up with producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Slayer) for the first time. Epic guitar solos from Kirk Hammett, constant speed changes and multiple riffs per song make the follow-up to 2003's St. Anger a throwback to the band's pre-1990s style. James Hetfield's vocals and the pounding rhythms of Lars Ulrich are as powerful as ever, while Bass player Rob Trujillo appears on a studio recording with the band for the first time
It begins with a heartbeat...it could very well be the heartbeat of your average Metallica fan, scared to death, not by the spooky coffin made of iron filings on the cover (see what they did there?) but by the thought that this supposed 'return to form' by the world's once-greatest thrash metal merchants will be lame. Well worry not. After the solo-free St Anger way back in 2003 this is, well, most outstanding.
Never let it be said that Metallica aren't a band of the people, just not the people who file share their back catalogue. You can imagine Death Magnetic blasting out of some tank's soundsystem in the middle east. The closest thing to a ballad is single, The Day That Never Comes, though after a few minutes it descends back into the abyss of raw power. And the only low point comes with the penultimate instrumental, Suicide And Redemption which meanders and has a 'sensitive' solo line at its core that's at odds with the brutality on offer elsewhere.
James Hetfield's lyrics now seem to have become the channel of his post-therapy angst. More cyphers than actual narratives, they come direct from the big book of heavy metal words. Take this example from The End Of The Line, "Need..more and more/Tainted misery/Bleed...battlescars/Chemical affinity/Reign...legacy/Innocence corrode/Stain...rot away/Catatonic overload/Choke...asphyxia/Snuff reality/Scorch...kill the light/Incinerate celebrity/Reaper... butchery/Karma amputee". You get the idea.
But words aren't the major force at work here. It's the irresistible maelstrom of guitars. Kirk Hammett's back to shredding triplets or chiming with Hetfield in Thin Lizzy-esque duels. Balancing vertiginous prog time shifts with chugging power chords, it's amazing how raw and hungry producer Rick Rubin (himself, a thrash connoiseur with Slayer and Wolfsbane albums under his belt) has made the band sound. His greatest contribution is in bringing out the crunch in 'new' boy. Robert Trujillo's bass. On Cyanide he's unstoppable. And, of course, leading the changes is the mighty Lars Ulrich. Possibly the single most erudite expression of metal's paradoxical mix of intelligence matched with dumb, awesome power. If there's a nagging sensation that the drums sound weird, it's because they're REAL. Say what you will about their psychodramas or political leanings, but this is a band that really can play.
Death Magnetic is the sound of a band giving both themselves and their fans exactly what they need. And nothing else matters... --Chris Jones
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Top customer reviews
Highlights : 'Cyanide' (played this > 10 times yesterday), 'The day that never comes', 'That was just your life', 'The end of the line'.
But all of that was about to change.
Deciding to finally go "back to their roots", Metallica released 'Death Magnetic' in 2008, which sees the band bringing back their thrash-inspired sound not heard in 20 years. And it kicks all the critics square in the face, firmly establishing that despite their age and everything they'd done over the last decade, Metallica were still the kings of metal (Sorry, Manowar).
While 2003's 'St. Anger' had its faults (I don't mind that album, for the record), it was definitely a step in the right direction in terms of Metallica returning to the metal sound that made them famous in the first place. But every cringe-inducing problem that record may have had has been rectified ten times over with this release. The riffs are heavier and more complex than before. The guitar solos are back. The lyrics are more inspiring, and James Hetfield's voice sounds much, much better than it has done in a long time. Even Lars Ulrich's fairly simplistic drumming is more intense than anything he'd done on the previous album.
Metallica are back, baby!
The production on this record is far from perfect, but it's certainly beefier than it was on 'St. Anger', and despite the mix levels being a bit off, at least the drums sound like drums again!
The songwriting harkens back to the days of 1988's '...And Justice For All', with a return to intricately structured ten-minute songs. And although a lot of them are full of energy and complex musicianship, this is mostly the only major detriment to this release, because towards the end the album really does feel like it's dragging a bit. As awesome as the songs are (and indeed, they are!), each one of them could have benefitted by a minute or two being cropped off. Aw well...
'That Was Just Your Life', 'Broken, Beat & Scarred', 'The Day That Never Comes', 'All Nightmare Long' and 'The Judas Kiss' all demonstrate that despite all the years and everything this band have been through, there is still plenty of gas left in the tank.
Hettfield, Ulrich, Hammet & Trujillo I salute you and thank you for keeping me out of hospital this time around. I couldn't bare another trip to repair my eardrums damaged by terrible music. I've just gotten over the Ashley Simpson album. I would usually just go right ahead and give you my top 5 favourites and let that be that, but I can't pick 5, it would make me feel guilty as I want to pick them all but as you can see there are 10 songs and don't fit into my top 5 charting model.
This is just a truly awesome album and is reminiscent of the Metallica of old. Forget St. Anger, Loaded and the other one, cast them out of your mind and replace them with the memory of Death Magnetic, the true return of heavy/thrash metal music and the band that made the genre what it is today.
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