album review – Death Magnetic by Metallica

i’m going to play at Music Reviewer today. this morning i was woken up by my phone chiming at me that it had a new message for me. turned out to be the new Groom giving me a link to all the Metallica DM songs courtesy of Mike.

other than the few hours of class i had today, i’ve had the album on all day to get a feel for it. the first two immediate things i would like to impart about this album in general are:

1. thank you Universe for making it better than that asswipe album that was St. Anger
2. when Metallica releases a new album they really need to stop telling the whole world that it’s going to be as good as Master or Justice. never gonna happen. this is tantamount to voluntarily placing foot in mouth.

that being said, yes this album is thankfully better than St. Anger. I still feel like i was robbed after I bought that one, so it’s a good thing i downloaded this one for nothing.

As with any album, there are bound to be pros and cons. i’m going to list off as many cons as I can think about this album before coming to a resoundingly simple list of pros and ultimately leave the final say to the people who listen to the album.

1. Someone needs to take away Lars’s toms and teach him a new beat. they might also want to smack him upside the head for still having drums in a few songs that sound like that tin can crap on St. Anger. I remember in high school when my friends and I thought Lars was the greatest double bass kick drummer in the world. could have fooled me with this one. there are a lot of spaces in songs that could have benefitted from that machine gun beat instead of the same old 1-2 1-2 beat he has.

2. The bass is way undermixed and doesn’t seem to add much support. i’ve got my bass cranked and it’s just not happening.

3. Hetfield needs to either shut the fuck up or go into lyrical rehab. not much improvement over the tone and pattern of vocals over St. Anger. I suggest that he go back and listen to Kill Em All, Master and Justice to actually remember how to write good lyrics.

4. The song lengths. Some of them are unecessarily long or could have easily been made in to wo separate tracks. case in point The Day That Never Comes. easy solution is to do what Tool does and use two tracks to cover one song. that way we can skip the kind of mediocre clean bit at the start and go right to the classic Metallica thrash sound for the second half of the song.

5. The solos. ok, ok, I’m stoked that they’ve decided not to be total knobs and have no solos in this album. BUT. a lot of the solos sound like they were shoved in without much thought towards form, tone or consistency. there are some solos that fit perfectly with the song, but there are others where you wonder if Hammet was drunk.

6. The Unforgiven III. come on, really?

7. The album flow. ok, this is totally going to be a personal issues for people, but there’s just something about the way the songs flow that doesn’t really sit well with me.

8. The comparison to Master. i’ve read other reviews saying this is their best album since Master or Justice even. i’m sorry no. as much as most people would like to forget St. Anger and ReLoad, The Black Album and even Load were pretty good fucking albums.

9. people who give this ablum 10/10.

10. It still has some St. Anger flair. you can hear it in some of the riffs and all you can think is ‘jesus, it’s like they took Frantic and tried to fix it…’

11. the album title. seriously. my first thought when i heard the title was ‘this album is gonna suck’.

ok. so pros.

1. The Return of the Solo.

2. Riffs that are actually catchy and melodic.

3. It has way more thrash feel to it than their last hree or four albums put together. although that’s maybe a bit generous too. if you want some real thrash go listen to the new Slipknot.

4. The elements of Master and Justice that are in there in some songs redeems the otherwise St. Anger like parts.

5. i downloaded it for free so they failed at stomping out file sharing.

6. it’s not St. Anger. that was pretty much an affront to the metal genre. this makes up for it. maybe not as well as it could, but it’s a start.

Overall, I’d give this album a solid 7.5/10.

i can’t decide if the band has just stopped trying to be leaders in the metal community or just has no idea how to make a truly great album anymore. I was skeptical at first, but i’ve reached the decision that this is an album that is actually pretty decent. i mean, you won’t find any iconic songs on here, i’m pretty sure they stopped writing those after the Black Album, but there are definitely songs on here that you can listen to over and over again without getting really tired of them.

Noteable songs you should listen to more than a few times:

– All Nightmare Long
– The Judas Kiss
– Suicide & Redemption

and remember, if you want real thrash, All Hope is Gone FTW.

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