Since the release of the “Black” album most Metallica fans have written off anything they have put out. The “purists” claim they haven’t put out anything good since …And Justice For All. For arguments sake, there are some really great songs that the band has written but as far as albums they really haven’t been able to capture much since after Justice. Though in 2008, Metallica released their first new album since the very disappointing St. Anger. This album was a throw back of sorts to what made Metallica great in the 80’s. And one of the biggest improvements was getting rid of working with Bob Rock. When Death Magnetic was released, it debuted at number one but has lots of people saying that the recording and mixing was terrible. Part of the problem was working with Rick Rubin. Granted he can at times bring out the best in bands to deliver great albums, his ear for compressing things is terrible. The album itself if mixed too loud leaving many listeners disgruntled. Barring all that listening to the album as a whole and taking it all in, Metallica delivered just what people wanted. A hard, fast, crushing album. Lyrically it’s more mature. Songs like “All Nightmare Long,” “Cyanide,” “The End Of The Line,” the great instrumental “Suicide and Redemption,” really capture that old school vibe. James Hetfield really took stock of where he was at in life and went for it lyrically. Sure there are moments where it seems a little post rehabesque, but it’s undoubtably a Hetfield lyric. Kirk Hammet’s solo’s are classic. Lars is actually playing with passion again. Robert Trujilo’s bass (even with it being mixed low) is better than anything Jason Newsted ever did. These songs live are brutal. I’ve heard a majority of these songs played live and they kill. If you have a moment look up any of the songs from this album and you’ll see what I mean. Metallica are one of those bands who take chances and do what they want. It might not always be what the fans expect the Load and Reload albums come to mind. Death Magnetic is the album that should have come after …And Justice For All. Give it another shot and you’ll see what I mean.
By: Brian Lacy