Metallica- “Death Magnetic” review, 9.5/10

Metallica’s latest CD, Death Magnetic, is truly impressive, and I’m going to give you a track by track review. Granted, this is from a Metallica fan since age 9, so take in the review knowing that I am biased towards liking anything they do. That being said, I don’t think anyone can deny that this album is good. It not only dwarfs anything off of St. Anger, but as years pass, I think people will mention it along with Master of Puppets and …And Justice For All as some of their best work. Only time will tell I guess. This is what I think of it today:

That Was Just Your Life: 9.5/10

The song starts out with a beating heart, and then unleashes vintage Metallica for the next 7 minutes. The song mixes everything perfect. It sounds like a more thoughout “My Apocalypse”, with better song structure.  Yet another amazing song on the album. Everything works perfect.

The End of the Line: 9/10

I never I thought I’d say this, but parts of this song remind of Rage Against The Machine. There are a couple riffs that sound like they could have easily come off of Evil Empire or Battle For Los Angeles. And that’s a good thing, by the way. It’s getting pretty redundant reviewing every track, because I have nothing but good things to say about them. They all thrash, have great choruses, and are catchy as hell. What more can you ask for? “The End of the Line” is no exception.

Broken, Beat & Scarred: 9/10

“What don’t kill ya make ya more strong!” Hetfield bellows throughout this bruiser, and grammar aside, he is right. This song rocks, and will sure to get the mosh pits flowing on tour. I can’t say much about it, except that the entire song kills, and is yet another great track on a cd full of great music.

The Day That Never Comes: 9/10

Metallica’s first official single, “The Day That Never Comes”, debuted Thursday, and if this single is any indication of what the rest of Death Magnetic will be like, I can’t wait to be headbanging for the next two months. The song has many different elements working in its favor. First off, the lyrics are much better than anything off of St. Anger. Compare this song to something like “Invisible Kid”, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The instrumentals are all better. Lars’ drumming has improved, as has the sound of his drums. The tone of the guitars is similar to …And Justice For All, which is a very good thing. I didn’t notice much bass standouts from Trujillo, but on their other song, “Cyanide”, you can hear his presence throughout the track. Hammett’s solos fit the song perfectly, just like the old days.

James Hetfield’s vocals are slightly higher than previous efforts, but for some reason I like them more. He sounds more sure of himself than on St. Anger, and it definitely helps the song.

The only complaint I have with the track is that it switches up the music a little too much without having solid transitions.

The thing I like about this single is that it sounds like Metallica of old, but doesn’t sound like they are treading on old ground. The music has a new feel to it, without sounding derivative or contrived in any way.

All Nightmare Long: 9.5/10

You think the song is going somewhere, and then 40 seconds in, Metallica completely changes directions, and then it happens again, and again, making for an insane “Enter Sandman” that rocks incoherently. All of a sudden you realize you are headbanging, and enjoying yourself thoroughly. Then you are tapping your foot. Then you are punching your grandmother’s teeth out. I guess that is the theme for the entire Death Magnetic CD.

This is yet another song that I redundantly deem as amazing. I am still shocked how every track on this CD just straight up rules. The best part is that Metallica isn’t just copying songs from their glory days. They are taking the structure and ideas from the mid-80s Metallica, and incorporating it in a new format.

Cyanide: 10/10

Ok, so I’ve officially become obsessed with the new Metallica cd, Death Magnetic. “My Apocalypse” came out today, and as far as I’m concerned, they are 3 for 3. “Cyanide” is my favorite out of the three, but they’re all good. The thing I like about “Cyanide” is that it has the most coherent song structure, and has all the elements that make Metallica great. Hammett’s riffs are sinister as hell, Trujillo’s bass helps the song groove, Hetfield’s vocal inflection is perfect, and Ulrich is competent…as always.

It’s pretty sad that Trujillo has only been with the band a few years, and his presence is already felt more than anytime Jason Newsted played for them. That’s not to say he was bad, he just didn’t have a lot to do. Trujillo’s bouncing groove that starts off the song is great, and it continues throughout, giving the song more depth.

The driving riff throughout the song is menacing, and is the perfect complement to both the lyrics and Hetfield’s voice. The chorus works perfectly in this song, to the point where I think this song will be the best on the album.

I don’t really know what else to say about the song, except that I recommend listening to it about 50 times. I have yet to get tired of it, and I’ve probably doubled that amount.

The Unforgiven III: 9/10

This was the one song on Death Magnetic I was worried about, mainly because I thought it would be a rehash of the past two versions. Turns out that it isn’t at all, and the song is pretty amazing. It starts out similar to their concert intro, “Ecstacy of Gold”, off of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It builds for a minute or two, before the song starts going. James Hetfield sounds great on the track, as does everybody else.

Once the 5 and a half minute mark hits, Hammett unleashes a great solo. All 7 and a half minutes of the song work well, and although it isn’t as great as the original “The Unforgiven”, it is better than “The Unforgiven II”.

The Judas Kiss: 10/10

Holy crap this song is amazing! The chorus is so hardcore, and the song pretty much knocks you on your ass. Listening to this song for the first time made me feel like the first time I heard “Master of Puppets”. Obviously being 24 now, I can’t lock myself in my room so my parents won’t harass me. Now I can get a noise violation because my annoying neighbors call the cops on me.

I can’t explain how cool this song is. Just listen for yourself. Everything about it is perfect.

Suicide & Redemption: 8/10

So far, this is the first song off of the new album that I haven’t absolutely loved, and the reason is that it is just an instrumental. It is still great for an instrumental, but I get restless, and after 10 minutes of straight music, I need a break. Thankfully, “My Apocalypse” comes next, so all is forgiven! Truthfully though, “Suicide & Redemption” is a good track. It mixes things up, and although it was a little long, I’m sure I’ll listen to it again and again. It’s no “Orion”, but it still rocks.

My Apocalypse: 9/10

“My Apocalypse” is the third song to be released off of Death Magnetic, and it is a dousy. It is the fastest and most brutal of the three, but it’s not the best. It reminds me of “Dyers Eve” and “Battery”, but more raw and less memorable. That’s not to say that it is bad, because it isn’t. Far from it. Like “The Day That Never Comes”, it lacks a certain cohesion, and is all over the place.

The problem with me is that I just like hearing Metallica rock out for 5 minutes, so the lack of cohesion isn’t that big of a deal to my bleeding ears. It doesn’t have a discernable chorus, but the song moves at such a break neck speed that stopping for a chorus seems like a bad idea.

When I buy this cd I might use this song to wake up to. Since it is named “My Apocalypse”, it sets a great tone for starting the day.

So that is my song by song breakdown. I wrote each as I listened to the song, not in the context of the whole album. Even out of order this CD is great. I’m sure this CD will consume my music listening for the next month. It is Metallica inspired by their old selves, revitalized by the pursuit of metal perfection. This is pretty damn close: 9.5/10


Metallica- “Broken, Beat & Scarred” review, 9/10

“What don’t kill ya make ya more strong!” Hetfield bellows throughout this bruiser, and grammar aside, he is right. This song rocks, and will sure to get the mosh pits flowing on tour. I can’t say much about it, except that the entire song kills, and is yet another great track on a cd full of great music.