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Metallica - Death Magnetic CD (album) cover




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3.34 | 382 ratings

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3 stars With "Death Magnetic", Metallica heavily tried to satisfy many fans from the old days that were disappointed with the more experimental records the band had done before. This album goes back to the thrash roots of the band and could have been the successor of the band's masterpiece "?And Justice For All" but it ultimately isn't. The only comparable basis of both records is the bad sound and production but they also differ in this point. While "?And Justice For All" had a very thin production with a bad drum sound, "Death Magnetic" sounds overproduced and is a perfect example for the loudness war trend.

The band simply isn't able to go back to the power, originality and authenticity of the early days. Most of the songs are still enjoyable but offer nothing we haven't heard in a similar and often better way before. The riffs feel worn out, the song structures are predictable and the pieces themselves are often too long and miss the point. The second half of the record is slightly more experimental but not in a good way. "The Unforgiven III" is absolutely unneccessary and can't catch up with the previous two parts at all and "Suicide And Redemption" might be the worst instrumental track the band has ever done and is artificially stretched to an unhealthy length of almost ten minutes. The experiments are missed but at least the band still knows how to write good thrash metal songs.

After all, there are some highlights in the first half of the record. The first single "The Day That never Comes" sounds like a modern copy of "One" but as I liked the original track, I also like the new one that mixes a very melodic first half with an energetic thrash shredding passage in the second half. I can understandthe low rating of the song as it isn't very original but I must admit that this track is catchy and very emotional and convinces with its traditional charm.The best track immediately follows with "All Nightmare Long", a great thrash song with a lot of energy that never gets boring in comparison to many other overlong tracks on this album. The song has some really sharp riffs, amazing guitar solos, fast and energizing drum parts and a very good vocal performance even if James Hetfield even adds more than before some "ehh's" and "aah's" to his words. Even if this has somewhat become a trademark I would like "James-eeh Hetfield-ahh" to stop this as it sounds quite silly on a full album. The third and last highlight of the record is the next track called "Cyanide". It's a slower track with a nice pumping bass line and a groovy feeling and an intensely menacing atmosphere that copuld have fit on the records of the nineties as well as on the records of the late eighties.

In the end, Metallica offer nothing new but throw in some solid and catchy thrash metal tracks where the band goes back to the roots. This record is a decent effort and surely has its moments. Most of the the songs are energizing and work very well in concert, too. The record has a great flow and clear line and might please to a larger fan basis than the previous albums. On the other side, the band though threw almost all experimentations and variations overboard and can neither surprise the fans nor catch up with their first four records while the modern loudness war sound ruins a certain charm that this record could have thanks to the overrated Rick Rubin.

Originally published on on January 2nd of the year 2012.

kluseba | 3/5 |


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