Death Magnetic (WBR Records 2008)

Album review

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Um...let's see here, where to begin. I was all set to rip the new Metallica album apart, ready for more crushing disappointment from my all time favorite band. After all, they haven't exactly been themselves for the past 10 or so years, one of my favorite bass players left the band, and some of them have even stopped drinking. Now there's this unexpected ray of hope in the form of a downright decent Metallica album, their mid-metal-life-crisis. Seriously, I haven't heard anything on here you can make fun of because it sounds like they re-wrote their first 5 albums into one.
So, yeah, maybe ditching Bob Rock for Rick Rubin was a step in the right direction, eh? The production is noticeably heavier, though they could've gone a bit more raw. Guitar solos are back with a fucking vengeance, as are the thrash riffs of old. Hammett's talents are not wasted on this one, Hetfield's right hand has awakened. Vocals have improved massively as Hetfield has mostly returned to his standard beloved "yelling in key" style. Some of the lyrics sound a bit cheesy, and there's little doubt the old Hetfield would kick the shit out of the current Hetfield if he heard the lyrics on the last 3 albums, but at least there's no recovering alcoholic poetry here. The drum sound is quite tolerable and the lazy Dane has morphed into a crazy thrash beat machine.
The only thing missing are some nutty bass lines and some new originality...I hear a few riffs that the band seem to have borrowed from their earlier work. And seriously, what's up with Metallica and bass sound after 1986? Not quite sure what went down in that studio, but carry on. Metallica might just finally be back, sans bass lines.

Album Rating:

Reviewed by: Wolfie

2008 AbsolutMetal