Death Magnetic – anger uncanonised

September 27th, 2008 • Posted in News |

Metallica’s new album has taken a long time to grow on me. Sometimes when it takes me this long to get into an album, it’s because it is, in fact, crap. Other times, it’s because the album is destined to be a classic, rediscovered and replayed again and again over the years. I’m pleased to say that mostly, Death Magnetic falls into the latter category.

Let’s face it, it’s been a long time coming. St Anger infuriated a lot of people – I was one of those who initially loved it beause I felt it needed loving, and then I’ve fallen out of love with it over the years. Can’t recall the last time I played it. And after the embarrassing, painful mess that was Some Kind of Monster, Metallica really needed to pull something out of the hat with this album.

What they’ve done, and mightily successfully, is to remember that they’re a rock band. Hetfield’s singing (not shouting) has never sounded better. Ulrich has rediscovered how to play the drums, dispensing with the terrible sound from the last album. Hammett is allowed to play guitar again, and Trujillo fits in as if he’s always been a part of Metallica.

As for the songs … they’re all a fuck-you-MTV seven or eight minutes long. And they are HEAVY. My favourites so far are Broken, Beat and Scarred, which carried a thunderous chorus that’ll shake your granny’s dentures loose for sure. All Nightmare Long is a stormer, Cyanide is an obvious crowd-pleaser … they all have quality, and though I find the instrumental a little tiresome – mainly, I think, because I’m so taken with Hetfield’s singing once again – it’s still worth a listen.

So, in summary: it’s not the best album they’ve ever done. But it’s fifty thousand miles from the worst. It’s safe to say that Metallica are back, and that makes me a very happy puppy.

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