Review: Metallica – Death Magnetic [2008]

“That Was Just Your Life” opens up Death Magnetic with a heartbeat and clean guitars. When the heavy guitars come in, the listener is entranced with a slow groove similar to a Type-O-Negative riff…but that is only very temporary. The song suddenly thrashes out with James Hetfield barking. You can definitely hear the …And Justice For All influence, as well as a bizarre Disturbed influence; listen carefully to the bridge’s vocal melody. A wonderful galloping metal riff takes us into Kirk Hammett’s shredding guitar solo; thank goodness and Satan they brought back the solos. 9/10

“The End Of The Line” was first heard by Metallica freaks live a couple summers ago. This is a solid metal song with fast riffs and also a tight melody. It has a great bluesy riff that sounds like something from the Load era; surprisingly, it works really well with the Justice feel of the record. There is an awesome metal pit stomp half way through the song before the guitar solo. Additionally, there is a soothing clean guitar part that Hetfield sings over, reminiscent of the “prayer part” in “Enter Sandman.” 8/10

“Broken, Beat, & Scarred” has a ferocious intro with a sick Mid-Eastern thing going on with the lead guitar; probably, the best beginning of any song on the record. This track contains solid dual guitar work on the main riffs. Hammett’s solo takes the listener on a journey full of bliss. Hetfield has shown us that he is still capable of writing lyrics that are not full of cheese, like we experienced on “Invisible Kid” [St. Anger]. 9/10

“The Day That Never Comes” begins with a clean guitar intro, equipped with a soothing guitar solo. The verses stay mellow while the chorus’s have a bit of a “Fade To Black” [Ride The Lightning] feel…nice. I can tell you that this song is mixed about 9,000 times better than anything off of St. Anger; the snare drum actually has a pop again, rather than that obnoxious ping! 8/10

“All Nightmare Long” opens with a bluesy clean guitar riff with distorted guitars before turning into a thrash melee with Lars Ulrich’s toms pounding hard. This song never ceases its thrash assault which surely will please the older fans, maybe even the fans that had abandoned them back in the 1980s. 8.5/10

“Cyanide” represents the Metallica freak’s first real glimpse into the magic that is Death Magnetic; it was during Ozzfest 2008 in Dallas. We all agreed it killed when we heard the live version and it kills just as much in the studio. This is one of the best track’s on the record. Robert Trujillo’s bass sound is amazing on this tune and I can’t wait to see this being performed live for years to come. 8.5/10

“The Unforgiven III” begins with a pretty piano part followed by bass and clean guitars. The vocals kick in with distorted guitars in the style of “The Memory Remains” [Reload]. I am still surprised that they actually made a part III song; very few bands would ever do that. The lyrics on this track are the deepest that I have heard out of Hetfield in about 10 years. The guitar solo begins similar to the original “Unforgiven” but then turns into something less epic. 8/10

“The Judas Kiss” contains a lethal intro that has been my ring tone for a couple months now. The verse riff and drums have a freaky start-stop swing feel, like old school Faith No More; if you know your rock n roll, then you know that means it is awesome. This might be the best song on the record. It will have your fist pumping at the concert, in your car, at the gym, on the subway, or in your room. 9.5/10

“Suicide & Redemption” begins with a volcanic bass eruption that spits molten venom into the main guitar riffs. This nearly 10 minute instrumental track has some great depth that hits the listener hard from all angles by all members. However, the highlight of the tune is the driving force behind Trujillo’s killer bass work. 8/10

“My Apocalypse” has an …And Justice For All feel to it; the intro guitar riff and drums summon the evils heard in “Harvester of Sorrow.” The song is fully equipped with thrash guitars, fast drums, and ferocious vocals. There is also a start-stop tempo in the middle after the shredderiffic Hammett solo. Hetfield’s voice sounds better than ever on this track, or at least the best since the Black Album. 8/10

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3 Comments

  1. HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU REVIEW THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Death Magnetic kicks serious ass. Talica is back and badder than ever. Epic tunes , drums that sound like they mean it , a bass that brings it all together , shredding guitars , melting metal and James lays it all on the line. Every song has a tale to tell and i am defintely listening!

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