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Metallica - Death Magnetic CD (album) cover

DEATH MAGNETIC

Metallica

 

Prog Related

3.35 | 366 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Death Magnetic" is the 9th full-length studio album by American heavy metal/ thrash metal act Metallica. The album was released in September 2008 by Warner Bros. Itīs been five years since the release of the disappointing "St. Anger (2003)" and new bassist Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne...etc) has now had the time to become a full contributing member of the band. Iīve read interviews with Robert Trujillo from around the time when he joined Metallica and he often stated in those interviews that he loved the old Metallica albums and that he enjoyed playing the old songs more than anything. Iīm not sure Robert Trujillo should have all the credit for the sound on "Death Magnetic", as Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield are still the main songwriters, but this is very much a back to the thrash metal roots album. More importantly though the album is a much appreciated return to form after three relatively weak and for most fans disappointing albums. "Metal Up Your Ass baby!"

As mentioned above there are plenty back to the roots thrash metal elements in the music on Death Magnetic. The music is not only retro old school eighties thrash metal though as Metallica wisely utilizes some of the melodic elements they introduced on "Metallica (1991)" which means that the music on "Death Magnetic" sounds contemporary and fresh. What is most important about the songs on "Death Magnetic" though is the fact that they are all memorable and powerful which is something that canīt be said about most of the material on the last three studio albums by the band. If you ever need a soundtrack to do the toxic waltz "Death Magnetic" certainly applies. Another thing I greatly enjoy about the music on "Death Magnetic" is that the style is now again what I would call REAL metal and not watered down metalized hard rock/ heavy rock as on "Load (1996)" and "Reload (1997)" or the disastrous attempt at sounding contemporary and experimental as on "St. Anger".

There are ten tracks on the album and most of them are pretty long which means that the total playing time is 74:42 minutes. I had my fears that such a long album would be a bit too much and that there would be filler material on the album. Fortunately thatīs not true at all. All ten compositions are excellent, memorable and powerful. Take a listen to songs like "All Nightmare Long", "The Judas Kiss" (try and imagine Chucky Billy singing on this track and it would almost sound like Testament) or the really fast-paced closer "My Apocalypse". Strong and powerful thrash metal tunes that greatly impress me everytime I listen to them. But the album doesnīt lack variation either which the almost progressively structured "The Day That Never Comes", The slightly orchestrated "The Unforgiven III" and the heavy instrumental "Suicide & Redemption" proves. The album is filled to the brim with heavy riffs, aggressive yet melodic vocals, powerful rythms, enjoyable guitar solos (well... they sound like they always have, so nothing new there) and the return of what I see as a trademark Metallica feature: The multilayered guitar harmonies. I just love when they appear. It sounds so epic. In many ways "Death Magnetic" is the missing link between the powerful and technical thrash metal of "...And Justice For All (1988)" and the melodic heavy metal of "Metallica".

The production by Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash...etc.) definitely deserves a mention too as it brings so much to Metallicaīs sound on "Death Magnetic". While the album has a powerful and metallic sound it also features lots of warmth and debth. Rick Rubin is in a league of his own and who else could help re-ignite a seemingly tired Metallica in such a succesful way?

After listening to "Death Magnetic" I Suddenly remember that I used to be a passionate fan of a band called Metallica 15-20 years ago. All those intermediate years of disappointing albums had really made me totally indifferent towards the band but I guess my fan days arenīt completely over because with the release of "Death Magnetic" I have high hopes that Metallica have now gotten their act together and will start releasing quality heavy metal/ thrash metal again. "Death Magnetic" certainly qualifies as being just that and a 4 star rating is fully deserved. Itīs like the return of a long lost child. Welcome back!

UMUR | 4/5 |

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