FFWD REW

Metallica – Death Magnetic

Warner

• Return to form? Maybe not but at least it doesn’t suck.

Touted as a return to the high-water mark of their early days Death Magnetic is supposed to find thrash metal stalwarts Metallica obliterating the painful memory of everything post -…And Justice for All . Teeming with chugging low-end riffs Lars Ulrich’s double-bass battering James Hetfield’s throaty growl and the restoration of Kirk Hammett’s lead guitar after it was banned from 2003’s St. Anger there is an essence of the grit and balls Metallica once displayed on songs such as “This Was Your Life” and “Suicide & Redemption.”

Chalk it up to producer Rick Rubin (Slayer Johnny Cash) who is renowned for forcing bands to revisit the sound and structures that made them great in the first place. These 10 tracks feature more dynamics hunger and vitriol than Metallica has displayed in almost two decades. Therefore yes Death Magnetic is superior to what we’ve sadly come to know and expect. However “better” doesn’t necessarily mean “great.” While instantly preferable to the likes of Load and even The Black Album Death Magnetic is far from enduring. Instead of feeling like a timeless addition to their catalogue it simply invokes a sigh of relief that it doesn’t outright suck.

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