Death Magnetic
(Warner Bros.)

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Metallica’s new album, Death Magnetic, is like a greatest hits album with one big exception – all the songs are new. The band made a name for itself early on as the metal-head’s band of choice with their tight guitar riffs, dark vocals, and double bass drums in dramatic long form songs. In the first track, “That was just your life,” one can hear that the band is back and hasn’t lost a thing. The signature Hammett guitar solos have returned and the songs have a sense of energy that has been absent for a decade. The largest criticism of the album is that maybe Metallica has been listening to too much Metallica because too many of the songs borrow structures and phrases from their older work- an excusable flaw because after all, they wrote it. The band also made a questionable decision including “The Judas Kiss,” a track which sounds more like an experiment than a finished work and doesn’t fit with the other material. The first half of the album is the real highlight, especially the first single “The Day That Never Comes” which is as orchestral as it is expressive. Death Magnetic is like a gift to all the old school fans who should reach deep into their dresser drawers and pull out some classic Kill ‘Em All t-shirts because Metallica is back.

Tim Needles

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