Sound — 10
This is definitely my favorite Metallica album. It takes a few listens to take in the weird time signatures, but the more you listen the better it seems to get. Many dongs are in the 6:4 time signature. This is definitely their most sophisticated album. I particularly like the song "One" which starts out with really beautiful acoustic work, then builds up into a powerful riff, that you can't help but bang your head to.
Lyrics — 10
I loved the lyrics and theme for this album. James sings about the world's corruption, decadence, and whatever else comes with it made this album one of my favorites. I'm a big fan of political themes and this is about as close as you are going to get with Metallica. The song "Blackened" is lyrically a genius song. It can be perceived in many different ways. I think of it to be a song about smoking. When James screams "Fire!" I think of lighting up. "To begin with the dance of the dead" to me is like taking a drag, and "Blackened is the end" symbolizes death.
Overall Impression — 10
No matter how long this band's songs are, you never seem to get bored and they are never repetitive. Just about all of the songs are over 5 minutes. Even with my musical add, I never want to skip any of the tracks. This is definitely one of the best metal albums out there. Of course I would buy a new one if it was stolen, and I would hunt the person who stole it down and castrate them.