Sound — 8
Death Magnetic! Will it have Death Metal vocals? Will it sound like Megadeth? Will I finally hear Bay Area Thrash from New-Metallica? Metallica described this album, Death Magnetic, as a cross between "... And Justice for All" and their self-titled "Metallica". I say, every bit of that is true from the solos to the rhythm and feel. This album's sound will please both the fans of "... And Justice for All" and their self-titled album to a point. Death Magnetic shoots with both barrels to ensure that they get the best of both worlds. Only problem is that I'm tied between this album since I dislike Metallica's mainstream metal that they have produced these recent years, yet this album deserves a fair review. There is nothing wrong with this albums' sound. A few of the rhythm and lead sections pack a punch against all who said that Metallica would never be able to write new good riffs anymore or that Kirk Hammett would never be able to produce a solo without a wah pedal or a blues influence in it. The drums fit in nice with the riffs by going in and out of unexpected hits and jabs at your ears and is sure to please anyone with subwoofers to pick up the bass. Since I had never heard much of the bass guitar from "... And Justice for All" or the album after it, it was nice to finally hear that it wasn't just an under-tone and actually stood out. Songs that I found to be good in the way I liked Metallica were, "That Was Just Your Life", "My Apocalypse", and the instrumental: "Suicide And Redemption". The song: "Broken Beat And Scarred" is good up to a point but starts to fall into St. Anger territory with it's "groove". The other songs on the album should please the frat party goers of this year. "The End of the Line" - it's sound is close to "..And Justice for All" in some parts and sounds like it could be Metallica's "I Disappear". This song should be in a mediocre summer movie that the public sees and an hour, forgets. "The Day That Never Comes" - this song goes everywhere with what it's doing, it's organization is campy to say the least. The lead parts should please the guitarists who enjoyed "... And Justice for All" but as for being catchy with riffs, it lacks highly in that department. "All Nightmare Long" - is one of the songs that I hated off the album. The rhythms in the middle of the song are good, the first solo is too messy, but the second solo is classic Metallica. "Cyanide" - this sounds like Metallica dug into the bucket of filler songs. The solo sounds like one of the thousands of guitarists on youtube wrote it. The contents of this song does not live up to it's title. "The Judas Kiss" - sounds like Metallica is just plagarizing their own material. Nothing special on this track as far as riffs. Kirk Hammett copies his same messy fingering for the fast part of the solo and adds in a slower part with wah... just like every other solo.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are just like any song off of St. Anger. I never see a change in lyrics and far as what they are speaking out about, or should I say, singing out about. James' voice ofcourse has adapted from when he was a crazy, beer drinking young dude. The vocals are not harsh as all. Basically it's St. Anger all over again. It's like when Dave Mustaine sand " Tout le Monde" it just didn't sound like himself.
Overall Impression — 7
This is going to be a Metallica fan's best shot at hearing a new Metallica album sound remotely like they did before their self-titled album. This album will most likely not fulfill the hopes of Metallica fans wanting another riff driven Kill 'em All or a guitar players wet dream like Master of Puppets. This album did everything that the band said it would, the album they should have made between "... And Justice for All" and "The Black Album". But, in my opinion, if they had released this album between 1989 and 1991, they would never had grown in popularity and become such a mainstream band. As much as I hate to say it, "The Black Album" has better riffs than this album. While it follows the rules with it's genre of thrash, it lack originality and focuses only on it's speed, which in this time of music, creativity stands higher than recycled material.