Sound — 8
As a die-hard Metallica fan, I'm a little disappointed on how mediocre the production of this album is. Lars plays a little too much, for one thing. What I mean by that is in slower, progressive parts of the album, he adds extra snare and crash hits that almost crush the mood. Another thing is that the snare has a twangy reverberance and the drums overall are too loud (except the bass drum). Rob's bass is scarcely heard throughout the album, and this is also disappointing because it was made clear by the band that Rob had a profound influence on the making of this record. Those bad things in regards to the sound of this album don't matter! The guitar tones of the James/Kirk duo are like the tones from "... And Justice For All," except with less gain and more mid, to add a more fuller, mature tone for the band. I think it's also worth mentioning that the riffs on this album are spectacular. The material on this record beats anything in the last twenty years (yes, that includes the black album). I am not a Load / ReLoad hater by any means by the way, I just think the band wasn't at their creative / innovative peak during those albums. Some of Kirk's solos are great. Some of them are mediocre. The main point is that there are solos, and for the most part, they dominate! I have to say though, a little too much usage of the Wah-Wah pedal by Hammett.
Lyrics — 10
Death Magnetic succeeds in delivering memorable, clever lyrics similar to those that we all know and love from the '80s. Lines such as "Judas lives, recite this vow: I've become your new God now" foreshadow memorable future concerts. These lyrics were certainly well thought-out. For example, take the pun "the son shine never comes." It makes the listener think, not just bang their head. That's why this album is such a mature effort. As for James' singing, what can I say? He's doing the best damn job that he can. Any monkey can tell that James is singing his heart out on this album. He hits an impressively high note on "The Unforgiven III" which sends goosebumps down my spine every time I hear it. In contrast to the '80s where James would growl parts that were supposed to be sung (like in the verses of "One"), this album is very well-proportioned within James' limits. I congratulate him on letting it rip in some parts of the album. "My apocalypse" sounds halfway like his ... And Justice For All voice.
Overall Impression — 9
As soon as I opened this album, I was very impressed with the casing/booklet. It's something that I've never seen before. Every picture in the booklet has some sort of relevance to the album. For those who would like to know, this album can not be compared to previous albums. Metallica is a new band. They've changed. Sure, a lot of their stuff is reminiscent of the old days, but there is a new modern sound present, and it's awesome! This is purely a thrash metal album with lots of riffage, craziness, and attitude. For those who expected another Master of Puppets, you might be deceived, however in time, this album will be considered a classic. Metal up your ass!