Sound — 9
Well, it really doesn't get more raw than Death Magnetic. Metallica has always been a band that is great to listen to; they've always had loud, powerful, in-your-face kind of sound and Death Magnetic proves this with every riff and lyric. The overall feel that I got from listening to the album was that I was standing in the studio with Metallica, standing right in the middle of all the action as it was happening. Every song was tight, focused, and above all, a great listen.
Lyrics — 9
James really improved over St. Anger with his lyrics; they don't sound forced like some of them do in St. Anger. The lyrics definitely feel like they're from a younger Metallica, even if the sound of them isn't. I guess what I mean to say is the lyrics don't make sense at times, but Metallica has never been one for the lyrics to be the most of the song. For example: In the "Master of Puppets" song after the solo, he sings: "Hell is worth all that/ Natural habitat/ Just a rhyme without a reason" Metallica's never been one for the lyrics, and to most of their fans this isn't a problem. It less about what he says and more about he says it. I know James will never be able to sing or scream like he could back in the Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning days, and that's just fine. But to be as old as he is and to have been singing metal for as long as he has, he's doing great. His singing really fits the album, with the old/new Metallica mix.
Overall Impression — 9
01. That Was Just Your Life - what a great way to start the album. From the moment this song started, I knew I was in for an ass-kicking. It started like any other older Metallica album, soft and slow, then going right into the good stuff. It puts one in mind of songs like "Battery" and "Enter Sandman". 02. The End of the Line - "Need more and more". The first lyric of the song and a truer line couldn't be said. This song sounds like it would be from Justice for sure, and it is one of my favorites off the whole album. 03. Broken, Beat & Scarred - "You rise/ you fall/ what don't kill ya make ya more strong". A lyric from the song and possibly a small history of Metallica? A great song, and the whole band sings in the chorus with the line "Show Your Scars!" 04. The Day that Never Comes - Metallica's first studio single, one that probably everyone's heard. It recieved mixed reactions when it was first released, and for good reason. (A Metallica song that started soft? and What is this? It's crap!) Many expected Metallica to release a kick-ass song, but that has never been their style. A Metallica song that really throws back to the good ol' days and one of the best one the album. Its composition is very reminiscent of songs like "One" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)". 05. All Nightmare Long - my personal favorite. The beginning of the song, soft and slow, with a little bit of devilish tone was something I couldn't help listening to again and again. The chorus: "Hunt you down without mercy/ Hunt you down All Nightmare Long!" has been stuck in my head since I first heard the song, and I have no intention of getting it out of my brain anytime soon. 06. Cyanide - the first very single Metallica released, and a live version at that. It's another great song, but for some reason, one that kinda gets old after a couple of listens, even though it is catchy. Sorry, to the fans of the song: but to me, it just sounds like a filler song. 07. The Unforgiven III - well... This is one song that I was kinda disappointed in. To be in "The Unforgiven" series, it didn't really fit. It sounds more like "Low Man's Lyric" from ReLoad, but still a good song. While listening to the lyrics I was reminded of their cover of Thin Lizzy's "Whiskey in the Jar". As if this song is the story from a different point of view. Starting out with a piano tune (which is unusal from Metallica. I don't recall ever hearing a piano on any of their songs) and then with a clean guitar lick, this is one song that I forever remember. 08. The Judas Kiss - "Cannot resit/ The Judas Kiss". Very true. A catchy song, and possibly the best James sounds on the whole album. "Bow down/ sell your soul to me/ i will set you free/ pacify your demons". The chorus made the whole song, and Kirk just slays the solo. Yea, this is a song that will forever be one of Metallica's best. 09. Suicide & Redemption - yes! An instrumental! Metallica really goes back to their roots with this one. The first instrumental we've heard since "To Live is to Die" on Justice. 10. My Apocalypse - and what a killer way to end the whole album. A song that puts one in mind of other fast, brutal songs like "Damage Inc." and "The Struggle Within" Also the song that gives the album its name, with the words "Death Magnetic" in the second verse. This is also the song that brings my only complaint to the album. (Sorry, but I had to complain sooner or later) It just sounds like Lars was stuck in the St. Anger groove for the drums on this one, but other than that, ths is a great way to close the album and leave the listener wanting more. Overall, the album is great. Its definitely one of my all-time favorites from Metallica, and it's mainly what I've been listening to for the past few days. It's not another ...And Justice For All, it's not another Master of Puppets, and it's not another Black album, but it's definitely the best that Metallica has released since those days. The album fits with Metallica's stuff as far as feel, but it's also some thing new. I'm don't want to judge Death Magnetic by its predecessors, but I will say its a return to form by Metallica. Welcome back to thrash metal boys, you've been missed for so long.