Sound — 8
The first time I heard the songs off of this album I got it from the internet. I admit, I downloaded it.Only to find out later that 3 songs were fakes that I had (first 2 tracks and Unforgiven III). Unfortunately, to be honest I much prefer my fake version of UIII than the real one. Now that that's out of the way, on to the review. Although at points it falters, the overall sound of the music and quality of the music has vastly improved since the last three albums. Not to diss them, I actually don't mind St.Anger, and I enjoy a handful of songs off of both Load and Reload, but like it or not, after the Black album, the Metallica most of us knew and loved died. Not saying that the new metallica songs weren't any good, but they were not the metallica of the 80's. This album does a very good job of bringing Metallica back to it's glory days, both musically and lyrically. Although there are some weaker songs, like Judas Kiss and All Nightmare Long, the vast majority of the album manages to pack more of a punch then damn near anything else out today (I'm looking at you slipknot!)
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics, in my opinion have vastly improved and are on par with the likes of... And Justice... and the Black album. Perhaps peaking at The Day That Never Comes and UIII. Also, with this new album some of the old fashion metal lyrics Metallica was initially known for are back in songs like End Of The Line and Broken, Beaten and Scarred. Definitely a high point of the album.
Overall Impression — 9
Like most Metallica fans and Metallica haters alike (until this album came out, of course), I was pleasantly surprised with Metallica's return to form. And although it is similar to albums like Master Of Puppets, it never feels like a re-hash of there old music, and it is quite impressive how they managed to stay musically relevant and fresh on this album. Note: Upon listening to the CD version (and downloaded versions) I was a little disappointed about the sound and production quality, as apparently everyone else seems to be. Then I got the vinyl version. holly shit! I highly recommend the vinyl version, the sound quality is immensely better! It seems like the album was meant to be Vinyl, and damn near 100% of the production flaws found on the CD version are completely "fixed" on the Vinyl version.And since I payed over a $100 bucks on the vinyl addition, I think if someone stole it I would find them and remove their heart with a rusty spoon and feed it to them.