Death Magnetic review by Metallica

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  • Released: Sep 12, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (2,438 votes)
Metallica: Death Magnetic

Sound — 8
A lot has been made about the sound of this album, maining due to the mixing and the engineering. It does at times become load, which in turn gives the impresstion of it all being thrown together, rather than a more thought out process, as shown on the 'Black Album'. But for the best of the ablum, the sound is a huge improvement to the very odd, and extremly disapionting effort shown on 'St Anger'. Gone is the 'steel' soundin drum snare, in are the solo's which were badly missed, in is the OTT instrumentals of old Metallica fame, and also returning is the song structure that made Metallica such an innotive thrash force during the 80's. All be it the ablum does have some more subtle moments such as 'The Day That Never Comes' and 'The Unforgiven III' which complement to ablum's very agressive well, but it all comes to life when they unlesh a fury of punishing riffs such as in 'My Apocalypse' and (personal fav) 'All Nightmare Long' which really give the ablum the feel of a new and purposeful metallica, while still holding on to the musical values that made them what they are in the first place.

Lyrics — 9
James Hetfield to me, has always been a great song writing. Though the lyrics on this arnt as harsh and disturbing as shown on 'Master Of Puppets' and '... And Justice For All', or all be it deep and meaningful as shown on parts of the 'Black Album' and even more so 'Load', the lyrics for 'Death Magnectic' lay somewer in between these two big periods of change the band under went. As the title suggests, the lyrics centre around death, and the different meanings accoiated with the subject. From the idea of repentive mind nearing the end in 'That Was Just Your Life', to the evil notion of men and their weekness to each other as suggested in 'The Judas Kiss', Hetfield still manages to impress with lyrics that are roaring with chours' lines that will have fans and concert goin screeming them out load.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall this ablum, in my opinion, one Metallica's finest works. Yes it isnt there greatest, even if it was the purest would never admit, yes the sound can become very cramped, but this only adds to the uniqueness 'Death Magnetic' holds. I don't think it sould be remastered or remixed, because that's not what Metallica are all about, and would in my opinion ruin it's appeal (think Kill em All to... And Justice For All, great sound quility? Would you really want to change them though?). Even though I love every song on the ablum, the best songs are for me 'Broken, Beaten & Scarred', 'Day That Never Comes', 'All Nightmare Long', and 'My Apocolypse', but listening to the ablum as a whole will give the listener a chance to appricate all the tracks which compliment each other extremely well. If you wanted another 'Ride The Lightning' or 'Master Of Puppets', this isnt it. What it is, is 'Death Magnetic', an excellent Metallica record in it's own right, and defenitly a contender for album of the year!

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    PinK FLoYd152 wrote: guitarfreak222 wrote: no album deserves the title" perfect album" Darkside of the Moon
    oh yeah! I stand corrected.
    I dont understand why people are complaining about the sound quality of this album, its fine. And even though this album doesnt quite live up to the awesome intro riffs on some of old albums (like Load), almost every song has a completely kick-ass chorus in it.
    ok i really think that this is a great album and i dont need so reviewer with different tastes in music than me to tell me if i should like or not like this album or to tell me which songs are good and which ones aren't i think this whole album is great and i've been just listening to that in my truck for like the past week or two now and i can say that im not tired of it yet so.. i think that all the people that like it shouldn;t listen to anyone whose trying to say it sucks, granted it isnt master of puppets or justice or ride or kill em all but its sweet and i think its up there with each of those albums, no matter what anybody says i still think this album is a ten rock on metallica i hope there's a next one
    Ok...I'll give this album a 10/10..and here's why.... This is what alot of people can't understand about Metallica.. Their a band that has been around for almost 30 years..they aren't ganna sound like they used to back in the 80's...James,Kirk,and Lars are well into their 40's now..they aren't ganna be able to write lyrics or make riffs,drums, or guitar solos sound like they did in the past albums and beleive it or not,Cliff Burton brought alot pit in them and contributed to making an album sound like a metallica album and Jason also did good but they aren't there anymore and nobody can do anything to fix that..that's what people need to I do agree that it is way better than St.Anger...and I also agree that the snare on St.Anger sounded like shit... Vocals are amazing for what James has been through the past years... Guitars are about as good as they can get... Bass is amazing on this album.. Drums are probobly as good as they are ever ganna get.. Lyrics are great-James did an amazing job at writing them This is by far the best album since the "Black Album"
    what always pisses me off about metallica or anyother band review is people get way to into what the music "should" sound like one of these review mentioned how people say metallica couldnt have a solo without wah or a blues influence, well so what as long as it sounds good and fits with the song does it really matter? and yes their newer stuff pandered to a wider audience but so what, that was the direction they wanted to take it, its not like they took the old stuff off the market, just dont buy the new albums, and over all this album is pretty sick, and although i didnt pay for it id still pay for their posters and t shirts and concert(if they came to toronto...pricks) metallica still rocks, they have some solid new songs and finally have a solid new album its been to long, im tired of listening to complaints, its not art, its music
    astrotrain77 wrote: Kirk Hammett is at times horrible and in other places pretty harmless. In my book, a solo should elevate the song and not just take up 12 or 18 bars of space to function as some kind of bridge, but rarely if at all does Hammett deliver a really, really tasty solo. I seriously doubt this is true.
    I also doubt this is, Hammett is a pretty solid guitar player, but I do agree with the part about him not being too original. It's all scales and not much is actually him writing a solo.
    metalloving wrote: **** all who think death magnetic was anything less than perfect!!!!!
    Really? :facepalm:
    Which solo on Suicide & Redemption is James'? Is it the great eastern sounding part at 5:33..?? Anyway, personally im pleased with this album, although, as many have said, bad production. Lars and Kirk on this album, are definately the weakest links. What happended to them? Remember the AJFA heights they reached?? Can they not reproduce that? Lars sounds so uninspired on this album. Kirks solos, are bad, they are just there to be there. Oh well, at least its a better album than I expected.
    stevevaifan wrote: i liked lars on this record. kirk was a little weak though, i mean theres no reason to use a wah on every solo. and they were all just about the same and the singing was a little weak but the albumn rules.
    Have you ever listened to Metallica? Kirk uses a wah on about 99% of his solos. The only ones without it that I can think of are Nothing Else Matters (not James's solo, the clean one) and The House That Jack Built (where he uses a talk box).
    Yea i dont get all the hack about the album its great !!!! it does have its good and bad spots but then every album does !!! i realy like 'judas kiss 'and 'that was just your life 'especialy the way its starts off come on give it up to metallica !!!! Some people giving this album crap wouldn't have probably even known anything about metal if metallica hadn't gotten them interested !!!! how many of you poeple started to play guitar cse of metallica???
    What I like about this album is it's sound quality, it's so next generation and cool. The songs are hard to remember, but that's Metallica's trick. Metallica wants you to listen to this record at least 3 times a day. If you think that's too much for your ear, then lower your audio player's equalizer settings. Listen guys this album deserves 10/10. Because it went best-selling, broke some records, it also went number 1 in 25 countries. I guess this is pretty impressive.
    i used to like st. anger until i read all of your comments and now the snare drum bugs me more than anything thanks guys... but yeah dm is amazingly great. not puppets, but load (never got into that album)
    3 times a day, that's 21 times a week=84 times a month. Don't worry it won't blow up your ears. Just lower your audio player's equalizer settings.
    snow blind
    Better than St. Anger but if i put i microphone in a tin can and threw it down a bumpy hill it would sound more pleasing than St. Anger. I can't believe how many of the reviewers gave it 9s, you do realise that means you're saying the album was nearly perfect? It's not bad but it's miles away from perfect. The guitars are good in parts and boring in others, nothing that makes me want to rip my ears off. The drums are overly simple yet they are the most prominent sound through most of the songs for some reason. As for the lyrics, I have to say the writing is much better than most of their other new stuff but the singing is not where it used to be in "and Justice for all" and "ride the lightning", but then again I didn't expect them to be. Metallica say that they have a bassist but I've seen no evidence of this elusive musician on "Death Magnetic". So I reluctantly concede a victory for Hetfield for singing as good as I think that he possibly could have at this stage in his life, Hammet is still using his good one minute, bad the next style of guitar, and has yet to make a solo that really stands out, Ulrich continues to decline and Trujillo is a Myth. Overall I think it was a good CD, nearly an 8/10 when compared to other music, but from a band like Metallica, I'm Certain that this could've been a hundred times better, nothing on "Death Magnetic" has made it into my top 10 favourite Metallica songs. So on a scale based on what Metallica has proven that they are capable of It's probably a 5.5 to a 6 /10. And Goddamit I don't understand how a good drummer like Ulrich could get so bad! He really took the album down a few notches!
    metalhead887 wrote: seriously Metallica are better then megadeth think about it rite who sells out stadiums (not shitty little cinemas)? Whos album is ranked on of the best selling albums of all time? oh w8 METALLICA Metallica may not have the most creative guitarist or the greatest riffs SO WHAT, i gurantee you if u ask a room of of 200 people about 10 would have heard of deth SO eff all your tallica h8az and go suck daves willy Tallica rules chart positions and concert venues decide on the bands "greatness" ? You must be worshipping Britney / JLo
    Seriously, you guys aren't into tallica if you think this is anywhere close to a flop. Its not "Just a bad album" if you don't like this then you dont like metal
    This Amazing/Important album is the REVIVAL of Metallica, it's something like: NEXT Generation Thrash/Heavy Metal. This is a very though job. Remember Metallica in the old days, they started with long duration songs & then in their highly praised, also best selling album 'Metallica' (1991), they shortened their songs... Every single track in 'Death Magnetic' is worth it for a Metallica fan. Finally, history has been made, a new genre is created! Metallica is simply the best...
    beelaal85 wrote: This Amazing/Important album is the REVIVAL of Metallica, it's something like: NEXT Generation Thrash/Heavy Metal. This is a very tough job. Remember Metallica in the old days, they started with long duration songs & then in their highly praised, also best selling album 'Metallica' (1991), they shortened their songs... Every single track in 'Death Magnetic' is worth it for a Metallica fan. Finally, history has been made, a new genre is created! Metallica is simply the best...
    This album was everything I hoped for from Metallica at this point. Some of the riffs are truely epic, like the ones that inspire you to pick up a guitar, imo. Death Magnetic is the left hook that the metal world was asking for, and their next one, with more time of Rob gelling with the band, will be the upper cut that knocks it out! 9.5 out of 10.
    have to say, i was pretty disappointed with the latest effort from metallica, this albums just sounds like noise at times, still cant stand lars' drum sound, actually i think that's the main reason i'm not too impressed with this.
    It surly dosent beat any of there old stuff but it for sure the hell beats St. anger
    i liked lars on this record. kirk was a little weak though, i mean theres no reason to use a wah on every solo. and they were all just about the same and the singing was a little weak but the albumn rules.
    Holy-Diver wrote: Axe Murderer wrote: markojuo wrote: banks_43 wrote: PS kirk sucks, his solos are the worst form of soloing i have ever heard. i honestly think james is a better soloist.
    Lol if Hetfield was a better soloist he would be soloing. Try giving it a closer listen, he definitly drops the ball on a few songs, like The End of the Line and Suicide & Redemption, but All Nightmare long, Unforgiven 3, My Apocolypse, Cyanide all have awesome solos! I honestly dont know what people dont like about his new solos
    llololol iz wurzt albim evorrr cuz i dun liek ittt!!!111one But seriously, it's a good album - certainly better than Load/Reload/St. Anger (though I actually didn't mind those either). The fanboyism in a public forum pertaining to a new Metallica album is positively hilarious. See, we have the "everything-after-Kill-'Em-All-sucks-ass" crowd, the "Metallica-sucks-anyways" group, and the "Metallica-is-the-best-band-ever" bunch. The answer is in fact rather simple - if you can't stand anything after their first record, go listen to Kill 'Em All. If you don't like Metallica, don't listen to them. If you love everything Metallica has ever created, then go listen to it. If you don't like the record, fine. There's no need for the hysterical proclamations of this being the worst album ever. Yes, Cliff Burton, rest in peace, is dead and is not being exhumed for a postmortem performance. Yes, Hetfield is getting old, and his vocals are suffering. Yes, Hammett uses a wah pedal excessively. And yes, the production sucks. So, I gotta ask: How come it's got so COLD ? To summarize - if you like it, great. If you don't like it, great. The histrionics are annoying. -Kurai
    a thrasher his age? god dont ****ing go there. he aint been a "thrasher" in 20 ****ing years.
    im a true metallica fan. obviously its not their best album, but id say it is their best album in the past 10 years easily. sure its no master of puppets...but its no st. anger either. i think its a great effort by james and the gang!
    you guys are insane, Hetfield hasn't SANG this good since ever. They're not playing in any sort of dropped tuning and he's still hitting some high notes (That Was Just Your Life) and Unforgiven 3 is an amazing vocal display period, stop being such elitists, if you want amazing vocal ability then go listen to Luciano Pavarotti. (RIP) Bottom line, DM kicks some serious ass, if you're a Metallica fan you'll love it as long as you get rid of that Metallica hating bandwagon mindset, one thing this CD made me realize, Metallica never sucked, they had their low moments but they've come full circle to deliver the goods. By the way, pick up the new Guitar World with Hetfield and Hammet on the cover, good interviews about this album.
    brendanb36 wrote: a thrasher his age? god dont ****ing go there. he aint been a "thrasher" in 20 ****ing years.
    Blasfemy!! He pretty much created that genre.
    imo all metallicas albums are awesome except... load, reload and garage inc are really under rated
    Familyguy75 wrote: this is the heaviest metallica album I ever heard! And almost as good as their black album
    HAHAHAHAHa, you have to be kidding. I guess I'll be the honest guy here. this album blows. 8 to 10 minute songs are only ok if they are epically awesome, but this WHOLE cd is full of LONG, BORING, UNINVENTIVE songs and ideas.
    i dont know what it is... did the rock music industry get shittier or did their fans expectation get too high
    Reviewer Pete wrote: Jackolas wrote: The person who posted that is just jealous as they have a cheap Ibanez or Fender knock off and an MG which only gives them crushing overdrive. Plus all they can play is some FOB. You can check out my gear in my profile.
    check out this guys gear man... u got owned!