Sound — 9
Some people have complained about the sound of lars drums and the overall production on the album, but I think it sounds fantastic. Very raw, but yet very polished at the same time. The guitars feature a midrange that was missing in the 80's. Lars drums are top notch and feature a mix of cliche thrash beats and patters that are a little more inventive. Robs bass wasn't too prominent, but it shines at certain moments, especially in "Cyanide" when it's just him and lars for a few seconds. As a guitarist, I had one major complaint with the album, and that was that the majority of kirks solos sounded cool and somewhat original at some parts, and then at other times his licks were almost exactly the same as ones he played in the past. This might seem obvious, but the example that always comes to my mind is at about 6:45 in "The day that never comes", is it just me? or does that sound exactly like the harmonized part in the ride the lightning solo? it doesnt't't't really match up well. Also, it seems as kirk went a little over the top with the stupid sounding descending chromatic lines in an attempt to stray away from his hyper blues licks that we love him for.
Lyrics — 8
I've never payed too much attention to lyrics, but from what I read, the lyrics seem like a mix between Alice In Chains and a sadistic 15 years olds myspace page. Overall I could care less about the lyrics because the music is so kickass, but at times they definitely sound a little dumb. But seriously, it's metallica, who really cares?
Overall Impression — 9
When I read that Lars stated that the album seemed like it would close the gap between... And Justice and the Black Album, I thought it was pretty bold considering how bad Shit. Anger was. However, I don't think Ulrich dissapointed. The album is very thrashy at times, and yet very groove based at others. My three favorite tracks would have to be: All Nightmare Long: The general consensus is that this is one of the best songs on the album, and I agree. The intro seemed a little mashed together, but the rest of the song more than makes up for it. Nice Solo, except for the queer lick beginning at 5:06 The Unforgiven III: I love it, best solo on the album without a doubt. Great singing, and catchy chorus. Very groovy verses. Dig it The first four minutes of The Day That Never Comes: I love this song. THe first time I heard it I thought it was perfect. I loved the intro, the verses were good enough, but as soon as the chorus kicked in, I was hooked. The only two songs I have a fault are: My apocalypse: it's just dumb. Boring, generic riffs, nothing catchy, and the chorus just sucks. Everyone likes it because it's "in-your-face" and "edgy" but I think it's more of a pie in the face. The last three of the Day that Never comes: I'm not gunna lie. I almost cried when I heard the shitastic outro to this song. This is what a 14 yr old kid who just got a guitar for christmas would write, not one of the greatest metal bands in history. Randomn strung together riffs with lots of breaks in between. Dissapointing solo. Horrendously bad video as well. If the "heavy" part of this soing was reworked then it would be perfect. If Metallica tried to make this into another "fade to black" it would have worked, but since they tried turning it into a lazy version of "one", it fails. Nontheless, this is one of the best albums of the year. and my favorite compared to Nostradamus, Blooddrunk, and others Kudos to Metallica for doing what they do best: Sounding like Metallica.