Sound — 8
Now, before I start, I'd like to issue a disclaimer. I, in my humble opinion, do not particularly like metal. Luckily, Metallica isn't all harsh throaty growls. Matter of fact, it's really a lot more smooth. No wonder it's so popular with everyone. But that's the problem. Metallica used to have the appeal of only a few people liked it. But now, every Slim Jim paste eater who listens to 'rock' (I'm putting rock in quotations because not everything is rock. Rolling Stone has lowered the bar... ) wears a Metallica T-shirt, regardless of whether he or she evens listens to it. Sickening But now that my frustrations are unleashed, I should get to how the album sounds. Well, it's typical Metallica. It starts slow, easy as she goes. Then BAM! A drum beat breaks the silence and the carnage begins. Naturally, it's mostly a ballad, like earlier Metallica works. Purely instrumental at the beginning and end. Here's the proof: I tested it. Listening to 'The Day That Never Comes', the sound continued for 1:20 or so before any words came through. Not to say that's a bad thing, but in this day and age of borderline stupid and reality TV, if something doesn't impress us in ten seconds, we lose interest. So... I worry.
Lyrics — 6
Lyrics? Right about... here would be the time in a Scooby Doo episode where that dog goes 'Ruh? ' See, Metallica uses vague lyrics. Very vague. Not Nirvana vague, but vague enough. Let's just say it sounds like some interesting poetry a friend of mine writes. Dark, but with meaning, despite it sounding like Lars was searching for a rhyme and used an online rhyming dictionary written by that emo roommate you had back at Seton Hall. And as for Ulrich's singing skills... well, I'm not a big fan. It doesn't require a lot of skill to sing like him. Sounds the oddly thin guy behind you at a NASCAR event that screams 'Yeah! ' and spills his beer on the three guys in front of him. Lars Ulrich looks like he should sound like a beast. A bounty hunter voice, per say. He looks like he could kick your ass, but in the end... not so much...
Overall Impression — 7
Now, Enter Sandman was probably Metallica's best work, and I highly doubt they'll reach that level of superiority again. So this brings up the question: why bother? Why, because they're Metallica, idiot. They have to keep playing, sometimes for tens of minutes at a time. For one song. Seriously, the ninth song on the album, 'Suicide and Redemption', is nine minutes and fifty-eight seconds long! After about 5 minutes, I grow bored of it. How many unimpressive riffs can you throw in one song? How many? Well, if it were a contest, Metallica would win the huge trophy made of chocolate. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not bad. It's just not that good. They can't live up to the Black Album, but let's face it. If Metallica broke up for good, there'd be rioting in the streets, and I'd like to avoid the guy at NASCAR turning his beer into a Molotov cocktail.