Sound — 8
**The CD player is broken in my car, and as a result this CD has been stuck in it almost since it was released. As a result, I've had PLENTY of time to analyze it; perhaps too much time.** Anyone familiar with the Metallica sound should be familiar with basic Metallica formula. James saying "yeah" or "ah" every so often; Kirk noodling with some pentitonic genius I wish I could mimic; Robert walking with the bass (no doubt doing the crab walk as well); Lars going ape-sh-t on the snare (at least it's tuned, unlike "St. Anger"). This is a formula that works well for Metallica. Though this album doesn't define a genre like "Master Of Puppets", it much better put together than something like "St. Anger".
Lyrics — 10
I liked it when James Hetfield said in an interview a few years ago "Metallica is looking for a singer. I'm just filling in until we find him." Really James? You've been filling in for 20-something years- I think it's time you take the job. Hetfield has penned some pretty potent lyrics over the years. In "Death Magnetic", he hits the nail on the head several times, but I have to confess the instrumental is my favorite track, lyrically speaking; not because the other tracks a weak, but they write the words with thier instruments. With all the Justin Beibers and what not in the world, there are not enough skilled musicians these days.
Overall Impression — 8
Like I stated earlier, I've listened to this album in my car more that any sane person would. In a nutshell I'll put it this way: say you could only listen to one to listen to one album over and over again for the rest of time (which is basically what I will be doing). In all the albums on all the world, I could have definitely don't A LOT worse. Thanks for not driving me insane on my commute Metallica!