Sound — 7
I'm not sure what took them so long to release this DVD; I suppose they've been busy. All sorts of things have been going on in Metallica land. They've played shows with the Big Four, they've curated their own festival and, lest we forget, they cast the horrific "Lulu" into a thoroughly unprepared world in 2011 to much confusion and amusement. But back in 2009 they were doing what they do best, playing it up to arenafuls of diehard fans under the coffins of "Death Magnetic" and that's what we've got served up to us on the new film.
Material from their 2008 comeback is in plentiful stock on this bumper 26-song set, filmed over two nights at the Colise Pepsi in Quebec City. The material is still relatively fresh, but the age on their faces is a stark reminder that we aren't watching a classic-era show here. That said, "The Day That Never Comes", "The Judas Kiss" and "That Was Just Your Life" are all good value. The intensity of performance fluctuates over three hours of content, rarely setting the world alight but never dropping below the standard which these veterans set for themselves other than when James Hetfield wheels out his stage banter.
Like most shows on the World Magnetic tour these two were done in-the-round, with the band playing from a central stage outwards to rows upon rows of seats. It's exciting for audiences on the day, who get to be closer to the action than normal, but it makes for a lesser spectacle on tape and that's where this DVD fails to stand out next to some of the band's other films. There's something satisfying about having a monolithic hunk of stage at the front of the house when there's this aggressive, testosterone-fuelled music being played, and being so close also means they had to tone down the stage show a little to make sure they didn't set any fans on fire.
Content — 7
You can't argue with the setlist, though. The raft of new stuff is balanced out by a good selection of classics, from the obvious Sandmans and Ones to lesser-heard cuts from "Kill 'Em All" like "Phantom Lord" and the incendiary "Whiplash", which is far and away the highlight of the entire package.
Production Quality — 8
Metallica are at the cutting edge of live recordings there's a 3D movie coming soon, don't forget and this is crisp, clear, well-lit, well-edited... the whole lot. Particularly attentive fans may notice that bassist Rob Trujillo doesn't get an awful lot of screen time even during "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and "Enter Sandman", his traditional moments in the limelight.
Overall Impression — 7
It's tough for a band who record and sell all of their shows to come out with a truly outstanding product but "Quebec Magnetic" captures them at probably one of their highest points of the '00s. This would have made a great Christmas present, but if Santa wasn't so thoughtful then it might be worth shelling out for.