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Death Magnetic
BAND:
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Metallica
Death Magnetic
Warner Brothers
2008
Thrash Metal
ToeKnee
www.metallica.com
N/A
Rating:
4.0 stars

The lethal avengers of old school thrash have returned with a seismic vengeance and they are here to obliterate the new generation's preconceptions of what 'speed metal' really is. The eternal entity in question is the methodologically revered METALLICA and the new offering of crimson, perspiration and tears is “Death Magnetic” which solemnly harks back to those innocent days of yore when pegged jeans, high-top sneakers, leather jackets and long hair ruled the roost and a single gargantuan riff could inspire a mosh pit of immeasurable brutality, not to mention a sudden lethargy induced from too much euphoric head banging.

Beginning ever so subtly with a heartbeat (representing no doubt the beginning of life anew for the band) which segues into a mysteriously exotic, tension filled intro as METALLICA kicks ever viciously into first song proper “That Was Just Your Life” sodomising our ear canals with all the finesse of a jackhammer pummeling concrete and the desperation of cheetah running down it's prey. The rhythmic fluctuations held in steed by Lars Ulrich combined with James Hetfield's signature staccato bark sound like they were vaguely modeled after “Blackened” from 1988's “And Justice For All...”, but “Broken, Beaten And Scarred” contains a corrosive, super triplicated guitar gallop that imprints itself like a bloodthirsty leech and a semi ghettoized vocal catch phrase 'What Don't Kill Ya Make Ya More Strong’, stirring, yes- but Friedrich Nietzsche would most assuredly not be proud.

“The Day That Never...” uh oh, the CD skipped (could it be that it instinctively realizes the over abundant and redundant mass download, burn o' mania, radio-TV blitzkrieg?) Perhaps, and a great song nonetheless that should be entitled “One” Jr, yet it does not compete with the superb majesty of “All Nightmare Long.” This fiends and fiend'ettes is the cream of the crop, the pinnacle of the cynical and the bee's knees as it were. A rambunctious cavalcade of SLAYER style Draconian modes from the carnal pit-even, get this-a Tom Araya elongated yelp approved by the Devil himself makes a grand appearance.

Lars Ulrich's percussive skills have obviously not corroded and even though he cannot compete with his peers (Gene Hogland, Dave Lombardo, Ventor, etc.) he does turn in a stellar performance nonetheless, a virtual Danish tornado at the height of his post pinnacle power, assaulting lesser mortals with a dervish of old school thrash woodshedding. Hetfield-a rhythm Picasso for the ages, infuses this random riff melee with a fierce doggedness not realized since “Master of Puppets” and Kirk Hammett is virtually on fire. Damned be anything on “Ride the Lightning” or “Kill 'Em All” this whammy bar and wha wha abuse could be considered criminal. Other notables include the nearly 12 minute epic “Suicide And Redemption” (Shades of “Orion” anyone?) and “The Judas Kiss” which slithers like a serpentine with it's gnarly, double harmonized main riff that hisses like a strange insect ,but ultimately it's rattle is more lethal than it's bite. Closing the lid on this coffin is “My Apocalypse” rejuvenation is there ever existed one. Think “Damage Inc.” but played by geriatric thrashers with a new lease on life, and you are halfway home.


Band Lineup:
  • James Hetfield- Vocals, Guitar
  • Lars Ulrich- Drums
  • Kirk Hammett- Guitar
  • Robert Trujillo- Bass

 

Track Listing:
  1. This Was Just Your Life
  2. The End of the Line
  3. Broken, Beat & Scarred
  4. The Day That Never Comes
  5. All Nightmare Long
  6. Cyanide
  7. The Unforgiven III
  8. The Judas Kiss
  9. Suicide & Redemption
  10. My Apocalypse

 

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