Metallica
Death Magnetic


4.0
excellent

Review

by David Driver USER (78 Reviews)
November 9th, 2009 | 36 replies | 3,063 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: After being largely irrelevant for the past decade, Metallica returns with their best original effort in nearly twenty years.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Imagine my surprise when I was walking down the street last week to find a CD case lying on the ground. I picked it up and noticed that it was Metallica’s latest effort, Death Magentic, and the CD inside looked virtually new. After originally putting off listening to this album when it first came out, I felt this was some sort of message from the metal gods, so I took it home and gave it a spin. While not expecting them to match or exceed their classic 80s material, how does Death Magentic fare in Metallica long and storied discography?

The absolute first thing I notice about Death Magentic is the thrashy riffs that are more reminiscent of Metallica’s yester years. It’s obvious that Metallica tried to tap into their wild, unconventional youth, and the end result is a variety of heavy riffs that wheel in and out of several unique grooves. It’s also refreshing to hear James Hetfield’s vocal performance is as strong as ever, while Lars Ulrich’s frantic drumming is tasteful and very fitting of the music. These are some of the best songs that Metallica have written in decades, and thanks to more the complex and varied structures, any metal fan is sure to find several wicked riffs and head banging sessions during the album’s lengthy runtime.

Another notable thing about Death Magentic comes courtesy of song lengths. While their previous effort, St. Anger, recycled riffs needlessly, the song lengths of Death Magentic are more justified this time around. The majority of songs on the album are over seven minutes, but all the riffs sound very inspired and the structures are creative enough to hold your attention throughout. My only real problem with the long song lengths is that, while some songs sound more cohesive, some songs just sound like a string of riffs that were thrown together (notably the instrumental track “Suicide and Redemption”). While there really isn’t a bad song on the entire album, some songs just sound more natural than others, and sometimes the feeling of authenticity is lost during certain stretches of some certain songs.

And while Death Magentic as a whole is a spectacular, grandiose effort, there are a lot of elements that dampen the quality of the music. First off, I’m glad that Metallica has decided to reintroduce solos back into their sound, but can someone please take that goddamn wah-wah pedal away from Mr. Hammett? While his soloing is par for the course and occasionally surprises me (“My Apocalypse”, “Unforgiven III”), he needs that thing taken away from him. The production, while towering and dominant, sounds a bit too unrefined and the bass guitar is largely buried in the mix. And while the lengthy songs aren’t too cumbersome to listen to individually, listening to this album in one sitting can be very overbearing given the long, long runtime.

So while Death Magentic doesn’t quite live up to Metallica’s classic material, it is a very impressive effort. In the end, Death Magentic turns out to be very fun, enjoyable listen and the boys in the band sound like they really put their absolute best efforts into it. So thank you, metal gods, for finally giving me the one final push I needed to actually listen to this album. And while I have your attention, I still haven’t gotten around to Megadeth’s new album…



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user ratings (3845)
Chart.
3.2
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
FadeToBlack
November 9th 2009



10913 Comments


And while I have your attention, I still haven’t gotten around to Megadeth’s new album…
negnegnegneg

good review pos'd


PuddlesPuddles
November 9th 2009



4752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy Driver

LepreCon
November 9th 2009



3562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, pos'd, and album's still good despite being over a year after release/ having horrible production/ being a post- AFJA Metallica album/ being any Metallica album reviewed on this site.
Looking forward to your Megadeth review if that's what you were hinting at with all the subtlety of a jackhammer

Titan50
November 9th 2009



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

People only seem to ignore the horrible production on this

jagride
November 9th 2009



2256 Comments


Yeah, because it's not a bad album

Emim
November 9th 2009



26467 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

4.0
excellent


First mistake. Good review otherwise.

Jesuslaves
November 9th 2009



4655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

People only seem to ignore the horrible production on this


Except the production's awesome.

FadeToBlack
November 9th 2009



10913 Comments


hardly

unless you mean the guitar hero rips

Bullitt
November 9th 2009



1666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Production blows, album is good though.

Jesuslaves
November 9th 2009



4655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love the production/mastering on this.

jagride
November 9th 2009



2256 Comments


Cool story bro

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2009



7311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah the distorted drums are horrible, but most of the sonfs make up for that imo

Inveigh
November 9th 2009



24752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The production is somewhat unfortunate, but if you know how to adjust the EQ on your sound system (or iPod for that matter), it's an easy fix. Or, (so I've heard) you can download the Guitar Hero version and that one sounds immaculate.

Regardless of production issues (post-production, really, as it's the mastering that screwed this record) the song-writing is as strong as it's ever been for Metallica and I believe outshines the latest efforst from other thrash gods like Megadeth, Testament and Slayer (although Endgame has 'em beat in technicality and sheer aggression).

Good review broheem, pos'd.

FadeToBlack
November 9th 2009



10913 Comments


songs are too long for their own good imo. would've been much better if they shaved a couple of minutes off most of them and forgot about Suicide And Redemption altogether

Titan50
November 9th 2009



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Except the production's awesome.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Inveigh
November 9th 2009



24752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like Suicide & Redemption, but it should have been more like 5-6 minutes rather than 10. Could've cut some off of Judas Kiss as well, but I'm not going to complain. Metallica finally put out another good record dude! Beggars can't be choosers, hah.

In all seriousness though, if the biggest complaint about a Metallica album that came out in 2008 is that the songs are a little too long, then I'm absolutely ok with that.

XulOnerom
November 9th 2009



1818 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review

Album is mediocre.

Eclectic
November 9th 2009



3302 Comments


believe outshines the latest efforst from other thrash gods like Megadeth, Testament and Slayer


I have no issue with the first and the last in the 3 you listed.
HOWEVER
In no way does this beat "The Formation Of Damnation"

Eclectic
November 9th 2009



3302 Comments


Good review too btw.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2009



30859 Comments


The Formation Of Damnation>Endgame>This

Digging: Calyx and Teebee - FabricLive.76



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