Metallica
Beyond Magnetic


4.0
excellent

Review

by AsoTamaki USER (6 Reviews)
December 13th, 2011 | 117 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: New signs of life make an unexpected appearance within this collection of b-sides.

Once admired by virtually the entire metal community, Metallica has spent the better part of two decades releasing a series of increasingly divisive and critically panned albums. Touted as a return to the band's thrashier metal roots, 2008's Death Magnetic seemed to be headed in a more favorable direction although whether it succeeded or not was widely debated by both fans and critics alike. From these same 2008 sessions comes Beyond Magnetic - an EP featuring four previously unreleased tracks. Could the discarded remains of an album with this rather lukewarm reception really be deserving of their own separate release over three years later?

Judging by the opening assault of "Hate Train", things appear to be much the same as they were on Death Magnetic. It's not until the chorus kicks in that we hear something which truly stands out from what was provided three years ago. A lead guitar melody signals the change into a welcome quieter clean guitar-driven refrain, adding a unique texture to the metallic barrage which dominated the first couple of minutes. Likewise, "Hell and Back" sees the band experimenting with fresher ideas rather than simply reaching back towards the past. One could view these songs as a natural blend between the more rock based sound of the Load/ReLoad era and this most recent thrash revivalism. It is in these moments that Metallica displays a level of progression in their songwriting abilities worthy of a band with a career spanning close to 30 years.

Throughout the EP, we are treated to all of the things we've come to expect from every Metallica recording - monster riffs and Kirk Hammett's impressive soloing (of both the wah-wahed and the un-wahed variety). Perhaps most surprisingly, Beyond Magnetic reveals itself as a collection of frontman James Hetfield's strongest lyrical work in recent years. Glimpses of the man who penned such memorable anthems as "Fade to Black" appear more frequently than those of the "Broken, Beat & Scarred" wordsmith. Of particular note is the stark simplicity of "Just A Bullet Away". A cry of "stop the voices in my head" is followed by a few seconds of silence which then transitions into a serene instrumental section harkening back to a similar passage found on "Orion". This clear connection between word and instrument gives a much appreciated depth to what could otherwise be just another tune to bang your head to.

The 80s are long gone. We have only the future ahead of us. Be it through the creative, melodic chorus of "Hate Train" or the energetic speed-riffing in "Rebel of Babylon," Beyond Magnetic shows signs of a veteran heavy metal band with something indeed left to contribute to the music industry. With a little quality control and some better decision-making during the critical production stages, Metallica may very well still be capable of releasing a classic album in the 21st century.



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user ratings (369)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
AsoTamaki
December 13th 2011


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just thought I'd get this out while the kids are still asleep.

m/

TheNotrap
December 13th 2011


8109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This digital EP was released to coincide with Metallica's anniversary but also to minimize Lulu's damage.

Some cool moments here sure (specially some riffs) but these songs still don't have what it takes IMO.

Nice review AsoTamaki
pos



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Ovrot
December 13th 2011


10508 Comments


m/

pos'd

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Dreamflight
December 13th 2011


1760 Comments


Wow, a Metallica review without stupid hate cliches, that alone deserves the pos. Anyway excellent job man, you made me want to check this out.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 13th 2011


6205 Comments


excellent review, pos


Is this streaming anywhere?

Digging: Seduced (AT) - The Proclamation

Jamatha
December 13th 2011


110 Comments


LULU.

good review.

Wizard
December 13th 2011


19522 Comments


Great review. Can't say I enjoyed "Hate Train" though.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

MO
December 13th 2011


18865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

there was a part of hate train that was cool with the guitar harmonies, I think it was closer to the end...that's about it though

BigHans
December 13th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna jam this now

BigHans
December 13th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they should have left off Cyanide and Suicide & Redemption and replaced them with Hate Train and Rebel of Babylon wouldve been m/

fr33convict
December 13th 2011


11694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

moar liek m/eh

chris0987
December 13th 2011


66 Comments


When do we get the St Anger b-sides? i wanna hear more of that dreaded snare

Muse1748
December 13th 2011


160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, seriously. pos'd

AsoTamaki
December 13th 2011


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, "Hate Train" is probably the least of these four. I think each song might be better than the one preceding it in the tracklist. All of them at least match up to the quality of Death Magnetic, but I can see how some wouldn't fit with the rest of the album in terms of the musical direction. "Rebel of Babylon" definitely should have made the cut though.

bloozclooz
December 13th 2011


1770 Comments


i actually like this

KjSwantko
December 13th 2011


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the "toniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight" at the end of Rebel of Babylon chorus hurt my ears. All in all this is decent stuff though. Good review Tamaki.

The7thVermicide
December 13th 2011


925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty decent

fr33convict
December 13th 2011


11694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I'm actually pretty happy with this for what it is.

Andrewffcc
December 13th 2011


171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Some of this stuff kind of sounds half-ass

linchpin313
December 13th 2011


813 Comments


I like this alot... my only complaint is the vocals are mixed a bit too high making Hetfield stick out like an ostrich but i guess that's what you get when you decide to hire Rubin and his minions... god i hope they never use him... he's as useful as a used condom.

pos'd!



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