Metallica - Death Magnetic
I've had a chance to listen to the entire over the last couple of days, and I thought I'd share my opinion on it. If you're wondering right off the bat whether it's an improvement over St. Anger: Yes it is. Absolutely and unequivocally. Is it a classic in the vein of Master of Puppets or Ride the Lightning? Not even close. It is, however, a generally entertaining and fun album. They sound like Metallica again, with tight, heavy riffs and yes, solos. Songs like "My Apocalypse," "All Nightmare Long," "Judas Kiss," and "That Was Just Your Life" are fast, catchy, and headbang-worthy. "All Nightmare Long" (despite its moronic title) stands out as the best on my first couple of listens: It has great riffs and a catchy chorus. "My Apocalypse" comes in second. These songs make this album worth checking out, IMO.
Sadly, there are still a lot of flaws with this record. Rick Rubin's production is great (though over compressed), but no studio wizardry can hide the fact that Lars Ulrich is still one of the worst drummers in metal. His adorable attempts at double bass could probably be outclassed by a 16 year-old drum student. Also, I don't know if drinking made James Hetfield a better musician, but the quality of his lyrics definitely nose-dived when he quit the sauce, and no where is this more evident than on this album. While I wouldn't necessarily consider any of the songs "bad," there are a bunch that are just really boring ("The Unforgiven III" and "Broken, Beaten and Scarred" come to mind). Overall, this is CERTAINLY a step in the right direction for the band. It might not become anyone's favorite Metallica record, it will definitely make most forget about St. Anger. And really, isn't that all we were hoping for?
"COLONEL KLINK, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!"