Eh, if you still think Metallica is going downhill, you must not have liked them in the first place. This is exactly the album they needed to make.
I agree. I was a huge fan until they released Load. I couldn't stand to listen to them once that came out. Lately, I've been listening to their early stuff (Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning), so I was pretty stoked when I listened to clips from Death Magnetic this morning. There is no way that this will ever surpass what they did early on, but this is exactly what this band needed to do. Rick Rubin really helped get them out of their slump. I generally don't purchase a physical cd unless I really like it, but I can actually see myself buying the cd rather than downloading it.