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Metallica - Death Magnetic Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7
Production 8.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Final Verdict: 79%
Member Ratings
Vocals 5.54
Musicianship 7.71
Lyrics 5.96
Production 4.29
Creativity 6.75
Lasting Value 6.68
Reviewer Tilt 6.68
Average: 62%
Inside AP.net

Metallica - Death Magnetic

Reviewed by: OKComputer1016 (09/23/08)
MetallicaDeath Magnetic
Record Label: Warner Bros
Release Date: September 12, 2008


There's no question about it: Metallica is back. Death Magnetic finds the Napster-hating Rock-Band-lovers in a state of brutality they haven't touched since …And Justice For All, proving that A.) age ain't nothin' but a number and B.) it is possible to make good music while completely sober.

Certainly Death Magnetic would have been another Load if it weren't for the colossal flop of 2003's St. Anger. Everything on here seems like it was penned in direct response to the holes in that album's formulas. First and foremost, the guitars are at the very front of the mix – two of them, working together just like old times. Second, Rick Rubin was the guy in the producer's seat this time, and he couldn't have done a better job in focusing the band. This means that old producer Bob Rock's losing streak has ended (Load, Reload, St. Anger), and he can go work on ruining somebody else.

In making Death Magnetic, Metallica understood that the only way to please their fans would be to stop trying new things, ever. So, what we've got is a group of middle-aged men desperately trying to re-summon their adolescent aggression. Sounds and even lyrical themes get borrowed from earlier albums here and there. It's nothing to get fussy about, save for one lazy idea: The concept of an "Unforgiven III" is a little bit ridiculous when nobody even wanted an "Unforgiven II". But believe it or not, this new installment rocks a lot harder than its predecessor and fits the mood and flow of the album well. Hopefully they won't release it as a single, but as long as it stays near the back of the album I won't mind.

If there's a specific moment where the album feels forced, it's the single "The Day That Never Comes", which does its best to bridge the gap between Metallica balladry and …Justice rhythm. The switch is anything but subtle – it's like Rubin held up a sign that said, "Okay, be metal now!" – and it transitions so randomly and awkwardly that that really might have been the case. But if you've ever listened to Metallica before, you should be familiar with the one-thing-meets-another-thing plot. Know that this is a somewhat misrepresentative single; don't judge on it alone.

Of course long time Metallica listeners are going to take a skeptical approach. They'll listen specifically to find something wrong with this album. They'll boo the new songs at shows. Yes, of course it's impossible to make another Master of Puppets, because so much has already happened in the world of metal that it's not easy to make a big statement. For those of us who just want to hear something heavy and repeatably listenable, here we have it.

Plus, it isn't St. Anger.

Don't Believe Me?
www.myspace.com/metallica

Recommended If You Like:
Metallica's …And Justice For All, and that's all that matters.

Tracks:
1. That 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
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 25.
10:25 AM on 09/23/08
#2
Timetoroll
Strives for better musical taste.
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Love the last sentence. Nice Work, Eric.
10:32 AM on 09/23/08
#3
oldwirehands
pherm
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I've actually like what I've heard. I'm glad they put out something new that is worth listening to. Its been a long time.
10:35 AM on 09/23/08
#4
WhoSaidThat?
twitter.com/TiredOfSeth
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Three cheers for Loranger! Hip Hip...
10:37 AM on 09/23/08
#5
Poochemist
Not that easy to confuse
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Great review. Although Bob Rock did have it right with the Black Album (hardcore Metal fans will hate on me but fuck em).
10:43 AM on 09/23/08
#6
SSLYBY
Back in the saddle.
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This almost makes me want to give this cd a listen, almost.
10:46 AM on 09/23/08
#7
splitsecond
Augustine / Evan
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I really really like this album. Seriously.
10:49 AM on 09/23/08
#8
therookielot
the shape of punk just came
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This almost makes me want to give this cd a listen, almost.

You should. I was super skeptical cuz I never really cared about this band to begin with, but this album kinda shreds my face off.
10:49 AM on 09/23/08
#9
Chuck!
treat yo self
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This almost makes me want to give this cd a listen, almost.

if you like their older material then you really should.
10:55 AM on 09/23/08
EndSerenading
we were born for battle
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the fact that the listeners have given this a "10" for production makes me sad (hah, well it was 10 before I gave it my vote:x) . The production on this album is THE epitome of what I hate about most modern metal recordings (well mainly the recording/mixing/mastering which I know IS different from straight up production but the production blanket is what this has to come under based on AP review choices). Super Super Super compressed and produced up to the point where there is no real organic or true full range dynamic sound to the recording.

The guitars are over-compressed so much to the point that there is a LOT of the sound of some of the notes cut out of the mix that bounces above the compression line. I tried the disk in my car (nice speaker setup), on my computer, in my ipod and it all sounded bad (even worse in better setups honestly). Finally I went to a friend of mine who has run sound live and recorded for 20 years to have him use his studio monitors because I literally could not believe how bad the production was. He hadnt opened his copy yet, so we ran his disk through audacity and pro tools and listened to it and the recording is laughable. Audible hiss and clips. The guitars sound like they were recorded through an amp modeler or a low end solid state amp.

The drums almost sound like they are clipping at points, and the snare and some of the cymbols really sound like complete crap to the point where I cant believe they were accepted in a final mix.

As far as the album? I havent been a metallica fan for several several albums so Im biased. Its probably a 6.5/10 or so for me. Musicianship is high class no doubt (9 from me) even if I have grown out of them, and the overall writing is back to their solid roots, but Production is honestly probably a 0 for me. One of the worst produced albums Ive heard come out of a band with this kind of recording budget in a LONG time. (maybe ever).

All because the modern trend is compress compress compress to get the "loud"/"attack" all the other metal bands have.

good review by the review originator though. although we may not agree on the final score, his last paragraph sums it up perfectly.
11:34 AM on 09/23/08
batmannj
"No more half measures Walt"
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the fact that the listeners have given this a "10" for production makes me sad (hah, well it was 10 before I gave it my vote:x) . The production on this album is THE epitome of what I hate about most modern metal recordings (well mainly the recording/mixing/mastering which I know IS different from straight up production but the production blanket is what this has to come under based on AP review choices). Super Super Super compressed and produced up to the point where there is no real organic or true full range dynamic sound to the recording.

The guitars are over-compressed so much to the point that there is a LOT of the sound of some of the notes cut out of the mix that bounces above the compression line. I tried the disk in my car (nice speaker setup), on my computer, in my ipod and it all sounded bad (even worse in better setups honestly). Finally I went to a friend of mine who has run sound live and recorded for 20 years to have him use his studio monitors because I literally could not believe how bad the production was. He hadnt opened his copy yet, so we ran his disk through audacity and pro tools and listened to it and the recording is laughable. Audible hiss and clips. The guitars sound like they were recorded through an amp modeler or a low end solid state amp.

The drums almost sound like they are clipping at points, and the snare and some of the cymbols really sound like complete crap to the point where I cant believe they were accepted in a final mix.

As far as the album? I havent been a metallica fan for several several albums so Im biased. Its probably a 6.5/10 or so for me. Musicianship is high class no doubt (9 from me) even if I have grown out of them, and the overall writing is back to their solid roots, but Production is honestly probably a 0 for me. One of the worst produced albums Ive heard come out of a band with this kind of recording budget in a LONG time. (maybe ever).

All because the modern trend is compress compress compress to get the "loud"/"attack" all the other metal bands have.

good review by the review originator though. although we may agree on the final score, his last paragraph sums it up perfectly.

i agree with everything you just said. seriously.
11:35 AM on 09/23/08
Julia Conny
"Julia HurriConny"
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Win for you Eric. Good to have you on the team.
11:40 AM on 09/23/08
EndSerenading
we were born for battle
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Win for you Eric. Good to have you on the team.

yes, dont let my long diatribe on the production be taken as an attack on the reviewer; the review itself was well written Eric.

batmannj: glad to hear im not the only one on here.
12:19 PM on 09/23/08
smelltheglove
youarealldumbemokids
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the fact that the listeners have given this a "10" for production makes me sad (hah, well it was 10 before I gave it my vote:x) . The production on this album is THE epitome of what I hate about most modern metal recordings (well mainly the recording/mixing/mastering which I know IS different from straight up production but the production blanket is what this has to come under based on AP review choices). Super Super Super compressed and produced up to the point where there is no real organic or true full range dynamic sound to the recording.

The guitars are over-compressed so much to the point that there is a LOT of the sound of some of the notes cut out of the mix that bounces above the compression line. I tried the disk in my car (nice speaker setup), on my computer, in my ipod and it all sounded bad (even worse in better setups honestly). Finally I went to a friend of mine who has run sound live and recorded for 20 years to have him use his studio monitors because I literally could not believe how bad the production was. He hadnt opened his copy yet, so we ran his disk through audacity and pro tools and listened to it and the recording is laughable. Audible hiss and clips. The guitars sound like they were recorded through an amp modeler or a low end solid state amp.

The drums almost sound like they are clipping at points, and the snare and some of the cymbols really sound like complete crap to the point where I cant believe they were accepted in a final mix.

As far as the album? I havent been a metallica fan for several several albums so Im biased. Its probably a 6.5/10 or so for me. Musicianship is high class no doubt (9 from me) even if I have grown out of them, and the overall writing is back to their solid roots, but Production is honestly probably a 0 for me. One of the worst produced albums Ive heard come out of a band with this kind of recording budget in a LONG time. (maybe ever).

All because the modern trend is compress compress compress to get the "loud"/"attack" all the other metal bands have.

good review by the review originator though. although we may not agree on the final score, his last paragraph sums it up perfectly.

yes to all, thanks for saving me typing time

the production is still not as awful as "st. anger" though.

Also, reviewer guy, Bob Rock is currently producing the new 311 album, so hopefully he doesn't ruin them as you said. Although, it should be pointed out that Bob did a fairly good job with the new Offspring album, while the production isn't great, he at least got their best effort in 10 years out of them.
12:58 PM on 09/23/08
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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We pretty much feel the same way about this one.

Good work, young Jedi. Glad to have you on-board.
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