Metallica - Official Website

Death Magnetic

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. That Was Just Your Life
2. The End Of The Line
4. The Day That Never Comes
5. All Nightmare Long
6. Cyanide
7. The Unforgiven III
8. The Judas Kiss
9. Suicide & Redemption (Instrumental)
10. My Apocalypse

Review by Maverick on January 21, 2024.

Imagine trying out a new drink at a bar ... only to not find it again because it has been discontinued, but then realizing that that same drink has been rereleased, and the liquor store stocks it again. This is the feeling I felt when I played Death Magnetic, being someone who still listens to the first three Metallica releases. I must say, I was unprepared for the onslaught I experienced. This was the old-school thrash metal sound that we have been wanting Metallica to reproduce, and oh how sweet the punch! There are a few things that I think are worth mentioning,

Firstly, the guitar work is the most notable thing from the onset. This album begins with "That Was Just Your Life" with a pretty eerie and ominous acoustic intro, only to be welcomed by thrash-riffs that eventually speed up an old-school guitar work one would expect from Slayer or Anthrax. I am honestly in shock after listening to this album, because it makes me wonder why St. Anger was ever a period in this band's history. Maybe laziness? I don't know, but these thrash and speed riffs permeate this entire album. They even contain early American groove-thrash elements like in "My Apocalypse." This album alternates between thrash riffs and riffs that border on pre-death Slayer-esque riffs, notable examples of that can be seen in "The End of the Line," and "Suicide & Redemption." The bass in this album was also nicely integrated balancing the guitar experience.

Second, the drumming is close to perfection. I feared after two songs into this album that it'd suffer from what I call the "Trivium-effect," that is overpolished records that are so perfect that they detract from the experience. When an artist doesn't allow for raw pummelling and blast beats and focuses on pristine deliverance, it's almost a sure indication that you're listening to a drum machine. The fact that this album gets the rawness right, especially in comparison with Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets, has clean enough production but not so much that one stands in suspicion of it being an edited album. Furthermore, the annoying "pots and pans" drumming from St. Anger was removed, in the spirit of a continuation of the epic drumming onslaught we heard in the majestic prime of Metallica's career. Well done guys!

Third, the singing on this album was pretty solid. Hetfield alternates between your classical hard-rock vocals, the hardcore-thrash singing, and "Southern" country rock type singing. It blends quite well, and Hetfield's delivery is pretty sick, full of passion. You can clean hear him putting his heart and lungs into the execution of his vocals. Is it the same as their initial deliverance? Well, one could argue it is, but I feel that his voice has gone through a bit of maturation in terms of how he balances his vocal techniques. In songs like "The Unforgiven III," one hears a Southern rock combination with NWOBH-type vocals. Songs like "That Was Just Your Life" contain more of an aggressive hardcore shouting form of vocals. Damn, it's quite epic!

Fourth, the overall coherence of this album is dope. The album cover is pretty solid, and very appropriate for a 2000s metal album. This is a thrash metal album that should be played again, especially since this is Metallica's "return to glory" album. Love it!

If you haven't listened to Metallica's Death Magnetic release, and you want something good that is not solely focused on the "old" song of Metallica. This is new enough for it to rock your world, without breaking continuity with the Metallica sound we all love!

Rating: 9.2 out of 10


Review by Drew on November 14, 2008.

It has been a few years since Metallica has come out with a new release. Older fans and young fans alike have anticipated the release of "Death Magnetic" to see what Metallica will come out with. After waiting, it’s finally here.

Most everyone knows Metallica’s line-up, but, for the new people, the line-up goes: James Hetfield on vocals and guitar, Kirk Hammet on guitar, Lars Ulrich on drums, and, finally newcomer, Robert Trujillo on bass. This would be the first full album that Trujillo would work on since becoming a member of Metallica back in 2003.

When first throwing "Death Magnetic" in the CD player, the listener is greeted with the song, 'That Was Just Your Life', and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. It starts out rather mellow, making the listener believe that they have just bought a Metallica album that sounds like they have heard throughout their down years, which would be the mid-90’s, but, then, the song hits you like a 90 miles per hour car crash at full impact with no seatbelt on. The song actually reminded me of their "…And Justice For All" album with the mellow start and kicking in after a few seconds.

Each song on this album sounds like the Metallica that the true metal fans remember: fast, relentless, and the lyrics are sick. James Hetfield has never sounded better as it sounds like he has found the fountain of youth and kicked the clock back to the 80’s. It’s like Hetfield stared at himself in the mirror and didn’t like what he saw, so he shattered it with his fists and saw the pieces, punched it some more, bloodying his knuckles and feeling the pleasure of pain, then they started recording this album.

If there is one song on here that I would have to pick that is a downfall, it would have to be 'Unforgiven III', but it is still a pretty damn good song. It is by far the slowest song on "Death Magnetic", but don’t let this shy you away as the other songs make up for this with thrashing guitars and sick beats to please any metal fan.

It has also been a while since Metallica has released an instrumental. If you are a fan of Metallica’s lengthy instrumentals that put you in a trance and teleport you to a different dimension, Metallica has answered your longing with the song 'Suicide & Redemption'. Clocking in at just three seconds under the ten minute mark, the listener only hopes that the song is longer as you wouldn’t want it to end.

The shortest song on "Death Magnetic" is 'My Apocalypse', which is only five minutes long, while two measure over six minutes and seven clock in at over seven minutes long. As the whole album is great, some other notable songs to check out are: 'The End of the Line', 'Broken, Beat & Scarred', 'All Nightmare Long', and 'Cyanide'.

This is the Metallica that we have been waiting for to come back and they’re here! For all the fans who said Metallica sold out, or turned their backs on you, well, that’s what Metal is. Metallica is Metal and they said, “Fuck you,” to everybody and went off and did what they wanted. The true Metallica fans have stuck with them through thick and thin and I must say, it has certainly paid off with the release of "Death Magnetic". Metallica is back and they are on a mission to shove Metal up your ass once again!

Bottom Line: You will put this CD in your player and may not take it out for a while. Yes, it’s that good!

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 10
Atmosphere: 10
Production: 8
Originality: 9
Overall: 10

Rating: 9.4 out of 10