By Phillip Smith
My curiosity of how would Metallica sound with new bassist, Robert Trujillo and producer Rick Rubin had been getting the best of me. Upon listening though, I concluded this CD was definitely well worth the wait. Death Magnetic is unmistakably Metallica in their truest form... heavy and more aggressive than ever.
The listener is first greeted with the steady sound of a heartbeat, which seems to fade away as a heavier percussive and electric assault marks its territory. James Hetfeld is at the top of his game as his vocals for “That Was Just Your Life” join along. Second up to bat, 'The End of the Line' is just a damn good song. I grow more and more fond of it the more I hear it. The guitar licks Kirk Hammett throws down on this song is quite impressive.
One of my favorites of the collection and the first single, "The Day That Never Comes" is the Jackson Pollock of the album. With all sorts of layers and emotions spattered about. It's tranquil. It's heavy. It rocks. As does "All Nightmare Long", which showcases Lars percussive ingenuity.
Staying true to the Unforgiven formula, if there is one, 'The Unforgiven III' surely fits within the mold. Suitable enough for a Sergio Leone spaghetti western, if he were alive today to make a film. The song was enjoyable, and also provides a few moments to catch ones breath.
Again, Kirk displays his amazing talent on "The Judas Kiss". Reminiscent of early Metallica, we also acknowledge Hetfelds’ voice remains as powerful as ever. "My Apocalypse", the second coming of "Battery" from their album Master of Puppets, and also the final track is absolutely Metallica at their finest. This will be the song I will remember this album for. I really couldn't even begin to guess how many boxes of Wheaties Lars had before recording this track, but I would say probably a lot.
* Originally published on FoundryMusic.com, Oct. 2008