Metal To Infinity

I admit I had lost all faith in Metallica. ''…And Justice For All'' was the last album I enjoyed but afterwards, to me, Metallica fell into a negative spiral. The band seems to be only interested in money and they turned their back to their most loyal fans that made them so god damn popular. The music, we knew from the very first albums, never came back and I felt betrayed by them. God damn; I was a very big fan... So, I let Metallica go and only pure Metal was good enough to me. ''Load'' and ''Reload'' were, in my opinion, very bad Metal albums and especially ''St.Anger'' was a disgrace for the entire Metal scene. The album had a very bad production, the solos vanished and nothing of the biggest band stood tall. As a matter of fact Metallica isn't the biggest Metal band; Maiden and Priest still are! Metallica was seduced by the mainstream Rock business and becoming celebrities became way too important to them; not really 'Metal if you would ask me'. I know we don't have to take anything serious, especially not the lyrics but the ideas behind Metallica's first album and the band they became gave them a pathetic charisma for fans of true Metal. Most true Metal fans turned their back to this band and were replaced by thousands of kids whose knowledge of pure Metal is rather poor. Those who supported Metallica for so long felt the knife in their back; an open wound that suffered so much pain. 

Nevertheless I was very curious about ''Death Magnetic'' because Metallica promised to return to their roots. Guitar solos were promised, a more thrashy sound would be part of this new release. Because of my respect of the formers of Thrash Metal I gave them another chance when I received this CD as a present from a very good friend. I must say Metallica really amazed me when I started listening to this newbie. I heard recognizable arrangements and sounds! Is Metallica really alive again? Did they really release an album to re-win their old fans? It seems so… 

First of all the production is once again from a high level. Worse than ''St.Anger'' was almost impossible! I also hear very tight and pretty technical guitar riffs, the kind that became a brand from this band since their very first release. Metallica invented Thrash and were, a few exceptions not mentioned, the first to play the guitars this way. Nowadays this kind of riffs are common but I ensure you they weren’t when ''Kill 'em All'' was released. I also hear solos again, very good solos indeed. Most important is the fact that I hear first class Metal again! All songs are very good and they keep on hammering in my head.  Metallica also brings a lot of variation, no chance to be bored by ''Death Magnetic''. A song like 'All Nightmare Long' is just fantastic; pure Thrash from the highest level! This is what I want to hear from Metallica!!!! 

Does that mean the old Metallica is back? Yes and no. First of all; don't make the mistake to compare this album with their old and good works. This is something new and although no new boundaries are discovered by Metallica you will be pleased by the new album. To be honest I don’t want Metallica to search for new borders. Metallica brings you the album they should have released after ''…And Justice For All'' although I would have been pleased even more if James would forget to 'sing' here and there. His aggressive kind of vocals, we know from the first releases, will probably never come back and that's a fact I need to accept. His old aggressive way of singing brought Metallica to the highest level, talking in terms of pure Heavy Metal. At some parts on this album you can still hear them but overall James Hetfield chooses a more melodic approach. Especially at calmer pieces, like in the beginning of 'The day that never comes' I also hear arrangements I know from the ''Load'' album. To be honest these are the weakest points of this album. On the other hand the rest of that particular song is just godlike! The riffs are outstanding, the (even twin) solos are incredible played! Other tracks I adore are Cyanide', 'The Judas Kiss' (what a mighty riffs!), 'The Unforgiven III', the instrumental 'Suicide & Redemption'.  It doesn't mean that this album can compete with the first four albums but it is, not in style but in rating, comparable with the 'Black' album. ''Death Magnetic'' is not the ultimate come-back album but it feels good to hear this kind of Metallica again! 

Metallica also brings long songs again. Each song knows different rhythms; fast, mid-tempo or (semi)ballad. The drums are also recognizable again, very tight and blistering as we were used to many years ago. 

I suppose I become too difficult when I talk about Metallica. These guys hurt my feelings as Metal fan 'pur sang' and I suppose their betrayal will always leave scars behind. I know it is their freedom to write music as they like; they're the writers and performers and I am only a Metal fan. Nevertheless I feel free to tell how I am feeling about this band, by many (not by me) presented as the biggest Metal band on earth. Let me conclude by saying I am so glad with this release! I can be proud again wearing my Metallica jacket and I'm even prepared to pay a lot of money to see them again on stage. It is about 17 years ago I spent my money on them but I will be back! Because of the fact Metallica is back, I will be too! The only thing left to say; what is the real meaning of the front cover? 

My Points: 90 / 100 (Review by Officer Nice)