When “That Was Just Your Life” opens all you can do is wonder: Where the hell has Metallica been all these years? It’s as if they were in a coma and have been awaken after a seventeen year nap and picked up where they left off. It’s as if “Load” and “St. Anger” where a figments of our imaginations. Metallica fans be prepared for the “Death Magnet.”
“The End of the Line” – Is this about Hetfield’s worst nightmare… a rockstar that has reached the end of their stardom? Perhaps he is singing about a bad nightmare and he’s awoken to rock the hell out of the song. Hammett is back and his solo sounds like he melts the strings on his guitar. And then there is the bridge that sounds like a new song. Metallica might have been able to harvest the bridge for its own really cool song. This is the surprise of the album. This wasn’t written for the radio–not when it lasts almost eight minutes–which fans have to appreciate when they realize the band is back at making music for the love of it not for the money it makes.
“That Was Just Your Life” – Kirk Hammett is unleashed as is Lars Ulrich. James Hetfield is his same-old-vicious-self. As great as it is to hear the latter back to his old ways–the return of the immense guitar of Hammett is the most welcome. His phenomenal riffs and solos are what used to make the hair standup on the back of your neck.
“Broken, Beat & Scarred” – “What don’t kill you make you more strong” is fitting as the band pummels ever note. The songs seems autobiographical when you think of the pummeling the band has taken over the last few albums from fans and critics.
“All Nightmare Long” – A relentless onslaught of riffage.
“The Unforgiven III” – Hetfield doesn’t throw in his iconic growling voice and yet it never once sounds wimpy. It’s the one song on the album that if you let it–it will grow on you. Whereas other tracks you either love first listen or don’t. Again, Hammett kills on the solo.
“The Day That Never Comes” – The first single is probably the biggest let down on the album. The video and its military theme doesn’t have any of the potency or power of the epic track “One.”
“My Apocalypse” – The best moment comes when Hetfield rips through the lyrics and Hammett tears off a solo–the rest isn’t so great.
Metallica is back to answer fans and critics alike who have written them off. This is Metallica’s announcing that they are back. It should be heard loud and clear with “Death Magnet.” This might be the comeback of the year. Honestly, I wrote Metallica off after “Load” and “St. Anger.” Their music seemed to become too smart for its own good. Metallica became a band that worried more about outthinking themselves rather than making great music. They appeared to forget what used to come naturally. “Death Magnet” sounds natural. They only miss is the single “The Day That Never Comes”–that is saying a lot for a band that was written off a decade ago. Metallica has thrown the rock-pop rules out the window and have gone back to their roots. It worked. The mighty Metallica are back.
Watch the video for “The Day That Never Comes”