So there’s a new Metallica album, hey….

Metallica, back when they didn't suck (1986) 
Image: Metallica when they didn’t suck, circa 1986.

People who know me well may be aware that I have… certain… issues  with Metallica.

In summary: As a young goatlady I loved Metallica. I first heard …And Justice For All in early 1990 and loved it (I was just on 13). I then went and discovered Metallica 1983-1989 and was suitably impressed. Then the self-titled (Black) album came out, and while it was no Master Of Puppets it was good music. In hindsight, that album was the beginning of the end.

But then something happened. Metallica cut their hair off and started releasing crap music. Load and Reload are albums of adult contemporary rock which will not be discussed here. The goatlady, now in her early 20’s, felt betrayed by the band she used to adore. They’d softened up, wimped out, cut off their metal hair, sold out. Become not metal. The Napster lawsuit debacle was ridiculous and further highlighted just how far from reality the band had got.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS6udST6lbE]
YouTube – Metallica Napster Bad

Jason Newsted left the band before his last shred of credibility disappeared. The rest of the band hired a therapist to help them sort out their issues. A freaking therapist. And rather than keep it quiet they made a documentary about it. A freaking documentary!

We won’t even discuss 2003’s St Anger except to mention that the only person I know who likes it is my mother. Sorry Mum.

So now, fast-forward to 2008, and there’s a new album, Death Magnetic. And the first single, The Day That Never Comes, has been released and you can listen to it streaming off Metallica’s official site.

For current and former Metallica fans, this is a big moment. One super-fan that I know had the page open all day Friday but was too scared to click the link in case it sucked. I’m guessing this kind of reaction is common.

So I checked it out. And my review can best be summed up by how I described it to Tuna on Twitter:

first three minutes is drivel… from about 4 min mark until the end is orright

Ah, the clarity that Twitter’s 140 character limit distills.

In summary: Is it better than St Anger? Yes, but that’s not difficult. As Al pointed out, at least that horrible tin-can snare drum sound is gone. Are Metallica going to make it back to their former glory days? Not with this.

Nice try, but could do better: C.

~ by goatlady on August 23, 2008.

7 Responses to “So there’s a new Metallica album, hey….”

  1. I have just listen to it, in full, previously I killed the stream at the 1 minute mark. I’m very critical of music, a song gets a series of go / no go time markers with me. They are at 15sec, 30 sec, 1 minute. Get past 1 minute and I will listen to the end. Metallica in this case only made it to 1 minute. It was just a half baked grab at former highs of metal magic. I agree in part, except for me only the last minute or so was anything but just average. Metallica are now like a bad metal dodge pub band. Sorry guys, Kay you are being too kind!

  2. I thought the exact same thing (though I probably prefer the Black album myself – it’s what I was introduced to).

  3. I got into Black first as a young teen, and while I thought it was a way to get people to look at their older albums I soon realised it was a stepping stone to the Loads.

  4. just heard the full album, and its boring tbh… utterly boring. Nothing sticks, its just another album with boring songs

  5. “Broken, Beat & Scarred” was pretty good.

  6. Being and old school Metallica fan for years as well as a metal guitarist, I too was let down by recent albums, however, after hearing the new album, which I must admit grabbed me with some solid riffs, I feel Metallica are peeling away the layers of caked up dust and polishing themselves off again with this album; although not there yet. It’s like a junkie returning back to normal life, it takes awhile once you have accepted that your are no longer the same person but will return to that person; it takes a bit to get back all that was lost. Well that is the same with this album. Metallica are once again thinking heavy, writing heavy, and should they continue down this path, they quite possibly might return to us with a badass heavy metal album. Once a metal head always a metal head no matter how much you stray. It’s in their blood. I would not write them off yet. It’s easy to be a rolling stones in your mid fourties, but to be a Metallica circa ’86 well that takes a hell of a lot more and I see with this new album that they are once again thinking heavy which is the first step in returning back to what you do best.

  7. @sebastian you know, I reckon you’re about right. And this album is growing on me a little after repeated listens (Dave is actually liking it quite a it), although I still think there’s a bit too much filler on it.

    Also, I bet for their next release they do an about-turn on the audio quality issue. Cos it seems to take a few years for them to work out that public opinion is generally about right.

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