Re-brace for some dazzling undiluted thrash metal! Metallica’s back with a ground-stomping new record, reminding us again why they’ve been on top for all those past years. With their new album, Death Magnetic, the 40-something-year-old rockers bring us back to the Master of Puppets era, when it was all about speedy, complex, still massively melodic riffs none but ‘Tallica themselves could bring. After 17 years of constant degrading (sadly), between gaining the Southern Rock influence around the Load era, and releasing a couple , obviously non-Thrash albums (musically good nevertheless, just not their style), and the failed attempt to sound ‘Raw’ on their 2003 St. Anger (with many failure-aiding circumstances at that time), the band’s back to show they still got what it needs to sound heavy, and ironically, Metallica-like.
It all begins with a repeating heartbeat, on the first album track ‘That was just Your Life‘, before an evil guitar arpeggios smoothly comes in, introducing a solid over-driven riff that will start the actual song theme, with Lars striking in after some killer snare triplets, and then carrying the rhythm with some awesome solid beats.
There’s no wait in ‘The End of the Line‘, the second track on the record, it’s all Thrash from the very beginning where everything storms in together, with a masterful lyrical structure giving the song its true shine, not to forget the breakdown after the solo, taking the track to a whole new level, giving it a totally new feel, only to bring the Thrash back again right after. It’s worth mentioning that the song talks about drug addicts and their constant struggle.
‘Broken, Beat & Scarred‘, the third track on the album, a remarkably optimistic song where Hetfield makes the cliche sound fresh, while singing ‘What don’t kill ya makes ya more strong’ along with some melodic, surprisingly harmonious riffs.
The fourth track on the album is ‘The Day that Never Comes‘, the pre-album released ballad that reminds you of Fade to Black, with its awesome guitar arpeggios on the verses, a strongly melodic chorus, and a heavy part that also takes you back to One, with some awesome riffs and an aggressive solo.
Then comes All Nightmare Long, the fifth album track, and my personal favorite, starting with a horrifying drop D tuned arpeggios along with Lars’ toms, then having some powerful dirstorted chords come in, taking the song into the verse. Its breath-taking chorus, in my opinion, made a big contribution to the whole album’s greatness, with James just singing his heart out on some killer lyrics, shouting ‘Hunt you down without mercy, Hunt you down all Nightmare Long’, in addition to a great guitar solo after the second verse.