Death Magnetic CD Review

By: The Music Man

Jul 16 2009

Tags: , ,

Category: Music

1 Comment

Hey, how’s it going?  It’s “The Music Man”.  I’m a new addition to this site and I will not be talking about computers or software. Nope. I’ll be talking about music. Reviews of singles, CD’s, and music videos. Any notable announcements from bands. Perhaps maybe even a couple lessons in guitar. (The last one is a bit iffy, seeing as this is a blog site, it’s hard to teach through text.) So let’s begin with a review of Death Magnetic.

Death Magnetic, Metallica’s newest album, was released to the world on September 12, 2008. Many, including myself, were wondering whether Metallica would redeem themselves after the disastrous and messy St. Anger album. I’ve recently bought the CD and I’ve found that this is a major improvement from St. Anger.

Let’s start with first impressions. There are ten tracks and a total of 74 minutes and 48 seconds. That means each track averages about seven minutes long. In fact, there are only three songs that are under seven minutes. The shortest, “My Apocalypse”, is five minutes long and even that’s considered long by some people’s standards. But, this is Metallica we are talking about. What were you expecting? Two minute songs about dancing faeries and ponies?

Anyways, here the list of songs followed by their length:

  1. That Was Just Your Life-7:08
  2. The End of The Line-7:52
  3. Broken, Beat & Scarred-6:52
  4. The Day That Never Comes-7:56
  5. All Nightmare Long-7:58
  6. Cyanide-6:39
  7. The Unforgiven III-7:47
  8. The Judas Kiss-8:01
  9. Suicide & Redemption-9:58
  10. My Apocalypse-5:01

So, you put the CD in and the first song, “That Was Just Your Life”, begins to play. It begins with a heart thumping and mine began to, also. “Is this going to be any good?” I asked myself. Then, a strange and ominous acoustic guitar riff begins to play, building even more tension. Then at around 45 seconds comes the heavy distortion guitar. You smile to yourself and at around 1:30 begins the sharp, heavy distortion riffs that this album throws at you. From that point on, you know Metallica wasn’t messing around during this album.

Metallica also gave us a couple songs that were laid back and clean, such as “The Day That Never Comes” (for most of it anyway) and “The Unforgiven III”. These songs eventually became my favorites of the album, as they brought memories of previous songs.

For example, “The Day That Never Comes” is frequently compared to Metallica’s popular song, “One”. And no one can deny that fact. A smooth, laid-back introduction, which continues through the verse. A heavy and dark chorus. A hard bridge that builds up speed. An ending that features numerous solos and chord progressions. Really, it’s hard not to compare the two.

However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like any of the fast, hardcore metal stuff. No, those were pretty awesome, too. “All Nightmare Long” is a good example. A strange ominous guitar riff in the beginning and then it suddenly speeds into heavy distortion palm mutes. And then comes a sharp and fast metal riff. Also, when you listen to the lyrics, you realize it’s about the extremely paranoid. Ya know, the ones that feel people will hunt them “all nightmare long” and “without mercy”. And yes, those are actual quotes from the song’s chorus.

So, you may be asking yourself, “What doesn’t ‘The Music Man’ like about this album?” Well for one, I thought that some songs were too laid back. I mean “The Day That Never Comes” and ” The Unforgiven III” are both ballads, so they’re meant to be nice and smooth. “Cyanide” was just a bit too toned down in my opinion and was more like a hard rock song than a metal song. At least in the beginning. Then it changes into a soft singing part with rough, ungodly breakdowns. I mean it wasn’t like those parts were really bad, they just sounded a bit out of place for the song. But, they did help build up to the guitar solos where the instruments screamed and wailed.

Another thing that bothered me was the quality of the CD itself. The quality of the audio is a bit muddled at times and according to others, the Guitar Hero’s tracks of these songs are much better. I think the quality is worst in “My Apocalypse”.  I first heard this song on the radio and when I hear it on the CD, there seems to be a different sort of sound to the beginning. It kinda sounds deeper and has a stronger “raw” sound to it, which I didn’t like. I would have preferred if the CD had “My Apocalypse” a bit more polished than it was.

So what’s my verdict? In conclusion, it’s an awesome album. A great improvement from St. Anger and could arguably be considered the best album of Metallica since The Black Album. (That’s the self-titled album Metallica, for those that didn’t know.) It goes back to Metallica’s roots, bringing the styles from the Kill ‘Em All, …And Justice For All, and Metallica albums. Yet, the new addition of Robert  Trujillo gives the album a new twist. Often he’s just heard as a distant rumble beneath the guitars, which I loved.

Now, of course this album is mainly for the metal and rock nutheads out there. If you are one of those that frequently listen to pop or hip-hop, you may find that most songs on this album are a bit abnormal and might want to stay away from this album. However, a couple of the singles are meant for a broader audience, like “The Day That Never Comes” and “Cyanide”. Many Metallica fans complain that “New Metallica” is so much different from “Old Metallica”. Take a listen to this album, and you’ll find the “Old Metallica” is still there.

Rating: A-


One comment on “Death Magnetic CD Review”

  1. […] And for the Music fans out there this Week’s Weekly Wrapup brings you: Death Magnetic CD Review […]

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