John H Lee | September 11, 2008 |
Photo by iTunes Store. Thanks Apple.
My first experience with Metallica was in 1989 when they came to my home country, New Zealand for the Damaged Justice tour. A friend of mine dragged me to the show, and I was all hip-hop at the time. I turned up to the show in saggy, baggy pants and New Era cap on backwards, and was met with about 600 long-haired be-denimed hessians in a tiny concert hall rocking out to a wall of sound, that I can only describe as - raw power. So much anger. So much power. I was instantly hooked. Suffice it to say, it changed my life, and my CD collection. Since then though the band has grown up, been through some rough times and have been strafed for their anti-music-sharing stance. The last album, the grammy-award winning St Anger, released in 2003 was mediocre at best (even with all its commercial success) and for all intents and purposes, most folks with a penchant for the hard, fast and heavy have moved on to younger and angrier bands.
From the first notes of Death Magnetic, the band tries to hit back at all their critics that have imagined putting the band out to pasture - ever since James Hetfield (vocals) and bassist Robert Trujillo were snapped by the press, shopping at Armani! From the searing “That Was Just Your Life”; which brings back the pace and drive of albums like Kill ‘Em All and Master of Puppets, where drummer Lars Urlich goes ape-shit on the double bass pedals - to the syncopated, and oddly rythmic “The Judas Kiss,” where the entire band gets to show off their tight musicianship, Death Magnetic is a Metallica journey, though perhaps with a couple of minutes left in most of the songs, you’re left with the age old refrain, “are we there yet?” Though I’m not a fan of the rock-radio-friendly lead-off single, “Cyanide,” the rest of the songs on this album are well worth the investment in this album if you’re a die-hard Metallica fan. For the rest of you, I’d save your money and leave this album for the middle aged hessians. 5/10.