Before I begin, let me tell you I'm probably the most biased person offering up a review of the new Metallica album.
Namely, I love the band. My favorite for, like, forever. You want proof? I loved "St. Anger," even though, in many respects, the album sucked. I loved it, however. I'm like those U2 fans who said "Pop" was a terrific album.
But those same U2 fans had 783 orgasms all wrapped up into one when they heard "Beautiful Day" for the first time and realized that their favorite band was back.
That was my reaction when I heard "That Was Just Your Life," Metallica's opener to their brilliant new "Death Magnetic."
Yes, I thought. Yes Yes YES!
The reason I loved "St. Anger" was the band's return to speed metal. I didn't really care that the songs had no solos or that many times they were unfocused or that the production was, at best, horrible, especially a snare that sounded like an old coffee can.
I was so desperate for Metallica to return to its roots, to be BACK, for God's sake, that I was willing to settle. Metallica tried my patience for more than a decade. Again, I was a loyal fan, so after the great Black album, a necessary departure that was still one of the heaviest albums put out in 1991, I loved "Load" and even liked "Reload." But those were not what I really wanted.
I don't have to settle any longer.
The album is all i've listened to since I bought it last Saturday. At work, at home, in the car. I can't get tired of it. The songs are all around eight minutes long, and yet they're focused, thrashy and stuffed full of incredible riffs. It's fast and furious and yet catchy.
Plus the album SOUNDS great. Thank you Rick Rubin. And Kirk Hammett is back with some of the best work he's done. I'm not sure if he's still taking lessons from Joe Satriani but it sure sounds like it. He's one of the few rock guitarists who really does have his own style and sound.
It's fitting to me that Metallica was just nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
They're back, baby, this time, I hope, for good.