I know this review is coming a little late. The album has been out for a while now and there are countless reviews but I wanted to take time to really let the album sink into my brain. I first got into Metallica with the “…And Justice For All” album. I got it on tape and I listened to it until the tape broke. Then I got a copy of the black album the day it was released and though it was different and James actually learned how to sing, I stuck with them. Load came out and I lost all hope. Since then it has been one disappointment after another with these guys ever since.
Then someone who’s musical views a respect quite a bit told me to give this album a listen. I had no desire to at first, but he had been a fan since “Kill Em All” and if he dug the new one it might not be too bad. I gt a copy, put it in and let it rock.
My initial thought was that of a person going to a class reunion. The music was recognizable as classic Metallica, but it wasn’t quite the same. The album does crank a lot harder than anything they have put out since the black album and there definitely is evidence that they really want to get back to what made Metallica what it was, but it just isn’t there.
All of the songs start out rocking, but then there is a breakdown where they fall off and slow down and then they try and ramp it back up by the end of the song. The whole thing was extremely forumlated and just didn’t have the edge it used to. I don’t know if it is the changes in the line up, the lack of booze or the fact that they are all older now, but it just isn’t as good as it could have been.
I do like the fact that Rick Rubin is trying to take them back to their roots. I do LOVE the fact that this album actually gets me excited to listen to it but I hate the fact that Lars and James are still trying to show how “smart” they are.
Here’s the thing. With radio being dominated with shit like The Jonas Bros. Nickleback and other watered down shlock Metallica should focus on just being Metallica. You know what made songs like “Seek and Destroy”, “Creeping Death”, “Four Horsemen” and “Battery” rock so hard (other than being partially written by Dave Mustain)? The fact that Metallica didn’t give a damn what anyone else was doing.
The riffs could light your face on fire and shred your soul. It was amazing.
While I am impressed with their effort and I hope they continue in this direction and that the next album is better, the most I can give this one is a 7 out of 10.