With the release of Metallica’s new album, Death Magnetic, looming, let us reflect upon their career. Actually, this album seriously is going to make or break them. Once a band hits that peak of creativity and age, there is almost no turning back the hands of time.
For Metallica, The Black Album was the last hurrah to their old ways and a sign of change coming. Load and ReLoad sounded like a step in a new direction for the band. Moving from the thrash sound to a more melodic metal, Metallica seemed to be slowing down a bit. Quick ditties with an orchestra, the Napster fall out, a personnel change, a movie deal and St. Anger was the end result.
I understand the angle they were going for with that album: trying to appeal to a younger crowd and reinvent themselves, but take out the solos?! Kirk Hammett could be the best part of Metallica. They made a comeback that seemed to do more harm than good.
Now they’re back with the soon to be released Death Magnetic, which hopefully won’t sound a death knell. Courtesy of YouTube.com, I’ve had a chance to listen to a few new tracks. Kirk is back with some winding solos, while Lars Ulrich adds his usual serving of heavy percussion. Rob Tujillo’s funky, punk bass style is an interesting wake up call to fans. Then we have James Hetfield whose vocals sound more clenched than before. On a few tracks he sounds as though he is singing through his teeth, on others he brings back his usual gruff. I wish for more of the latter.
Death Magnetic drops Friday, September 12 – a Friday? Who do they think they are? Metallica? I do have high expectations for this album, but I’m trying to keep myself subdued.