What does it sound like?:
It’s been a very long wait for this new album from Metallica – eight years since its predecessor, the somewhat patchy Death Magnetic, which was itself the follow up to the disappointing St Anger. The only bright spot was the much underrated 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed ‘Lulu’.
So has it been worth the wait? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’! This 78 minute two cd set is a return to form in no uncertain terms. From the opening title track to the closing Spit Out The Bone, this album shows the band still have fire in their bellies after all these years.
The first disc, the stronger of the two, in particular harks back to the band’s early albums – check out Moth Into Flame and Atlas,Rise for example. The second cd has maybe a few too many similar paced and sounding songs – think doomy Sabbath like riffing – and could perhaps have benefited from a bit of judicious pruning. Nevertheless, it still manages to go out with a bang with the aforementioned closer.
This is certainly the best Metallica album since 1991’s ‘Black’ album. Sure it outstays it’s welcome a little, and the strongest material is front loaded onto the first disc, but when it’s good it’s very good indeed. As well as the songs already mentioned, Halo On Fire is a particular stand out.
The production is a big improvement on their preceding latter day albums, the band sound fresh and reinvigorated, and overall the songwriting is consistently strong – this album is far better than I was anticipating!
What does it all *mean*?
These songs will be heard in stadiums across the globe for the next couple of years without a doubt.
Goes well with…
Other Metallica albums, top of the range hard rock/metal.
Might suit people who like…
their music loud and heavy!