The latest edition of Terrorizer magazine dropped through my letterbox this morning.
I flicked through to the album reviews (Selected and Dissected) in search of their words of wisdom on the recent Metallica release Death Magnetic. I wasn’t hopeful.
I found the review on page 77, and was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t get the slating that I suspected that it might from a magazine that brims over month in, month out with fine examples of extreme music. A few snippets from Stavros Pamballis’s review, in which he gave it a mighty 8/10:
… when it comes to Metallica, everyone has an opinion. You come to their work loaded with subjective expectations and a hack’s judgement can’t, and shouldn’t, change them.
One of the great misconceptions about ‘Death Magnetic’ is that it constitutes a regression to the ‘Old Sound’, a capitulation to the wishes of the band’s hardcore fans. In fact, the album is a work of consolidation; a fusion of Metallica’s many faces; the speed brats, the thrash monsters, the radio megastars, even the groovy rockers of the ‘Load’ era. And that’s a good thing. To go back and remake ‘Kill ‘Em All’ at 45 would have been disingenuous.
I quite agree. Enough of folks saying that this is the album that sits naturally between 1988’s ‘… And Justice For All’ and 1991’s ‘Metallica’ (aka ‘The Black Album’), this is definitely — to my ears, at least — an album that is post-Justice, post-Metallica, post-(Re)Load, post-St Anger.
Stavros ends his review with:
… bottom line, to anyone who refused to stop believing, ‘Death Magnetic’ will feel like having a beloved brother awaken from a twenty year coma — he’ll never be quite the same, but just hearing the sound of his voice fills your heart with pure joy.