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Death Magnetic

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Editors’ Notes

Like an aging heavyweight returning to the ring after months of rigorous training, Metallica appear chiseled and focused for Death Magnetic. It was paramount that Metallica prove to its fans that they still pack the ferocity and muscle of Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets and prove it they do: Death Magnetic is an awe-inspiring display of power. The hands-off production strategy of Rick Rubin gives the listener the impression that we are hearing Metallica naked — playing together in a room, without overdubs or extraneous effects, and with only their skills as musicians to protect them. The album abandons concept for pure technique, and Death Magnetic is a master class in dynamics, tempo changes, and rhythmic interplay. After being relegated a subordinate role on previous albums, Kirk Hammett finally emerges as this album’s MVP. His solos on “That Was Just Your Life,” “Cyanide,” and “All Nightmare Long” are passages of pure electrocution. After several years of fracture and frustration that threatened the existence of Metallica, perhaps the best news Death Magnetic delivers is that this metal institution once again sounds like an all-for-one band.

Customer Reviews


I've been a Metallica fan since the 80's. Kill 'em All, Ride The Lightning, and Master Of Puppets are masterpieces. And Justice For All, and the Black Album are decent. Then came nearly twenty years of crap. That's why it took 4 years for me to discover this album. I'm sure glad I did! Death Magnetic is hands down their best album since the 80's. It is heavy, aggresive, fast and loud. I love it! It is one of those rare albums that I listen to straight through, without skipping a single track. There is not a bad song on it, but my favorite is All Nightmare Long. If you miss the old Metallica, then this is your lucky day!

Overly compressed, everything's too loud

Old and known issue. Although the songs on the album are amazing, I refuse to listen to them until they decide to remaster the album. Everything's driven to be too loud, and things like the cymbal crash and snare are very much clipped; it's just plain hard to listen to this album without turning the volume down.

Great music. Crappy production

Metallica is back with a great album. However the problem is that whoever was mixing it doesn't understand the basics of compression and volume limiting as there are artifacts all throughout this album. I'd wait until they release a remix of this.


Formed: 1981 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Metallica were easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s and '90s. Responsible for bringing the genre back to Earth, the bandmates looked and talked like they were from the street, shunning the usual rock star games of metal musicians during the mid-'80s pop-metal renaissance. Metallica also expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions. The release of 1983's Kill 'Em All marked the beginning...
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