Rolling Stone (pp.109-110) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his album is Metallica becoming Metallica again....[T]he spectacular 'All Nightmare Long' -- a thematic sequel of sorts to 'Enter Sandman' -- combines relentless MASTER OF PUPPETS guitars with a BLACK ALBUM-worthy chorus."
Rolling Stone (p.89) - Ranked #9 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "[H]eavy metal's resurrection of the year."
Spin (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he album is more of a rebirth, with Metallica exploring the past buy applying what they've learned during their 20 years at the top of the heavy-metal slag heap, which means ingratiating more finesse when they mark their territory."
Spin (p.48) - Ranked #28 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "[D]on't look this gift monster in the mouth. It's hungry, and it's teeth are sharp."
Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "MAGNETIC's tracks are all 6-to-10-minute extravaganzas with seemingly unlimited chordal changeups and tempo shifts." -- Grade: B+
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.48) - "[T]he key ingredient of DEATH MAGNETIC is the skill with which it releases its thunder, its sense of flow, its understanding that power is nothing without control."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.66) - Ranked #1 in Kerrang's Best Albums Of The Year 2008 -- "They rediscovered their metal..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett is afforded more shredding space than in recent years, the rhythm guitars thrum like chopper blades....The sound is fantastic...everything crackling, huge and alive."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.64) - Ranked #45 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "A Rick Rubin-produced return to form."
Blender (Magazine) (p.72) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Rubin pointed the direction, but credit goes to the band -- which, for the first time on record, includes new bassist Robert Trujillo -- for recapturing their old sound and reconciling it with what followed."
Audio Mixers: Greg Fidelman; Andrew Scheps.
Recording information: HQ, San Rafael, CA (11/2005-05/2008); Shangri La Studios, Malibu, CA (11/2005-05/2008); Sound City Studios, Van Nuys, CA (11/2005-05/2008).
Photographers: Tom Schierlitz; Anton Corbijn.
The world at large got a fly-on-the-wall view of the creation of Metallica's 2003 album, ST. ANGER, via the documentary SOME KIND OF MONSTER, so we know they consciously tried to keep things contemporary at that time by avoiding fleet-fingered solos and eschewing the sound of the "old" Metallica. If that hoary old term "return to form" ever applied to a rock album, though, it's ANGER's follow-up, DEATH MAGNETIC.
In the five years between the two releases, Metallica seem to have gotten back in touch with the raw power of their classic period, with a little help from legendary producer Rick Rubin. One listen to the 10-minute epic "Suicide & Redemption" with its mix of raw rock ferocity and complex musical development should tell you the old Metallica's back in business. Long tracks with complex structures and intricate, speedy riffs abound. Most appealing for longtime fans may be the return to the frenzied guitar solos of yore. Rubin seems to have assisted the band on a path that successfully combines power, melodicism, and pure, unadulterated metal mania, over a sonic statement that definitively proves there's nothing over-the-hill about middle-aged metal.
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