Metallica – Death Magnetic

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

In the presence of editorial constrants, which would have guided me to review this album in two words, those two words being, Shit Magnet, I have decided to elaborate on the actual quality of this album.

The first question I asked myself when reviewing this album was, “Would anyone spend more than two minutes reviewing this album if the composing author wasn’t Metallica?”

In the past I could have easily made the case that judgement of Metallica albums was so dependent on past quality albums that despite the quality of albums released, the response would have been the same: Metallica doesn’t have it and hasn’t had it for more than 10 years. And in that time I would have been able to argue that high expectations had as much to do with disappointment as did the actual quality of the album.

However, this is the first time that I am absolutely convinced that the quality of the product would not have even warranted a record contract for any band other than Metallica. Albums like Load, Reload and St. Anger at least had the redeeming factor of providing the audience with music that, even though unoriginal, appealed to a basic sense of urgency in the world of metal. What Death Magnetic provided to the world of metal was not only a well deserved kick in the ass, but a wake up call: the band that brought metal to the masses has effectively become a weaker version of prepubescent metal bands.

Although most metal fans would feel ashamed of having to expose their favorite band to the world of musical criticism, Metallica has managed to make even the most respectable metal fans ashamed of their own taste in music. The primary question in this whole ordeal has to be exactly why we are listening to songs that are obviously rehashed versions of old, obviously great, better versions of Metallica songs.

I was one of the several people that considered Unforgiven II to be one of the biggest travesties in the history of music when it was first released. However, after 5 years worth of even worse music, and the realization that the change in person on the Unforgiven series from first to second person was enough to warrant attention, I came to terms with the fact that Unforgiven 2 was a much better song than given credit to. I am unforgiven, now you are unforgiven. I get it. Awesome. I can live with that.

Imagine how many things I kicked when I realized that there would be an Unforgiven 3. Unforgiven 3? Really?

Hetfield: we get it. You want to be forgiven. I don’t even care why. Maybe you had inappropriate relations with an underage cat. Maybe you touched yourself too much. I don’t care. One song is enough. Two songs were too much. Three songs are a direct kick in the left testicle.

As a good Metallica fan I was forced to give you the benefit of the doubt. I listened to songs that no other human being should have listened to.

“What don’t kill you make you more strong”

That line by itself should be enough to push fans over the edge. But the mediocrity of the lyrics was not the end… this album was the biggest insult to a 20 year old fan base.

If you can listen to this entire album and not feel like every song was a direct rip-off of Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning or the self-titled black album, I cannot even elaborate further.

There are very few albums that have disappointed me more than this album. I guess the last Bonnie Tyler could have been close, but it really wasn’t. I’d rather listen to Total Eclipse of the Heart every time I work out than being forced to listen to any song in this album.

Metallica, much like Santana, has sunken into the sea of bands that, trying to ride one good period of their lives into oblivion, managed to destroy their image rather efficiently. I award this band zero points, and may god have mercy on their souls.


  • yea yeeAAAHHH

    Once upon a time I was falling in love,
    Now I’m only Falling apart

    yea yeaAAAAHHH!!!

    On a side note, zero gold stars looks just like five white stars. This album is the opposite of perfect.

  • Hey, you leave Bonnie Tyler out of this. Bonnie Tyler is a SAINT.

  • Shit Magnetic? I’m gonna pretend those “white stars” are actually “silver stars of valor.” Fajardo…you put the ‘nu’ in nu metal. 3rd best album of the year! Right behind Fleet Foxes and Lil’ Wayne. Which reminds me…would you have liked this record better if Robert Trujillo rapped on it? You’re obviously “Down with the Sickness.” You’ve. Reached. The…. END OF THE LIIIIIINNNNNNNNNE!

  • I thought you made some valid points up until you stated that Load, Reload and St. Anger appealed to the sense of urgency in the metal world. What, was it urgent that another great band kautau to what was “nu” in the world? To cite these albums as better than Death Magnetic makes me question your metal credentials, or should I just call you Mr. Durst. Death Magnetic,while far from the band’s best album, showcases what made me fall in love with Metallica in the first place, the riffs. Also, are you really complaining about the quality of Metallca lyrics? That’s like going to Taco Bell and bitching because it’s not authentic Mexican food; Metallica lyrics have always been cheesy, deal with it. Why do you complain that they ripped off their best albums, would you rather they rip off their shitty albums or better yet Korn? Of course, nothing appeals to the sense of urgency in the metal world more than Bob Segar. Don’t worry, in five years you’ll love this album, just like Unforgiven 1-17.

  • Ram… Wow, top three albums of the year? I’m not sure we can discuss music anymore or let you write for our site…

  • Dear Mr. Five:

    I never said that load, reload and st. anger were better albums than death magnetic. What I did say, and I still maintain, is that those albums were a step in a better direction than Death Magnetic. Id rather listen to horrible original music than good ripped off music. That is what Death Magnetic was, a blatant rip off of old Metallica songs. That is a step back to hell. Metallica will never release a relevant album again if they continue to write songs like they did in Death Magnetic.

    Some bands learned how to evolve musically. Some didn’t. Metallica didn’t.

    Were Metallica lyrics cheesy? Im sorry, Unforgiven, Master of Puppets, One, Fade to Black and nothing else matters were very far away from cheesy.

    I would rather listen to Lepper Mesiah for the rest of time than having to listen to Death Magnetic once. There is one song in that album that is worth a shit, and that is “All nightmare long”. And that song would have never appeared in any of Metallica’s first 5 albums.

  • The reason I really did not like DM is that it insists upon itself

  • Robert Duvall!!!!!!!

  • Dahv Dahv,
    Well said, thanks for clearing that up. It appears we are in agreement more than I thought. The only exception is the cheese factor of the lyrics. I agree that MOP and Fade to Black are pretty damn cool but I still consider Unforgiven tp be perhaps the cheesiest of all metal songs, Unskinny Bop included. I guess it really is just a matter of personal taste. Leper Messiah rules… Sorry about calling you Mr. Durst.

  • When you get old you run out of ideas and and energy. Give em’ a break man! They are doing what they love to do and will die doing it and for it. Bag on your own crusty azz for a while. See if you can put out the riffs that long. What? Never tried it, that is what I thought. It’s hard writing music man! And I don’t want to hear if they don’t have it they should quite. This is what they do. It is in them and part of their soul. I wrote songs and played with many profesionals for years and it’s not an easy thang mang! This is life brothers, take it easy and remember they did go out there and not try to blaze a new trail. “A” for effort. The boys are gettin’ old and we don’t know all the crap they had to put up with. I don’t mean to offend my brothers out there but with the boys would things have been the same?


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