Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day.
This was Metallica’s return to form after the mess that we all know as St. Anger. In the same vein of some of their mid-era works, these tracks are all quite long for the band’s earlier standards. Stylistically, I find this album to be a mix between Master of Puppets, and the self-titled album. The bits of the opening track remind me a lot of “Enter Sandman.” The album has some interestingly timed riffs, and some different vocal phrasing, too. It’s clear that the band was trying to do something original, but also stay true to their original style, and for the most part, it worked. A lot of the songs on this album have the same enjoyable qualities as Metallica of old.
I actually find that the album is too loud, and even a little bit muddy at times because of it. My other huge complaint is the instrumental “Suicide & Redemption.” I’m sorry, but that track does NOT deserve to be ten minutes long. I don’t even really think it was good enough to be an appropriate four or five minute instrumental, but doubling that is just insane. I know Metallica has had some legendary longer instrumentals, but this is not one of them. Other than that, I just think it’s a bit TOO clear that Metallica was trying to please fans who might have given up on them. Even though the songs on it are good, I just feel like I notice stylistic similarities in a lot of the songs compared to their earlier work. This album is almost a little bit TOO safe for my taste.
Favorite Tracks: “Broken, Beat & Scarred,” “My Apocalypse,” “The Judas Kiss.”
This was an enjoyable album for me. It certainly has its low points, but I enjoying listening to it. I think that if you’re a general Metallica fan, you can’t really go wrong with this album. It’s not a masterpiece, but not every album needs to be. If you haven’t yet given this one a listen, and you can call yourself a Metallica fan, go pick this one up. Now I’m curious to see, after Lulu, if Metallica is going to try and make another return to form album like this one, of if they’re going to throw a curve ball instead.