Ahh, twas a long wait, but worth it! I'll try my best to make this review a 'neutral' one, but it's going to be difficult, considering I have worshipped Metallica all my life.
The album starts with absolute "thrash" (Please note the double quotes). There is no time wasted in introduction to what Metallica is all about, or what they used to be in the 80's. You know that 'tallica are back with thrash and they mean business right from the word 'Go'. 'That was just your life' brings the thrash metal GOD, James Hetfield right into the center of the quintessential frontman role. The power of those roaring vocals have certainly gone down due to age but the effect on his fans remains the same, well, almost! The drums are pretty monotonous for this song, No hard feelings there Lars! Honestly, it's just for pure headbanging and a kick-a$$ addition to a rock concert. 3.25/5
You won't know when '...Just your life' ends and 'The End of the line' starts, the guitar riffs are almost the same, the rolicking baseline continues, there's no rest for Trujillo. He just goes ON and ON. Yes, he might not be THE replacement for Newstead, but he sure has his style, his unique way of playing the bass. Lars goes one tempo up for this song and you start enjoying the drums, but you still wait for the magic to happen, to get that 'feel'. I liked Lars's nice beat on the 'Cymbals' near the end of the song and the way James ends with a 'Low Man Lyricsish-to-Fuelish up-tempo at the end. 2.75/5
The album rolls onto the 'Broken, Beat & Scarred'. Nothing changes, we still have pure unadulterated thrash. Your head doesn't get any respite and it bangs. Oh, bangs it does, it fu$#&*g does! The story continues and it's still difficult to digest that we are into the third song. It's like the same chapter, the same river flowing down from the falls, rocky and fast, unstoppable, difficult to swim with it! 2.75/5
Wait, here enters Kirk Hammett, the student of Joe Satriani. The song 'The Day that never comes' actually introduces this album (It literally did so with the TV commercials in VH1) with its 'Ride the lightning' meets 'Garage Inc.' feel. I just love Hammett's intro to this song and the riffs he play around 5:40 mins mark of the song, as I keep on playing the same in loops. James is pretty impressive and reminds us of the 'Enter Sandman' days, well again, almost! :) Lars is at his best and Trujillo doesn't fall behind either! 4.50/5
Well, 'All Nightmare Long' starts with a 'Death Metal' feel but slowly shifts and catches it's dedicated genre. The beats are really really hard and it f$%#@&g wakes you up if you are not 'into' the album yet! The bass and drums synchronize really well as James's voice comes into the same frame to complement the bass-drums combo! Kirk enters in style and plays fast, really fast, f#$%@g fast, and challenges his 'Four Horsemen' gig of the past, reminding Megadeth frontman and metal legend Dave Mustaine, that he can f$%#ing do it too! *Period*
You 'tallica-heads, you wanted it hard all these days? Here, you get it! This will erase your 'Load/Reload/Garage' days shite from your memory permanently! \m/ \m/ 4.25/5
Trujillo introduces 'Cyanide' with his bass and James follow suit but the vocals really fall behind and no longer creates that 'Slap-on-your-face-Am I evil' hardcore effect. Kirk enters the frame with absolute 'madness' and rips your head with the cracking riffs! If you want to relax, I am sorry, this is not the album! Put it away, if you want peace! Coz you are not getting it! 3.75/5
But, wait, you actually get it with some piano-violin intro to the most awaited sequel to the 'Unforgiven'. It's the 'Unforgiven-III'. This is James's song! There is an incredible melody to this song! The amazing lyrics goes one step above it's prequels and it goes something like this..."How could he know this new dawn's light, Would change his life forever? Set sail to sea, but pulled off course, By the light of golden treasure, Was he the one causing pain, with his careless dreaming? Been afraid, always afraid, of the thing's he's feeling!" You just can't stop humming the lyrics. A brilliant song and catches up to you slowly but surely steadily. 4.25/5
'The Judas Kiss' is not a song you would want to listen to after 'Unforgiven III' because the latter takes your mood away from thrash. But NO, again it's brought back hard, f$%@ing hard! And the lyrics are dark, really dark! 'Surrender unto me, Submit infectuously, Sanctify your demons, Into Abyss, You don't exist, Cannot resist, The Judas Kiss, Judas Lives, Recite this vow. I've become your new GOD now' Well, You were always my GOD! 4/5
'Suicide and Redemption' is an instrumental and is like a practise gig in the middle of the night after five shots of Vodka and Kirk Hammett unleashed! Here lad, hold your guitar and give us metal, fu$@#ing metal! I just love the lead that starts at 3:53 mins and goes on and on in the song at different places with changing tempos! This song is 10 minutes of absolute thrash-bliss! It is easily one of the best in the album and will most certainly write Kirk's name as one of the greatest but most under-rated guitarists in rock history! 4.75/5
The album ends with 'My Apocalypse' and certainly aims to leave a lasting effect on its listeners! Lars, James, Trujillo and Kirk all come to full tempo and energized in this song! Everybody in their mist of ego wants to outdo each other, nobody wants to fall behind! The song goes on in a very high tempo and after 1 hour, 12 mins and 40 seconds of absolute mayhem with ten songs shuts the door on the face of the album. It's over! 3.75/5
To summarize this 4th thrash metal album of 'tallica after 'Justice, Kill'em all and RTL' (There were other albums too, is it?), I would say.."Justice has been done!" This album will go down in history, not as another Metallica album or not as another hard metal piece, but as a part of 'Thrash-metal education'. Fifty years from now, children will read about 'Death Magnetic' and learn what was thrash-metal, how it was played, how it came back and how eventually it got forgotten and became a part of metal-folklore! For all others, in this present world, don't wait, pick up the album, dust off your St-Anger memories and shove some hard metal up your a$$! Amen!