Five years after the release of “St. Anger,” thrash metal band Metallica has released a new album, “Death Magnetic.” When making it, Metallica chose to go back to their roots and create an album that was thrash metal, rather than heavy metal or hard rock.
The biggest improvements this CD has made over “St. Anger” are a better snare drum that does not sound like a tin can, the inclusion of guitar solos, and vastly improved production.
Metallica has chosen to play more complex, multi-layered songs, as seen in their 1988 release “… And Justice For All.” The album is also structured like their 1980’s releases and even includes their first instrumental in 20 years.
Most of the songs are fast, but they never get to the point where they become just noise. The first single, “The Day that Never Comes,” follows the same formula as their 1980’s power ballads, starting slowly and melodically, but finishing fast and strong.
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This is the first album that bass player Robert Trujillo has contributed on, and his influence shows. Trujillo plays a style akin to Cliff Burton, Metallica’s former bassist who was tragically killed in a bus accident over 20 years ago, who was arguably the most influential member of Metallica during the 1980s.
“Death Magnetic” also represents another first for Metallica: Each member of the band contributed to every song. In the end this is a vast improvement over “St. Anger” and shows that even after 25 years, Metallica still has what it takes to make fast, aggressive music.