So here we are, five years later, five years of waiting for either Metallica to implode or rise from the ashes of Bob Rock and St. Anger, and Metallica's eighth album, Death Magnetic, has finally been released. Though before I start the review let me preface it with a disclaimer: Death Magnetic is NOT Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, or ...And Justice for All. If you were for some reason expecting classic '80s Metallica, then go listen to those records because this is not the album for you.
This, on the other hand, is easily the best studio album Metallica has made since The Black Album. allmusic probably described it best when they said Death Magnetic was like "hearing Metallica sound like Metallica again." With the album clocking in at almost 75 minutes and an average song length of about 7 mins, you'd think that much like Iron Maiden's latest album A Matter of Life and Death the songs would sometimes meander and bore you to death, thankfully this is not the case.
Kirk and Hetfield have brought back the solos everyone missed so much and while they're maybe not the greatest solos in the history of metal or even Metallica history, they do the job. The drums have been upgraded from tin cans to an actual drum kit and Lars uses them to bring his classic style to the album once again. Hetfield has written some great ("The Judas Kiss") and some not-so-great ("Broken, Beat & Scarred") lyrics and he uses his signature post-Black style of vocals the best I have ever heard him since that time. But it's the riffs, which are somehow groovier than Ash from "Evil Dead 2", that make this album just so fucking enjoyable to listen to. And every song has them: sections that just make you stop what you're doing, sit back, bang your head, and just shout the lyrics (HUNT YOU DOWN WITHOUT MERCY/HUNT YOU DOWN ALL NIGHTMARE LONG) at the top of your lungs.
Death Magnetic is definitely a return to glory for the Metallica, something which I doubt anyone would have thought possible after the 90's and especially 2003. Hopefully this surge in popularity can boost the confidence of these aging rockers and help them put out a few more records that equal/surpass this one.
Verdict: Epic Win [9.5/10] (By the Light of Golden Treasure)