New Metallica
Posted by Birdieguy 10 years ago
This post is directed toward true Metallica fans. If any of you remember the anticipation that existed between the summer of '88 (while you totally wore out And Justice for All), and the summer of '91, when the Black album was released, you probably remember how happy you were to finally get some new Metallica.  
The Black album was so different than what we ever expected, it probably seemed "bad" to you at first listen. But if you're anything like me you gave it chance after chance after chance, and eventually you grew to like it as much as I did. This was it. This was the new Metallica. It was different but it was great.  
Hetfield was actually singing a little.. lol Things had changed, and as much as it differed from the other releases, it also began to hold its own for you, if not surpass expectations. For me, nothing could eclipse the four studio albums before it, but this one was unique, and satisfied a ton of people as being - again- the new Metallica.  
But none of the rest did that for me. They obviously went through a funk, or whatever. But very little new material they put out for 12 years did much for me with the exception of a few tracks.....  
Until now. If you haven't given Death Magnetic a try, and another, and a few weeks' worth of listenings, you should. This album is incredible. No one wants to say "this is old Metallica", or "this is better than the first four (or five) albums," that's not the point. This is the New Metallica, and it is VERY good. If you are a true Metallica fan, and felt something from '83 to '91, then you will feel it again.  
The best track is without a doubt "All Nightmare Long". It's obvious they spent a long, long time here. The instrumental "Suicide & Redemption" is also very well done. The two radio-releases, "The Day that Never Comes" and "Cyanide" contain tons of elements you remember from those glorious 8 years. The acoustic riff in the former gives me chills it's so much like Fade to Black. Even "Unforgiven III" after giving it very little chance is a great track, regardless of the fact that it is a III to a great Black Album creation.  
Give it a chance - it's incredible.  
Listening now.
FoolProof: ...
FoolProof: The thing that I loved about the Metallica of old versus the Metallica of new is that the songs almost contain a narrative. Their songs are atypically long for a metal band and even sort of follow a plot line - having an exposition/introduction, build, rock-out, and resolution. I'm not just talking about volume or tempo or even the content of the lyrics. There was an intent, an intent to convey some notion. The writing was sophisticated and there was a point to everything they did - it contributed to the narrative.  
The closest I've heard so far is on "The Day That Never Comes." This stands out to me from the bar band quality writing of some of the other tracks on the album, which are monotonous meedley-meedley-meedley-fests from beginning to end. None of it feels like it has any thought in it at all. It makes one wonder how they could've taken so many steps back in terms of overall thought that they put into their work.  
You know what it sounds like? It sounds like they've been at it so long that their hands are doing the talking and not their heads. All of the songs are built off of riffs. Repeated riffs. Overly repeated riffs. None of these tracks contain the varied components, escalations and declinations, or 'plot' that I mentioned above. They're grooving, and that's great, but it's not what I liked them for in the first place. It's not what made them great.  
Apocalyptica, a hard rock CELLO QUARTET has covered many Metallica songs. Why is this? Because their works, specifically their older works (up to and including the black album) eloquently coupled simultaneously soulful and technical leads with dynamic, varied rhythms in beautifully fused layers with intreguing changes in an absolutely masterful melodic composition that just so happens to translate VERY well to a string quartet. They're music wasn't just stupid heavy metal music. It rivaled classical composers songs in craftsmanship.  
The old and new Metallicas are two different bands. One of them was worth listening to. The other one, while it glimmers slightly every once in a while, is not.
aardvocate: Some very good points, FoolProof. I'm long since done listening to metal, but the S&M release is still worth a listen now and then for me, for a lot of the reasons you laid out.  
In my own opinion, the difference is money. The art of the first few albums brought Metallica accolades and fans, and once they realized they were a cash cow (see: ticket prices, vehement stance against Napster), the song creation didn't matter so much as they created any new songs period.  
This is just my guess, of course, since I haven't been following them for about a decade...
FoolProof: I don't want to visit their intentions. I can't claim to understand their motivation.
FoolProof: Not that I don't have my hunches. ;)  
A good 'n - Dyers Eve
FoolProof: Another instance supporting my arguement. Not just moron rockers here, obv.  
Here's the Apocalyptica version.
fabulon7: Regardless of the merits of the new Metallica, the video for All Nightmare Long is totally rad.
clu: I promise to give Death Magnetic another try. Why not? I already paid for it.
XIV: really don't like James Hetfield's singing voice. Something about the way he pronounces long vowels makes me want to shzt on his lawn. There, I said it.  
Still like 'em, tho.