Ratings and Reviews
As a long-time Metallica fan, I am disappointed.
While I appreciate Metallica's efforts to stay relevant, and try to revisit the style that made them famous, this just misses the mark. From the overdriven and muddy guitar to the presence of the drums to James's and Rob's voice, it all just sounds so uninspired and forced.
Just like in Death Magnetic, the guitars clip and create false distortion, and the riffs suffer for it. The tone makes them sound broken up and non-congruous. Maybe with a little less mid-range at the amp, or a fuzzier distortion, the guitar sound could improve.
I can't help but feel that James can't hit his voice high enough with anything tuned in E-standard or drop D, if maybe they would down tune at least a half-step, he would have a much easier time at the mic and not sound so strained. As for the back-up vocals, Rob does okay, but there is no harmony, and it's almost as if he is just grunting loudly.
The drums are, once again, overpowered and dull. Lars loves the open hi-hit and rides the crash like a kid on a carousel, and the snare is like hitting a coffee can with a wooden spoon. At least it's better than the Chinese-wok-and-stick snare he used in St.Anger.
And finally, the bass. Rob never fails provide solid backing, and his tone has decent power behind it. It's too bad the drums and guitar overpower him half the time, because he really does a great service for the sound.
In closing, I simply wish Metallica as a whole would sit and listen to their own recordings from the past and hear what it was that made them who we remember. For all of their NWOBHM inspired sound from Ride the Lightning, to the intense and maddening strength of Master of Puppets, to even the "taboo mainstream controversy" of the Black album, everything before 1992 was killer. Even the Load/Reload albums had their share of hits, amazing and memorable riffs.
For the first original songs we've heard in the first 6 years, I'm highly disappointed guys.
Chill the f-out!
People hating on Metallica for "not being what they used to be" have no idea what they're talking about. Metallica is not the only band that started off one way and changed their sound. Smashing Pumpkins did it, Avenged Sevenfold did it, even Megadeth did it (Risk-onwards anyone)? Metallica aren't the same band that they were in 1984, they're different. Not better, not worse. Just different. That's the beauty of music; it's arbietrary. You can love the old stuff and hate the new stuff, or love the new stuff and despise the old. For a band that's been around as long as Metallica has, this sounds pretty cut. If you don't like it, don't buy it. But trashing a band for paving a new road instead of walking along the same path they started on in 1983 is rediculous. Seriously. And yes, I do enjoy everything pre-Black Album and post.
How the mighty have fallen!
Phew this song blows!