Trash metal pioneers Metallica have returned with a new album. It used to be that a new Metallica album was received by metal fans with as much fanfare as one crossing the street, in other words, it was a fairly mundane exercise.
Even though they have broken sales records and are credited with advancing the public’s interest in heavy metal, Metallica abandoned their trash riffs and thunderous approach shortly after releasing their infamous 1991 black album. While many of their older fans felt they sold out, I still liked the black album but it undoubtedly signaled the breakup of the band with many of their devotees and sent a lot of them scurrying to rivals Megadeth or seeking out Slayer or heavier sounding bands.
Now, Metallica has parted way with producer Bob Rock and Rick Rubin takes control of an outfit that is still tight and capable of churning out some killer metal tracks. I am not saying that “Death Magnetic,” the band’s 9th studio album which is being helmed by Rubin will be a return to glory, but it is being billed as briding the gap between “And Justice For All” and the band’s current incarnation.
Whatever, all I have to say is I listened to the first track and it sounds pretty good. Nothing that will blow you away like “Master of Puppets” or “Fade to Black” but still pretty good. But don’t take my word for it, listen to it yourself. in the end for me at least, the true test of wheter this album lives up to the band’s legacy is not who the producer is, or even if it includes songs that sound like “Enter Sandman” but whether my neck is hurting after listening to the entire album. Like the old heavy metal dudes and dudettes used to say, “Bang that head which doesn’t bang.”