Monday, March 17, 2014
Aren't You Lucky
Initially made available on iTunes on 12/13/2011 before being given a physical release a month later, Beyond Magnetic is comprised of the four songs that were excised from the final tracklisting for Death Magnetic.
"Hate Train"--"Fuel" with a forced smile. Hetfield's cadence reminds of me Lenny Kravitz on "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" Hey, remember that chick drummer Kravitz had? What's her name…Cindy Blackman! Yeah, did you know she's married to Carlos Santana? Bet ya didn't. Did you know she's a better drummer than Lars Ulrich? Bet ya did.
"Just a Bullet Away"--"Dry" is not a negative adjective for a piece of music so long as there is power in abundance. Determination prevails over poor production, or there wouldn't be any punk rock records worth listening to.
While the title Death Magnetic was inspired by the rise and demise of Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley, the track most explicitly about him didn't make the final cut. Not entirely sure why; fuck guns, this is one of the faster, grittier bouts of hand-to-hand combat 21st century Metallica have taken part in. And while James Hetfield remains unsophisticated in his empathy, addicts lamenting other addicts sure beats addicts publicly mocking other addicts.
"Hell and Back"--A small insect crawling up one's back isn't an unpleasant sensation if you don't know or think about what's causing it. Likewise, these new Metallica songs aren't at all bad if you can overlook Hetfield's constipated vocals.
"Rebel of Babylon"--More Deathstyles of the Poor and Lowly. Eight minutes of glorified oblivion, four of those in the mutating forms of highly-charged crescendos. Get discombobulated to this.
It would be ideal if Metallica's newest full-length is a continuation of the Death Magnetic sound (minus the God Static, that is). Would also be ideal if Metallica released said full-length before half of its current fanbase is dead.
* I wrote this review back in July 2013, and wouldn't you know, the day I begin to prep this review for publication is the day videos begin circulating from the band's March 16th show in Bogota, Columbia. The setlist seems pretty basic, with the marked exception of a new song, the eight-minute "The Lords of Summer." The running time is neither here or there (a rule of thrash metal) but that title is rotted carcass levels of hideous and if I don't hear the lyrics "Out on the road today/I saw an Exodus sticker on a Prius" I will be both relieved and ashamed. No, I won't be sharing my opinion on the track here, as I have a personal "six month" rule when it comes to these reviews. (Also, it's a friggin' live version.) Believe I am wishing for the best.