Death Magnetic - Metallica
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Of special note is the 10-minute instrumental 'Suicide and Redemption': listening to it, you almost forget that there are supposed to be words in rock songs, since it’s filled with building riffs, escalating volleys of tension and release, and moments of frantic drum abandon from Lars Ulrich that should do a lot to redeem his standing in Modern Drummer’s Drummer of the Year polls.
  2. Death Magnetic is more than a paean to all things thrash--it’s the revivification of ambition dormant for nearly two decades.
  3. Sometimes the album's mini-epics come off as we've still got it! stunts. But when it's working, the effect is like ceding your senses to a particularly well-engineered roller coaster in the dark.
  4. The musicianship feels thrillingly live throughout, and nimble new bassist Robert Trujillo helps, even though he's mostly heard as a distant, ominous rumble.
  5. 80
    Like all the best heavy rock albums, it suspends your disbelief, demands your attention and connects directly with your inner adolescent.
  6. This is the strongest material the band have written in 20 years.
  7. Not only does it banish the memory of "St Anger" but it’s easily their best work in 17 years.
  8. As bright young things fall in and out of fashion, it's a joy to have these gnarled veterans back to reinforce the sheer visceral thrill of timeless heavy metal.
  9. 80
    Rubin pointed the direction, but credit goes to the band-which, for the first time on record, includes new bassist Robert Trujillo-for recapturing their old sound and reconciling it with what followed.
  10. Which brings us to the nub of what makes Death Magnetic such a resounding success. Death Magnetic could have dropped 15 years ago and been a logical conclusion to the "Black" album. Today, it emphatically brings Metallica full circle to an intriguing afterthought: what next?
  11. They responded with Death Magnetic, the best Metallica album since "Metallica."
  12. Metallica is still vitally violent and on this terrific album--a de facto comeback, even if they never have really went away--they're finally acting like they enjoy being a great rock band.
  13. 80
    The album is more a rebirth, with Metallica exploring what they've learned durig their 20 years at the top of the heavy-metal slag heap. [Nov 2008, p.96]
  14. Producer Rick Rubin has made Metallica sound like Metallica again. [Nov 2008, p.116]
  15. Yet even when the album starts to sag ("The End of the Line," "The Unforgiven III"), the guitars crack the spine of every skeleton in Metallica's graveyard, making Death Magnetic one of the fiercest comebacks of all time.
  16. Some bloat makes the record fully feel its 75 minutes, but considering all the baggage Metallica had to shed just to find itself again, some minor excesses don't detract from Death Magnetic's importance.
  17. It's a conservative, preservative move by men who needed to reclaim their ground. But playing by those rules, Metallica wins.
  18. Death Magnetic is just about the best album Metallica could have made at this point.
  19. By embracing those old sounds and avoiding the trap of sounding like Metallica Trying New Things, it feels like that hunger of old has returned.
  20. Metallica certainly have a lot to prove with Death Magnetic, the follow-up to 2003’s "St. Anger," an album which divided the critics and the band’s own audience.
  21. There’s a worrying air of desperation running through the band’s lyrical choices that thankfully doesn’t spill over into the music, but it is nonetheless a frequent distraction on an otherwise fine album from a heavy metal juggernaut that might just be kicking back into gear.
  22. Virtuosity can be impressive without being particularly enjoyable, and it's hard to shake the feeling that for all the potent-as-ever prowess here, Death Magnetic is more a stamp of authenticity than a complete record.
  23. 60
    It's as though they've kept the whole catch, driftwood, prize-fish and all, rather than sorting through it. [Oct 2008, p.100]
  24. Death Magnetic at least proves that 40-something millionaires can make a valiant fist of recapturing the fury of youth. Sadly, though, it seems that Metallica will never be 20-years-old again.
  25. Their latest successfully revisits elements of their thrash-metal prime, eschewing bloated self-indulgence for straight-up head-banging aggression, with decent riffs to match, thanks in no small part to producer Rick Rubin.
  26. All of this provides a great recipe for exactly one good listen. That one listen is best the volume down though, as Death Magnetic might very well be the most distorted, punishing mastering job since the advent of the CD. After that, the charms of the album become significantly reduced.
  27. The best ones spit in the face of death; this album instead finds aging men trying to reclaim their youth.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 613 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 233
  1. Sep 10, 2011
    10
    2008 marks 25 years since Metallica's very first release, and they're still amazing. Also, this proves that DEATH MAGNETIC is not just a2008 marks 25 years since Metallica's very first release, and they're still amazing. Also, this proves that DEATH MAGNETIC is not just a celebration of 25 years since KILL 'EM ALL--it's original, and every song is worth listening to--over and over and over. Full Review »
  2. Aug 18, 2010
    10
    1981-2003. R.I.P Metallica....2008: Metallica has spoken and will live on!! Yes, Metallica fans, Metallica is back! Better than ever! Songs1981-2003. R.I.P Metallica....2008: Metallica has spoken and will live on!! Yes, Metallica fans, Metallica is back! Better than ever! Songs heavier than ever, and more meaning. Only problem is that their songs in this album were depressing. But besides the depressing lyrics, their music has came back!! METALLICA IS BACK!! Full Review »
  3. MarcF.
    Sep 11, 2008
    10
    Now they finally are using more Dynamics, Key/Time Changes, different Rythms, tempos, and style that balances of what Music real is at a Now they finally are using more Dynamics, Key/Time Changes, different Rythms, tempos, and style that balances of what Music real is at a professional Level 6. Don't get me wrong I love their old Music, but the today is more complete. This is a Masterpiece Album!! The CD should have a Label: WARNING: Songs are highly addicting, please listen at your own risk!! Full Review »