Most fans agree that 2008’s Death Magnetic was the best release Metallica has had since The Black Album in 1991. Much of the fire was back, and there was some damn good guitar riffage in there. My only real complaint with that record was the mastering job (which was royally fucked by Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound). I mean seriously dude, you’re the head engineer of a huge studio and you’re lucky to have a career in audio work. How could you even consider letting anyone hear the final version of Death Magnetic? It would have been a really good album otherwise. Just goes to show that you can be successful in life without knowing a damn thing about what you’re doing.
The next release was the disappointing LuLu this year (a collaboration with Lou Reed… you can read my review if you like).
All of a sudden, I got my hands on a little three-track single called Beyond Magnetic. I wondered what this was all about…
Well, this is what it’s all about: Three previously-unreleased tracks that actually kick some major ass.
- Hate Train
- Just a Bullet Away
- Hell and Back
The first thing I should mention is that these are tracks left off of Death Magnetic, therefore explaining the similar sound. The aggression doesn’t let up in these, and the Metallica boys sound like they’re in good form. I would actually dare to say that there’s a lot of parts in here reminiscent of Master of Puppets. That sentiment partially comes from the fact that all three of these tracks clock in at about 7 minutes each (or longer).
Although essentially b-sides, this luckily erases all memory of the god-aweful LuLu. They may be raw, rough mixes, but at least THEY DON’T CLIP! In yo’ face, Ted Jensen!
I hope this is a hint of what the next Metallica record is going to sound like. I’d certainly be satisfied. Here’s what the guys had to say about it:
“We’re so psyched to be sharing it with you nearly four years after it was recorded. This is the unpolished version of the song… the original rough mix from March of 2008 in its rawest, untouched form.” – Metallica
-Clay Lancaster (www.claylancaster.com)