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CD REVIEW - Metallica: Death Magnetic 

I've had several weeks now to digest the new Metallica album. But I'm still having trouble processing the notion that this band after the singing

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I've had several weeks now to digest the new Metallica album. But I'm still having trouble processing the notion that this band after the singing lessons, symphony collaborations, self-help videos and general not-kicking ass could put out an album worthy of their name. But they've done it, damn it. They put out an album that bridges the few bright spots of the post Master of Puppets years with their early metal madness.

This is the album that Metallica's first and second-generation fans have been waiting almost 15 years to hear. It's the album that they could have and should have made after ...And Justice For All

The album, which was produced by Rick Rubin, opens with "This Was Just Your Life" a seven-minute metal fest and gallops on for another hour, barely stopping to take a breath. There are even echoes of the band's once familiar record format, you'll find the signature fourth-track ballad in "The Day That Never Comes," which also happens to be the band's first single from the album, an extended instrumental in the second to last slot and a thrash fest closer, "My Apocalypse" that harkens back to earlier closers like "Damage Inc" and "Dyers Eve."

Fans who scratched and shook their heads at albums like Reload, will welcome the return of growling lyrics, wah-wah soaked Hammet solos and James Hetfield's trademark skipping, syncopated hammer strokes.

Gone are the embarrassing attempts at lyrical introspection and overwrought melodies. This is an album that centers on familiar Hetfield themes of death, hypocrisy, and suicide. And you don't need singing lessons to appreciate that.

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