Metallica "Beyond Magnetic EP" Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Tue, 13 Dec 2011 11:51:31
Beyond Magnetic is another classic from Metallica.
In fact, this four-song collection from the Death Magnetic sessions sees the band at their most vicious, vital, and vibrant. It's rough, raw, and righteous thrash from the greatest heavy metal band of all time.
Beyond Magnetic wields a certain True Grit that would make both John Wayne and Jeff Bridges proud. The aggression, angst, and anger all bubble up to the front, and Metallica sounds like an uncaged beast ready to once again rip rock 'n' roll a new one. At the same time, there are moments of introspection befitting of their evolution that make Beyond Magnetic one of the best releases of 2011.
An avalanche of gargantuan riffs steamrolls the beginning of "Hate Train". Driven by James Hetfield's immortal down-picking and a searing lead from Kirk Hammett, the song starts with a bang. Ulrich's drumming is maniacally marvelous as he fuels the song's assault along at light speed in tandem with Robert Trujillo's propulsive bass wallop. The beat bobs and weaves as Hetfield unloads one vitriolic verse after another. His vocal brilliance blasts through the bridge with some transfixing clean singing before the attack ramps up again with another deluge of soloing.
"Just A Bullet Away" needs to be in a Clint Eastwood movie immediately. You could picture Dirty Harry or The Man With No Name taking out an army of assholes to the thrash stomp of the song. Hetfield's hook stands out as one of the band's most unforgettable—"All reflections look the same in the shine of a midnight revolver". It's chilling wordplay from a master lyricist and songwriter. Hetfield needs to turn these sonic stories into the story for some kind of Eastwood bloodbath…
After a haunting clean guitar intro, "Hell and Back" gives the devil his groove back with all of the tension of the band's best output. "I will run straight to hell and back," screams Hetfield violently. The underworld remains his and his alone.
This trip concludes with "Rebel of Babylon". Nearing eight minutes long, the tune stands alongside "Master of Puppets" and "...And Justice for All" as a metallic symphony with crescendos of pain, paranoia, and power. There are soft moments. There are loud moments. There's another Metallica masterpiece in there.
Beyond Magnetic is "beyond" everything else out there as far as metal goes. It's tight, tough, and timeless. It's Metallica.
Have you heard Beyond Magnetic? Get it on iTunes!
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