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Now this would be one of the worst tracks from the shitty album Metallica very recently came up with. A bunch of amateur school kids jamming in their garage sound better than this! Rick Rubin is really trying hard to make the drums sound like they did on And Justice for All and failing miserably. The vocal performance is completely worn out, sick and tired, like an 80 year old man is angry and is trying his best to scold/scare you.
Kirk Hammett; I don’t know why this guy is in the band. No, wait; I don’t know why this guy hasn’t stopped playing the guitar. The blind shredding he has done here is just EXCRUTIATING to listen to. Trust me; my fingers were on my ears during the solos of all the songs, including this one. I truly believe that of ALL the bands I listen to, Kirk Hammett has climbed the spot and become the WORST guitarist in my book.
The song really doesn’t leave much to talk about, just like any other one on the album, it is filled with a couple of hoary riffs, a lousy solo, bass which is not audible and Lars’ signature trash can drums. Overall, it is still quite shoddy and far from appraisable.
I just don’t know why they even try anymore. They’ve been disappointing their fans right since the early nineties. What’s even more astonishing is that a lot of their fans still have hope. Sheesh, I pity them.
“Cyanide” is one of the slowest songs of the new Metallica album and, while not being as interesting as some songs out of the same album (like “That Was Just your Life” or “Suicide and Redemption”), still is a quite good track, carrying a sound similar to some of the Black Album/Load tunes, as opposed to the strong ...And Justice for All influences displayed on the rest of the record. Quite midpaced and groovy, this tune is clearly driven by the bass work of Mr. Robert Trujillo, who pulls out some interesting, albeit somewhat simple, bass licks and lines.
So, “Cyanide” begins with Lars Ulrich smashing the tons and cymbals, with the rest of the band accompanying him with some rather generic riffs. After this little intro, a quite groovy bass line kicks in, leading us to the main guitar riff. Now, as you can see I'm always kind of classifying this song as a groovy one and, while I generally hate groove metal, I have to say that it's the groove that makes this song what it really is. When you play a midpaced song, you got to have a nice set of guitar riffs OR some groovy bass lines to avoid the track to turn into an authentic snooze-fest. This song fits in the latter category, being the only true bass-driven song composed by this band since Cliff Burton passed away (or “My Friend of Misery” was released).
The chorus is fortunately very catchy and addictive and after the first section of the track, there is a little transition segment, leading us to a nice, slower middle section, filled with, again, the groovy bass and some clean guitar melodies. It kind of reminds me of the middle sections of some songs out of their debut, like “Four Horsemen” or “Phantom Lord”: both contained very melodic parts and this tune clearly follows the same path. The climax of “Cyanide” can be found on the solo, which is comparable to a descending storm, first it's slow and then becoming faster and faster and rawer and rawer. The solo part stands out even more if we compare it to the slow/mid pace the rest of the tune delves in.
Hetfield's vocals sound much better on this kind of tunes, where he doesn't need to sound that aggressive nor emotional, and he shines here too. Finally, Lars delivers a simplistic (as usual) performance, but still appropriate. Another fine new Metallica tune, albeit not very flashy or original.
Best Moments of the CD:
-the fast solo.
Mathematics has been something of a curiosity for me, particularly statistics, as it is a useful tool in measuring the consequences of just about any situation. When applied to the huge buildup in anticipation of Metallica’s alleged return to form “Death Magnetic”, the third single preceding the album yields that results are fairly consistent with the last two. We’ve received an overlong, meandering ballad, and also a poorly produced though passable thrash song, so naturally in order to keep the predicted result of a release suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder attempting to please every member of the band’s fan base, we’d need a certified half-thrash fit of groove metal idiocy, complete with all the trappings that made most popular metal music from 1992 to 1996 suck something awful.
If I could sum this song up in a single phrase, it would go something along the lines of a complete waste of talent. It perplexes the mind that Metallica went through all of that hoopla looking for a suitable replacement for Jason Newsted, ended up picking a solid finger plucking virtuoso like Robert Trujillo, only to have him banging out one note grooves that makes the bass line to “Enter Sandman” sound intricate. Pile on two or three dumb assed mid-tempo guitar grooves, some chugging sections that attempt to sound like a revisiting of “Seek And Destroy”, and Lars still jacking up that snare drum so damned loud that can’t hear the bass and can only half hear the guitars, and you’ve got something along the lines of a slightly more energetic song from “Load”.
Like all of the better songs in this style in the Machine Head and later Pantera tradition, a little less than half of the song is actually pretty descent, despite its primitive tribal nature. The principle riff is actually not too bad, sounding like a slower variation of a Motorhead song, but it’s followed by this annoying as hell two note groove that repeats 6 or 8 times. The buildup to the solo section also flows well, though the drums get even more overpowering, and leads to a fairly good solo. In the past James’ riffs were the primary thing carrying the band, but it seems now that Kirk is basically the only thing keeping this from being 100% trite, and it’s also good to see that he’s 3 for 3 now on soloing well without the need of the wah pedal constantly blaring.
Despite the fact that this is basically a groove metal song, it’d be fairly enjoyable if the band tweaked the mixing and overall production to give the song some atmosphere. In some respects you could say that “For Whom The Bell Tolls” has some groove elements, but the overall simplicity of the song was bolstered by this arena-like atmosphere, which you don’t get on here. Everything literally sounds like it is being played in somebody’s bedroom, something which even some bedroom black metal projects tend to avoid with reverb usage. Most of this is due to the dead sounding, yet unsurprisingly loud as hell drums, though James’ vocals are also a little hollow sounding.
Other than maybe your occasional impulsive shopper or diehard Metallica cultist, there’s little point in picking this up. I’d like to think that I only didn’t like this song because it was featured at Ozzfest, but this is really not up to par with all the hype that’s being generated. Sometimes hype can actually lead people into purchasing music that they ordinarily wouldn’t spend money on, which is precisely what happened on the last studio album. And just like “St. Anger”, there will likely be a good amount of disappointed fans afterwards, all of who were hoping for the real return to the band’s roots that they believed would happened.