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Back on the right track? - 85%

Beruchtzak, August 28th, 2008

Finally, after several Metallica releases a new song. Many people are curious about this new Metallica. The fans from the 80s, the fans from St. Anger, the all around fans, everyone wants to know how it is. For me, it's exactly what I hoped it would be. So why don't I rate it 100%? This is why:

Though The Day That Never Comes is a great song, it has some negative stuff there also. The snare drum sounds better than it did on St. Anger, but please God they shouldn't make it that loud! The bass drum on the other hand sounds perfect to my ears! ...And Justice For All all over again! It's great to see Metallica back in track, back in the Metal. When the solo kicks in, you can't figure out why the fuck Metallica made shit like St. Anger, Load, Reload and self-titled album Metallica. Don't get me wrong, I (kinda) like the albums, but they're not Metallica-material. Shit like this, this is Metallica!

This is a song that, the more you listen to it, the better it gets! trust me, the first time I heard it, I would've rated it not more than 75%. Yet I rated it 85% now, Tomorrow I might think a 90% of it! The reason why this is a great song is in 2 words: Roberto Trujillo! My opinion: he saved Metallica. But they're all back now, Hammett, Hetfield and even Ulrich!

The song starts very slow, nice guitar, nice drum, everything is fine in Metallicaland. Then the lyrics kick in, I guess half of the people who will ever hear this will say: shit! But not me, Hetfield is not 25 anymore, the guy's older, make your peace with it. To me, he's doing a great job doing what he does now. Ulrich's fills are incredible, same for his bass kicks. Tune the snare drum bit more, make it less noisy, and you have Lars back from ...AJFA! Selfless Kirk stays modest throughout the first half of the song. But when the fast riffs come up and the solo starts, it's Hammett-time! A fast, melodic and great solo from the Kirkmaster! I can't believe this Metallica once was gone, but the most important is that they're back. Trujillo brings the old Metallica-vibe back in Metallica, and this song is a great example.

Pos:
- Trash Metal all over again
- Solo's are back
- Bad ass riffs
- Lars' bass drum and fills
- Hetfield's voice is different from old stuff

Neg:
- Hetfield's voice is different from old stuff
- Lars' snare drum is too loud.

You probably noticed that I put Hetfield's voice in both pos and neg. That's not by accident, it's negative because his voice really ruled in the early days, but it's also positive because it's a change, change ain't necessarily bad. Maybe at first, but we'll get used to it. This is the new Metallica, and if you don't like it, it ain't their problem, they already have enough money so they don't need you really!
Metal Up Your Ass!

The day that came and went. - 46%

hells_unicorn, August 27th, 2008

The usual road taken in metal circles in dealing with Metallica of late is to either jump to their defense, or to spout out the four letter words and elaborately grotesque metaphors like no tomorrow. I’ve been mostly guilty of the latter, primarily because I’d followed the band since 1989, and even during my Kurt Cobain phase they were on my A list. But as time has gone by, I’ve become better acquainted with the nature of the music industry, and have begun to understand why bands like Anthrax, Sepultura and Slayer decided to turn in their thrash metal chips in exchange for a new, groovy kind of game. I’m not taking back any of my comments regarding their past material, because it still revolts my ears with the exact same intensity, and because I’ve seen true metal bands who are content to keep a day job and play small venues for a few hundred dollars rather than change their sound to keep the arenas full.

So as to this particular song and its connection to all of this, it’s basically another fit of compliance with the music industry and mainstream culture. I’m fairly certain that all Lars had to do was hear a few snippets of Machine Head’s “The Blackening” to get his cue for it being alright to revisit some of the older elements of Metallica’s extensive history, and this songs comes off like a disingenuous attempt at straddling the gap between the old school thrash fans who started giving them grief in 1991 and the alternative rock junkies who ate up the Load albums. In some respects it has already achieved what it was meant to do, and that was fool people into thinking that Metallica had reestablished their thrash sound, as well as to bring back the epic ballad style that was first brought out on “Fade To Black”. Sure it’s way better than any song on “St. Anger”, just like “The Blackening” was miles ahead of “The Burning Red” or “Supercharger”, but that doesn’t make it good.

All you need to do is focus on the opening riff in order to hear the huge disconnect between this and anything Metallica did in the 80s. At best, it’s a cheap imitation of something off of “Load”, if not a semi-plagiarized U2 guitar line. Don’t let the frequent lead breaks and heavily improved quality of Kirk’s playing fool you, there isn’t a true metal foundation to speak of beneath the quasi “Fade To Black” aura of the first 50 seconds of this. Afterward what ensues is a slightly better version of “The Unforgiven II” which has a similar vocal sound out of James. At about half way through this things start to pick up and we have some riffs to speak of, although things don’t really get going until the 5 minute mark. I have to say, they do get going pretty nicely when Kirk’s shred lines come in, including the riff work underneath all the clusters of rapid notes.

My biggest complaint about this song is the production, particularly the drum production. Although it’s not quite as blatant as on the previous debacle, Lars’ drums still sound utterly terrible. The snare has very little punch to it, and even less sustain. Essentially he traded in his trash can lid sound for something in between a cardboard box and a 5 gallon bucket. The cymbals tend to be overpowering, while the bass drum has barely enough presence to compete with the high end nature of the song. The guitar sound mostly resembles the non-muddy, but weaker distorted tone heard on the Load albums, while the bass has largely been buried under the drums and guitars. Basically Kirk’s lead tracks are the only ones on here that aren’t in need of a serious overhaul, though I should note that Kirk has made a big step by finally freeing himself from his wah pedal addiction.

So the final verdict on this song is mostly a failing one. There isn’t much to write home about other than some of the riffs during the 2nd half of the song and Kirk’s leads, which don’t make the first 4 minutes of the song worth listening to. If this song indicates anything, it is the culture of compromise divorced from principle that Metallica has continually exhibited since the beginning of the 1990s. At best, this album could maybe resemble their self-titled release, though a poorly mixed version of it at that. I can say that this song is metal for the most part, but it’s not the kind of metal that I’d recommend blowing money on. Maybe the next single will be better, but when it comes to Metallica, it is yet another thing I wouldn’t invest the fruits of the sweat of your brow over.

Later Submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on September 1, 2008.

Far from disappointing - 85%

Metmass90, August 26th, 2008

"The Day That Never Comes" is the first official Metallica song since 2003's infamous St. Anger which marked the band's descent into muddy depths of nu-metal. Many have since hoped for a comeback in glory. What's the result?

Not bad. Not bad at all. We are yet to hear the whole Death Magnetic album so we'll see how much of a comeback it is. For now, let's concentrate on the song.

1. Construction - over 7 minutes long, similar to "One". The song begins with an almost poppy melody (a pretty one), builds up, and goes berserk after the second chorus. It has a pretty long solo, some dual guitars in vein of Thin Lizzy or Maiden. The riffs might seem a bit out of place on the first listening but after a while you get used to them. Ends like "One", in a high point.

2. Music - it's definitely reminiscent of the 80s power ballads "Fade to Black" and an already mentioned classic, "One". Many people say the first part sounds Load-ish but I don't really hear this. For me this song would easily fit in between Justice and the Black album. The best thing about this song is that it no longer stays in a comfort zone of pentatonic minor scales (Re/Load) and has an actual MELODY in it and not some retarded, muddy, simplified playing (St. Anger). We’re back to palm muting and – simply – interesting guitar work. If you’re a guitarist you’ll find a pleasure of playing along with the song and discovering the order of the riffs (at least I did). Metallica has recorded the most interesting song since 1991, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Drums sound OK, no more retarded St. Ringing sound.

3. Delivery – let’s start with vocals. Many people are bitchslapping Hetfield for this song but for me it’s his best effort since 1991. His vocal delivery is way better than St. Anger and way more interesting than Loads. He manages to pull off the high notes quite well for his age (remember, he’s 45!). James’ riffs are fun, too, as I’ve mentioned earlier. Kirk left his wah pedal in the corner and finally did a decent heavy metal solo. Good job, Kirk. Rob… I don’t know. I can barely hear the bass and I can’t hear what he’s doing back there. Granted, he’s a great bassist and he proved it with Infectious Grooves, it’s just that I don’t hear him well in this song. Maybe he’ll shine on the final album. Now we come to the lowest point – Lars. I have nothing against him personally (I don’t care for the whole Napster fiasco) but I have to admit his drumming in TDTNC is the most plain and boring (or “stock” as Lars himself would say) drumming I’ve heard in a long time. His fills are mostly just hitting the snare drum couple of times and his beats are really uncreative. Maybe he’s supposed to stay in the back while the guitars take control but his playing is very weak anyway.

Lyrics are nice, nothing special really. Definitely nowhere near “Oooh, what a good boy you are” whining crap or “Gimme fuel, gimme fire” cheesy stuff. There’s more emotion this time and it feels good with the music (especially the chorus).
Conclusion: It’s not mind-blowing but it’s interesting, melodic, and decent. Perhaps I’m a Metallica fanboy and I like it because it’s Metallica? “The Day That Never Comes” is a very good song and I’m eager to hear it in context of the whole album in September.

"Go on the internet and complain." - 55%

doomknocker, August 25th, 2008

Thus are the true-to-life words uttered by the great Brian Griffin, and how apt they are when pertaining to anything found to be less than extraordinary. Problems with politics? Bitch in a blog about it. Problems with a band or album? Complain on blabbermouth.net. Problems with just about EVERYTHING? That's why we have chatrooms and message boards. Either way, mindless whimperings have more than enough media to get the word spread, however asinine and worthless they may be, and since Hell hath no fury like a metal-head scorned, plentiful negatisms surrounding METALLICA's new single are appearing in fervent droves here, on myspace, facebook, what have you, in such quantities that I'm personally looking for Noah's second ark. It's a simple solution, after all...just go on the internet and complain. And complain about others complaining. Either way, you HAVE to be heard!

And for the record, I'm not complaining about complaints...I'm just telling it like it is.

Anyway, onto this new song...I never thought I'd review anything METALLICA's done, not out of impure hatred (I can't say I hate the band), but because nothing METALLICA has done has blown me away (and believe me, there are a LOT of other bands out there who are worse than Hetfield and Co. and worth our ire), this being no exception. It's also how I feel about other bands of their ilk, like IRON MAIDEN, MOTORHEAD, JUDAS PRIEST, DIAMOND HEAD (though I find them most irksome and definately NOT worth obsession), and whatnot; I respect what they do, but it's just not for me. I also won't go on the record spouting abhorrent vitriol against the band for "selling out", or being "gay", or other pop-culture bullshit; I can let the sheep do that for me...at the end of the day, METALLICA doesn't really thrill me, but at the same time, doesn't bother me. And when it comes to this new track, however, it doesn't do anything to rid me of these feelings, and at its best comes across as competantly performed and tolerable, but ultimately two-dimensional, like the rest of their discography. I've heard better, but I've also heard far worse (H.I.M. and LORDI come to mind, with homicidal thoughts), and if it were played on the radio, or as background music in a social gathering I won't leap to my feet in attentive rage wanting the band dead. But I will agree with a few reviews on one aspect...this IS better than anything off "St. Anger", and definately isn't as funny.

So, in the end, "The Day That Never Comes" isn't the second coming of Christ a few METALLI-fans believe it to be, nor is it an epitaph for a band so many wish to see fall, like others believe it to be. It's just a song, that's all...and how it inspires works of hellish teeth-grinding baffles me to no end.

Metallica - The Day That Never Comes - 78%

Wrellust, August 25th, 2008

About the time St. Anger was about to be released, I remember feeling a sense of hope, as many in the press were claiming said album to be "the return of Metallica's old school sound". Obviously, as history will show you, I was young and gullible. Subsequently, St. Anger's "sound" (read: ill-executed bowel movement / successful cash grab) was certainly not the one prophesied by the masses. After listening to St. Anger once, I swiftly sold the quasi-mint condition album on eBay (Metallica's inquisition of lawyers would not approve, I'm sure). Metallica, it seems, had fooled me again.

Enter the year of our lord 2008, and I'm still listening to nothing more recent than AJFA, as far as Metallica is concerned. So there's been talk (for how many years now I don't know) of a new album coming out later in the year, and THIS ONE, not St. Anger, is supposed to be the winning ticket. Months pass, and finally there is a taste-test available in the form of "The Day That Never Comes" (TDTNC). Still ashamed at my past gullibility, yet quietly intrigued nonetheless, I give in and decide to listen to the track.

The song opens with a crystalline guitar melody, over which a particularly retro sounding lead repeats over the top. It vaguely reminds me of Orion. At this premature point, I am unsure what to make of it. This could go one of two ways: up or down. With the advent of the following Load-style riff, my heart stops for the next 37 seconds, and then starts again but sinks as James starts singing, and I figure we must be going down. The singing is a la Until It Sleeps, and so I fear that this song will progress in a similar alt-rock manner: verse / chorus / verse / chorus / lead bridge / chorus. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Around the four minute mark - right when I'm expecting a lead bridge to appear and bore me into a final ad nauseum reprise of the chorus - an up-beat, chunky, Black Album-esque riff draws my attention. Not bad. James aggressively spits out a few more lines; nothing special, but not as bad as when he's crooning. The riff is nice though, but I don't give in to optimism just yet: I don't expect any semblance of metal riffery after this, but perhaps a return to that Load style chorus...

...But hang on a second! What's this at the 4:55 mark? Instead of resorting to the the slow lull of the verse and chorus, the beat actually doubles in speed, and Lars plays a classic punk-ish NWOBHM D-beat. The riffs that follow made me eat my pants. Actual decent metal riffs in a new Metallica song, praise Allah. While the riffs themselves are not particularly complex, the beauty lies in their arrangement from this point onwards. A hammer-on / pull-off riff appears which makes me think of Am I Evil by Diamond Head or Bach's Fugue and Toccata. So far, so good (...so what?).

The cynicism loosens its grip dramatically at 6:30, when to my surprise Kirk lets loose on the upper reaches of his fret board. There is no wah-wah, no tired blues pentatonics, no gimmicks, just frenetically charged metal licks (am I dreaming?). Admittedly, there is a bit of recycling going on here. Like for example, at 6:40 to 6:41, there is a descending run that I swear is identical to a part in the solo from The Shortest Straw. Nevertheless, the arrangement after the solo is particularly worthy of recognition. The last minute of the track is by far the most aggressive and epic bunch of sounds released by Metallica in about 20 years. I must say I like the way it ends, right at the top of the ride, so to speak.

Just quickly, my main criticisms would be the apparent lack of bass, and James' weak vocals, particularly over the clean verse/chorus. The drums are nothing special, but serve their purpose and keep the beat I guess. If only the first half of this song was as good as the second, I would've given it a much higher mark. The two halves seem a bit too disparate to each other with respects to mood and tempo.

To summarise, TDTNC is quite a decent song as far as modern Metallica goes. With this song, they have shown that they are still capable of writing music that progresses on the strengths of their earlier material, without 1) cloning their former 80's sound, and/or 2) creating something so radically different that it cannot even be compared to their former material. Still, time will tell whether this material will have a lasting impression on me or not, and I will withhold my proclamation of "welcome back thrash legends" or any such nonsense until I hear the entire album of Death Magnetic. Until then, TDTNC at least hints at a potential (and perhaps gradual) reawakening within the members of Metallica: It's time to finally lay Alt-Rocktallica and Nu-Metallica to rest.

Well...It's Better Than St. Anger - 45%

HumanShred84, August 23rd, 2008

So today I was just browsing on YouTube and sure enough, saw a link for the new Metallica single, "The Day That Never Comes". I have a long history with Metallica...they were one of my earliest introductions to metal music (in 8th grade, shortly after getting into Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in 7th grade), "Master of Puppets" was my soundtrack to that particular school year. However, as I immersed myself in heavy metal music at an even greater extent in the months and years that followed I strayed from my origin point a bit. Certainly, discovering Metallica's atrocious post 'Black Album' catalog was incredibly disappointing, and I was appalled to find that the band members had cut their hair as well (oh the innocent days).

Even though today Metallica is far from my favorite band, I still hold their early material in high regard due to it's nostalgic value to me and simply because it is quality and truly quite revolutionary music. So when I hear that the bands forthcoming release, "Death Magnetic", is widely anticipated to be their return to their thrash metal roots, of course the 8th grader in me who just watched the 'Frantic' video on YouTube and felt as if he had just witnessed his father cheat on his mother was absolutely thrilled. However, I always kept in my mind that hint of realism, "they did St. Anger", and sur eenough when I became aware of the fact that a full studio quality song from the band would be available online today, naturally I went to check it out, and...

...well, it is better than St. Anger. However it fails to be much more than that. It opens with and intro that sounds if it could have been lifted from a Modest Mouse album, and with a rather uninspired Kirk Hammett intro solo in the vein of Fade to Black and Sanitarium over top. So far not impressed; An acoustic verse riff is more promising, but it is immediately ruined by James Hetfields horrid post-Y2K vocals. To his credit, he does hold back much of his annoyingness here, but he simply sounds like the rest of the song, bland and dull. I could review the lame and contrived chorus, the uninspired and rather dull instrumental break, and the absolutely random and pointless solo break, but I will just leave it at this...Metallica tries to return to their roots, but is simply uninspired and sounds bland and dull.

I almost couldn't believe this was Metallica when I first heard this. Even in their most insipid, horrid musical moments, they always at least sounded enthusiastic and inspired. While musically this may surpass some of these moments, on here, Metallica simply trys too hard to sound like their early material, and it works against them in the long run. So, alas, Metallica continues their status as "sell outs" in my book, and with quite a good deal of quality releases in metal this year from the likes of Meshuggah, Opeth, Decrepit Birth, Arsis, Into Eternity, Testament, Iced Earth and others to enjoy...I personally will be saving some money this fall. Hey, in todays economy that’s what’s smart to do.

P.S. - Megadeth with Chris Broderick is poised to destroy this.

Metallica has not come back and you know it - 60%

The_Ghoul, August 23rd, 2008

There's an old saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Metallica are old and set in their ways. Since pretty much the time Hetfield quit copping Mustaine riffs, Metallica has had a way of writing songs that, with time, proved faulty. Metallica write songs for public consumption. Metallica took thrash and commercialized it, and when thrash quit being popular, they quit being thrash. Now that metal is experiencing an upsurge in popularity, Metallica decided that they suddenly remember how to play metal.

The problem is, this isn't much of a change from previous efforts. It's made with the same mindset as everything they've made since Master of Puppets. And that is, that it's more important to be what's popular than to BE YOURSELF. Musically, it's like a Metallica ballad, which means you have James embarrassing himself with poor singing that he wasn't meant to do, Kirk sounding out of place playing music that he's not meant to play, and Lars ESPECIALLY sounding out of place because he doesn't know how to do anything but simple bass-snare patterns. If he steps out of that archetype, he sounds awkward and forced. The songwriting is cliche'd, basic shit that grew stale when they sold out stadiums after ...And Justice For All. It's full of chord progressions that reek of ballad stereotypes, assembled with no attention to coherence, and since the point of a ballad is to be heartfelt, it feels infuriatingly fake. You can't fake emotion, and this is 100% manufactured emotion.

The point of this is that you can't contrive metal without losing the metallic qualities. James and co. might be more metal than last time, but that is not a guarantor of quality. This is contrived as hell, sounding as fake, manufactured, and plastic as the last 3 efforts, and it appears nothing has changed.

I think it's time to admit Metallica are done for. They're knackered and old, and haven't made any progress musically since the black album 18 years ago, and from the sound of this, they're not going to get their "fire" back anytime soon. Kirk, bless his heart, has settled in his style, and really can't do anything but basic amelodic wah abuse. Lars stinks up the recording with his drumming, but he was never a good drummer anyway. Still, the least Rubin could've done would be to mix the drums down, but we still have the "clank clank clank" from St. Anger, albiet not QUITE as annoying. James plays rhythm guitar as James does, as most dinosaurs from the 80's do, but it's worth mention that he can't sing worth a shit these days. It's painfully out of tune and crackly, and, let's face it, he's not the same James that sang on their first 4 efforts. A major disappointment is that they're still practicing the habit they acquired on ...And Justice in which they make the bass inaudible.

I wouldn't call this a disappointment because it's better than I expected (I was expecting to throw an insta-zero on this, or at most a 30) and it's a lot more coherent and listenable than its predecessors. It's still nowhere near good, and Metallica have a lot more ground to cover before they can regain their past glory. Of course, Metallica were never truly excellent. There were much better thrash bands from the same scene (and some from other scenes) that I know of, and I'm not even a thrash fanatic. But even taking their past successes, failures, and general legacy out of the equation, The Day That Never Comes is still limp dicked and disappointing. Metallica might get their fire back some time in the future, but this won't be that time.

Shit Sandwich - 3%

MasterRocking, August 23rd, 2008

It was hard to listen to this song without simply thinking “There’s no way it’s going to be good”… really, do we even need to discuss the history of how much this band has pissed off fans of heavy metal again? Nevertheless, I was determined to give this song a fair chance and I did. The result however is not good. This song is an utter and complete mess.

Alright, we begin with clean guitars and a fairly nice melody. Basically it sounds like the tolerable parts of Load but we’re completely assaulted with a shitty unfitting drumbeat from Ulrich… unfortunately the absence of tolerable drums (notice how I’m not even asking for good drumming, just something tolerable!) keeps coming throughout the song. I remember one of the “Fly on the Wall” clips from Metallica’s website which turns out was from the recording of this song. I laughed my ass off at Lars Ulrich saying something to the effect of “While the bass holds down the beat I can do some interesting fills on the drums!” His idea of interesting fills here turns out to be nothing more than rolling the snare drum on 16th beats… revolutionary!!! I won’t even bother speaking about Ulrich’s shitass drumming anymore. It’s shit as always, that’s all you need to know.

Hetfield’s lyrics… well, he recently said in an interview that he likes to keep his lyrics vague these days so that people can make their own interpretation and find their own meaning. Wow, real fucking creative. After reading the lyrics to this song I estimate roughly 43 billion possible things this song could actually be about. I believe what Hetfield is trying to say is “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing so I’m writing random ass shit that people might find some meaning to”. Oh yeah, did I mention Hetfield’s singing is as shit as it was on Sergeant Anger? Yeah, shit.

Now, all shitty singing and drumming aside, this song is a complete mess. Basically it’s Until It Sleeps + One + A Retarded Solo + Some mediocre riffing. And what does this equation equal? Shit. That’s what. You heard right, Metallica has simply glued together a bunch of old ideas into an 8 minute shitstorm. Soft Until It Sleeps first section. Then we get into the “heavy” One double kick type part, although here Ulrich only gives us the slowest power metal drum beat ever recorded. Add a dash of mediocre riffing. Cue Hammet’s crappy amateur solo (more on this later) and we end with some more mediocre riffing. I actually have a strong mental image of James Hetfield cutting up the tapes from Metallica’s jamming sessions over the past 13 years (or however long it’s been since their last shitty album) and sticky taping the best parts together. Well, at least the parts him and Ulrich deemed to be the best.

Now, let’s talk solos. Allow me to begin by saying that Hammet has done an excellent job of maintaining his reputation as a horrible lead guitarist. Hammet has two modes. One is “Basic Blues Scale Soloing”. The other is “Tapping Retardation”. And Hammet doesn’t disappoint his fans here! He delivers with a delightful combination of both of his soloing modes with the sheer mastery of a 14 year old that’s been playing the guitar for an astonishing 3 months! Well done Hammet, you truly deserve your place in all those retarded internet “Top 10 Guitarists of All Time” lists ahead of such mediocre hacks like K.K Downing, Glenn Tipton, Tony Iommi, Kai Hansen, Rolf Kasparek and many more… please note that this paragraph is highly sarcastic.

So there you have it. A bunch of ideas that simply don’t fit together, coupled with the horrid combination of Hetfield singing, Ulrich drumming and Hammet soloing. This is Metallica’s big return to form? This is them returning to heavy metal? No, this is pure fucking shit. It would be a mediocre song if the solo, drumming and singing were done by musicians with a shred of talent left in them. If this is Hetfield, Ulrich and Hammet’s idea of heavy metal then they are so out of touch with heavy metal these days that it’s making me my laugh my ass off. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at several parts of this song while giving it a few listens. I’m only giving it 3% because I laughed hard at about 3 parts of the song. Otherwise it’d be a big 0%! The Day That Never Comes and Death Magnetic… a parody of metal music.

An Honest Appraisal - 84%

pinpals, August 23rd, 2008

I should start out by saying that it's really hard to discern whether "The Day that Never Comes" is good or not by just reading the reviews if you have not heard the song. On one hand, you've got people that would have trashed this song no matter how good it is, just because they already had their minds made up before they even heard it. Similar to this are the people who will trash this single if it isn't a full-on thrash song, which it isn't. On the other hand, there are the die-hards that feel Hetfield is one of the finest vocalists in metal and that albums like "Load" and "St. Anger" were great albums in their own right because they were "what the band needed to write at that point in time" or some BS like that. Still others, like me, are cautiously optimistic, but even our opinions are biased to a certain extent. Thankfully for you, the reader, "The Day The Never Comes" is available for streaming, or at least can be found on the web without much effort.

I could write a short review and say that "The Day" is a mix between "The Unforgiven" and "One," and that would actually be very accurate. The song is structured like "One;" it starts out soft and melodic and halfway through becomes much heavier. The words end and give way to a good number of riffs and solos for the end of the song. The melodic first half and the vocal lines, as well as the lyrics, are reminiscent of "The Unforgiven."

However, to say that "The Day That Never Comes" is just a rehash of two older hits would be unfair and diminish what Metallica has accomplished. Just because the song is evocative of their past doesn't mean that this is just a duplicate of previous works; this song stands tall in its own light, and not just because it was preceded by one of the worst metal albums ever written.

The riffs themselves are not thrash, but they're heavy, and fairly plentiful. Some are simpler than others, but they all fit into the context of the song and benefit the song as a whole. The solo by Kirk Hammett is probably the greatest aspect, however. The first positive is that it is even there, and following closely is that he does not use the wah pedal, nor does he attempt to write another damn pseudo-blues solo like most of his other solos in the past 13 years. One surprising, yet encouraging facet is how the lead and rhythm guitars interact with each other. Even in Metallica's heyday, it seemed that aside from the occasional riff that Hammett wrote, Hetfield wrote most of the rhythm parts while Hammett would do the solos. This worked well at times, but also led to disjointed progressions as well. Throughout the heavy second half, however, there is a cohesiveness between the two guitarists that shows that the band is still evolving.

I also feel Hetfield's vocals were pretty good up until the Black Album tour when he blew out his vocal cords, then tried to start singing. Here he isn't bad, but he certainly isn't great. Still, this is his best performance in 15 years, but that isn't saying much. Ulrich and Trujillo play just well enough to not be a detriment, but there's nothing worth mentioning between the two other than that the drums do not sound awful.

In fact, the actual production job is really good, I was afraid this would sound as awful as some of Rubin's other works, but everything is clear and balanced. That being said, the sound on the single my radio station received sounds terrible. There are parts that are scratchy, with some distortion and even clipping. I really hope that this is just a fault of the copy I received and not what the actual song will sound like on the album.

Overall, "The Day That Never Comes" is a definite step in the right direction for Metallica. They have overcome the lousy songwriting mindset of their previous few albums, yet refused to just rewrite their older songs from the 80's. It is a sign that in addition to be relevant in pop-culture, that they are artistically relevant as well. Here's hoping that this is an accurate indication that "Death Magnetic" will be the return that Lar$ has been claiming.

Caught in a net... - 73%

Black_Metal_Elite, August 22nd, 2008

This album seems to be caught between two eras for sure, that is their old one and new one (thrash, versus nu-metal). When I stay stuck between, I don't mean it lands in the 90's and sounds like Load/Reload. This is obvious that they're trying to get back to their thrash roots... while keeping the nu metal edge. That is what ruins this SP. They kept the nu-metal edge.

So, the drums sounds really loud in the mix. To the point in my speakers they make static appear. Maybe it is just the song itself, I don't know. The drums seem overpowered, and raw. When I say raw, I don't mean raw as in Black metal raw (done right). I mean raw as in too unclean for this particular band (bad). Lars' snare doesn't sound that good at all. I mean, he tuned the one in St Anger pretty badly, and this is barely a step up. The bass drum is done properly though. Notice how I said it singular? So he might use two kick-drums, but he could do this album easily with one. I don't recall hearing any double bass runs, and what sucks is that St Anger had double bass runs (infrequent, but at least had them). For this song there is none, though I won't deduct any points because this is only one song off the upcoming album.

James' vocals are still crap. I mean, he sings way better than half the people out there, just it really feels like he's aged, and is singing a mesh of St Anger + Load. Anyone expecting even remote thrash vocals will be disappointed. In fact, the lyrical content has gone to hell... remember when the lyrics actually held good value? Even St Anger had some, well, decent lyrics... but here it seems very drawn out. I think this album coming out will have some serious lyrical drawbacks, or maybe it is just this one song.

The guitar kicks ass. Kirk is the only thing shining on the album. The riffs composed for the beginning and middle are quite catchy and very old Metallica, while probably holding the ability to appeal to the newer audiences. I can't say much because he shines here. Until the end that is.
Yes, the problem with this song is the end. They tried to do another "One". The ending feels so forced. The solo at the beginning of the 'end passage' starts off really nice, but it just goes on too long. Kirk is climbing to many scales and trying too many hammer on/off's on the pentatonic (I think?) scale. Towards the end you just feel like "enough is enough". The anti-climactic ending sucked balls, but it wasn't a total failure. The solo is still an improvement from nothing... though I would fix this song by cutting out the drum roll at the end by Lars. What the FUCK was he thinking. Is it just me or do the drums sound very messy, off time and totally out of place where they are? It seems as if they tried to add in a rifle/roll effect on the snare at the end to make it climax... but it turned me off. Totally cacophonic.

Overall it is okay. There is some thrash nu metal fusion riffs (you'll know them when you hear them, theres a new genre for us!), the solo is great but goes on to long and dwindles into mediocrity, but other than that... its decent. Don't wet your pants over it.

Mediocre at best... - 50%

FuckinBill, August 22nd, 2008

Now when I heard Metallica was going to be coming out with a new CD, I wasn't very excited, and after listening to their first single I'm still not very excited, but I am intrigued.

The song starts off slow and the first thought that comes to mind is great, LOAD all over again. And it does indeed sound like that for roughly the first half of the song. If I was Metallica and I was going to put out a new song, I'd wanna' come out swinging. This is suppose to be a thrash band (well 'were' a thrash band), where's the speed? The aggression? Ugh! Well anyway the vocals come in and honestly, bring the song down. James' vocals have been so bad ever since the 90's. The whole clean singing into hard rock style vocals doesn't work for him or the band. Kind of reminds me of The Unforgiven Pt.2 a little bit.

Around the four minute mark the song starts to pick up speed and actually starts to sound good, really good. I even hear some riffs in there that remind me of the old Metallica, like something off Ride The Lightning. After a while James stops singing (thank god) and we're treated to some great guitar work, which we haven't seen from them in a long, long time. The riffs don't sound generic as they did on St.Anger and the solos sound really oldschool. There's one tapping riff that I really like, it's nothing special but it just sounds really good with the song. It's just nice to see them making their music fun again.

At this point in the review I would get into the lyrics but what's the point really? Just look at the lyrics from any of their last four albums to get the idea of what this song is about. Then again that's not the most important part of the song. What's important is that this song shows hope that the new Metallica album might actually be good! I don't think the old Metallica will ever be back, but they may able to make up for the last pieces of crap they spewed out. If you liked Metallica from the 90's on, then you'll like this entire song. If you're dying to hear Metallica finally play something good, skip the first four minutes ahead to the middle of the song and enjoy, because the only reason they got 50% on this review is for those last four minutes.

Lars is ruining it for me! - 60%

abatzkon, August 22nd, 2008

To begin with, it is obvious that there is a model that Metallica followed in writing this song and that model is called: Fade to black. The verses are melodic and full of emotion, while the choruses come out strong and powerful with the mighty riff driving them... along with Lars’s famous and unique at times, snare work that gets on the listeners’ nerves from the very beginning. After the end of the second chorus the song evolves into a progressive mixture of changing riffs and strong soloing from Hammett.


The first 4:30 minutes include the song's best moments for me. The melodic lines are catchy, James’s voice is solid, the guitar parts are good, so is the bass line. The guitar solo by Kirk towards the end of the song is good overall and probably the best part in the remaining of the song after the fifth minute.


Now, I didn't like hearing James screaming in mid section. Some of the riffs that follow are not powerful at all, I must say. Some, we have heard before. The production does not satisfy my taste. I hope it will sound somewhat better in the album. Another thing that needs to be mentioned, is that there is obviously a problem with the flow of all these different guitar parts. Again, like in “St. Anger”, connecting different sounding guitar parts seems to be a difficult task for Metallica.


Finally, the worst part in my opinion is Lars's drumming. I'm afraid it is terrible and it really bugs me that the tempos and fills we are hearing, actually made this song. Excuse me, but what on earth was Rick Rubin thinking? We all know that Lars is not exactly the best drummer out there but hell, Metallica has been in the studio for ages and after all these long years, this is the drum track that to make it on this song?


All in all, I'd say that the song has some good elements and some bad as well. In any case it doesn’t deserve anything more than a 6 out of 10.

The Day Has Come - 75%

Human666, August 22nd, 2008

And metallica released their single 'The Day That Never Comes' of the upcoming album entitled 'Death Magnetic'. It's not bad actually, nor outstanding anyway. This is a "safe" song in my opinion.

It has a structure quite similar to their well known classic 'One'. Mellow opening and verses, short energetic chorus, a long and rapid instrumental section and fast lead guitar playing, without the infamous 'Wah-Wah' this time. However, it isn't as convincing, groundbreaking or exciting as 'One', simply because this is Metallica of 2008, not 1988.

James has lost his ability to sing like a lion and here he sounds okay, but still not intense as in the past. Kirk's soloing isn't as mindblowing as it was, he using the same scales anyway, but he doesn't have the same emotion and young spirit he had once, thus don't expect for an intense performance such as One's psycho tapping solo, but he still got his technique right down. The bass and drums are there, nothing special at all, but they carry the song quite well.

The riffs and ideas in this song are okay, there is nothing we haven't heard before, but the song keeps on a decent level for all of it's seven minutes length. There are some harmonized guitar riffs in the instrumental section of the song which reminds a bit of 'Iron Maiden' style, but there are no rip offs or something.

Anyway, this single is OK. It isn't terrible nor excellent, it's better than their last efforts, but I hope the full album will have more convincing and memorable moments than this decent output.

Putting some metal back in their name - 80%

SilenceIsConsent, August 22nd, 2008

Well like many other people on this site, I'm still waiting for Death Magnetic to come around. That day is almost upon us, but it is not quite there yet. However, The Day That Never Comes is upon us. I actually did not know that yesterday was the day that The Day That Never Comes single was to come, but I got to say I am rather happy it did. It provided me a bit of a gut wrenching surprise when I first went to listen to it. Had Metallica simply gone back to the Load formula, or had they really returned to their thrash metal sound? Well, lets find out.

The answer is neither, at least as of now. Metallica definitely did not repeat the Load or Reload formula, that is for sure. However, I cannot seem to quite judge if Metallica did make the full return to thrash that we all want. What I can say though is that people did expect a bit too much out of just a single. Quite simply after reading many of the reviews here, people are forgetting that The Day That Never Comes is a ballad! Of course a ballad is not going to be insanely heavy or fast for the most part, it's going to be slow and rather moody. Hence the reason to explain things like James's rather weak vocal performance and the generally slow structure. I admittedly did not think his singing was that great, but I realized after a few listens to The Day That Never Comes that for the situation, it does just fine. Sure it could have been better, but at what it did it was just fine. Also the song seems to drag out for a long time without a lot of real "action" or "heavy", and that made listening to The Day That Never Comes a bit of a drag.

Plus, the lyrics are rather lame. Nothing really thought provoking or particularly interesting. They appear to be about some guy who has been taken advantage of by his friends and now he's just realizing the extent of the damage that has been done to him because he has been taken advantage of so much. While it is well written and I can sort of identify this because it happened to me, I definitely think Metallica could have wrote some much better lyrics then this. They are still, and always were, capable of writing so much better lyrics then the ones for The Day That Never Comes.

However, those seem to be the really only bad issues. The first good about The Day That Never comes is the production rocks. No lame sounding snare drum tone or over focus on Lars's drums, the guitar tone sounds pretty thick and rich, and best of all Robert Trujillo, one of my favorite metal bassists ever, has been included and he plays is part absolutely stellar. He is definitely up for the job of being Metallica's bassist. Also, Kirk Hammett is back on the lead guitar! Sure, the long solo is a rather rehashed of many of the same licks he's used in the past, it is still good to hear Kirk Hammett ripping the fretboard of his guitar again with his playing. Plus, no real wah pedal use here, which is something you do not necessarily hear of Kirk much. He even breaks up the solo into two parts, something that he did very commonly on ...And Justice For All and that is was a nice welcome surprise. Lars Ulrich's performance was top notch, filled up with the tight skill and awesomeness that he is so well known for. Overall, except for James Hetfield's vocals, everyone did very well and played the song nicely.

All in all, The Day That Never Comes is not too bad. It's a ballad and people should realize that, and it's certainly not Metallica's best ballad ever. It does show one thing though that we all wanted Metallica, the biggest true heavy metal band on earth, to do. After over a decade of being devoid of any real metal material, Metallica is finally putting the "Metal" back in their name.

Metallica - The Day That Never Comes - 10%

SuperVeji4, August 21st, 2008

No, no, no and no! I knew that there would be people that would say “Metallica is Back!!” when this song was released. Just because its metal doesn’t mean they’re back. Since some people have been saying that “They’re Back!”, then it’s safe to think that this song would be fast and would have at least a little thrash in it. But this….No, they are NOT back! Now I know that they have said that the first and last track of the album will be thrashy, and I surely hope at least those songs are fucking cool. But this? No way! This song just sounds like Load/Reload but with better lyrics and a good guitar solo. Boring, bland, and uninspiring, that’s what I got from this song.

The song opens almost like ‘One’, and I’ll admit that I almost saw God at that moment. I started to think,”Oh my God, They ARE Back!!” But as soon as James Hetfield started singing, that’s when everything went downhill. The first song that came to mind when he started singing was ‘Until It Sleeps’ from fucking Load! ‘Until It Sleeps pt.II’, that could’ve been a fitting title for this song. And the drums, well its Lars. What the hell could you expect from Lars Ulrich, especially at this age? Even at his prime he still wasn’t that good. He was very boring in fact, and this is no different. What I really wanted to hear was Trujillo, but I could barely hear the bass, and when I did it didn’t sound anything special. I always thought Trujillo was pretty good, but this was just ordinary.

There is only one saving grace in this song, and I think the majority of you know what I’m talking about: Kirk Hammet. That solo at the end of the song was what the whole song should’ve been filled with. Now most people have been saying that he was re-using solo sections and riffs from their older songs, but who cares?! Graveland does that all the time and they still kick fucking ass! As long as it’s not blatantly obvious, then it’s okay to me.

No, Metallica is not back! No, this song is not the proof of God! And no this song is not even good at all! But it is just one song, so who knows? Maybe the other songs could kick some ass. I mean come on, check out the song titles like ‘Unforgiven pt.III’ or ‘All Nightmare Long’. Yea, those song titles sound KILLER dude!

A Decent Attempt - 87%

Thapackmack, August 21st, 2008

"The day that never comes" has finally arrived. The extraordinarily hyped single off of Metallica's new CD, "Death Magnetic," hit the airwaves August 21st, 2008. It is possible that the number of people who wanted to hear Metallica's "return to thrash" was equaled or even surpassed by the number who wanted to see the band burn and miserably fail. There are going to be reviews on both ends of the spectrum, but I will try and be as fair as possible. Simply put, the song was anywhere from "O.K." to "pretty good," and I will try to break down why.

The vocals are not, and I sincerely doubt ever will be, as good as they were in the 80s. No surprise there. However, they have shown improvement and are never cringe worthy during the song. That's something that couldn't be said about St. Anger.

The drums are as dull as ever. Lars is a limited drummer and shows no signs of improving... ever. Luckily, he can keep a beat, at least in the studio, and I don't believe anyone realistically believed that there was going to be a drumming makeover, other than not having a trash can for a snare.

The solo is actually pretty good. For one, it exists. That's an improvement. Secondly, there isn't a wah wah pedal. Thirdly, it is a thrashy solo, and has little of the hard rock elements that have become common with Metallica. There are some down sides to the solo as well. They tried a little to hard to sound like their 80s self. The solo wasn't very original and sounds a repeat of anything off of AJFA or MOP. Also, it doesn't build nearly as much as it could have, and leaves the song almost incomplete. It makes it seem as though there should be more even though the song is already 8 minutes.

The first half was somewhat boring. The riffs weren't attention grabbing, and it just seems like it is trying to waste time to make the song qualify as epic. Unfortunately, epic length does not equal an epic song.

The second half was pretty enjoyable. There were some interesting changes and riffs that were interesting. The solo should have capitalized on them a bit more I believe, but that did not detract to much. The song should've either ended earlier, or added something at the end. The sudden stop wasn't sudden enough.

The production was good. The guitars sounded great, and were distinct. The drums didn't sound like muddled banging. I wish the bass was up louder, but I'm a bass player and I believe that I might be a little biased. The vocals may have been a bit too loud. If I were producing the album, Hetfield's voice is the last thing I'd want to emphasize.

The lyrics were decent. There's not much else to say about them. They didn't grab me, nor did they disgust me.

Overall, the song was decent. There was nothing particularly memorable about it. For Metallica, however, a song written in 2008 that doesn't damn them is a success. I would say wait for the CD to come out before you reach your final verdict on Metallica. This song is a small step in the right direction.

Metallica are back baby! - 86%

Vaibhavjain, August 21st, 2008

August 21st. The day Metallica’s first single from their upcoming new album was released. Metallica took an immense gamble by creating the amount of hype they did while making this album. Being an avid Metallica fan I too was easily pulled into this vortex of the hype created by the band. Eventually though I thought by creating the hype that Metallica had indeed made a mistake because by doing that they had raised the expectations of the fans tenfold and if they made a weak album they would be buried under the disappointment of the fans. After a weak last album I pretty much thought that by bearing the two-edged sword called hype they indeed had the sharper side pointing towards themselves.

Finally, the test to all what they had done in the last year and a half had come down to this. This single by the name of “The Day That Never Comes” which was released just a few minutes back and I hear it once again for the third time as I write this review. Excitement as well as the fear of disappointment consumed me as I put on this track, which by the way can be heard at their official site.

The track begins with a slow ballad like intro with the drums soon coming in shortly after. The track structure wise is almost like their extremely famous track “One”. It starts off slowly with heavy parts in between and the whole band going all out nuts near the end. This band has definitely returned to its old days as it includes riffs sounding similar to “Orion” as well as the ever famous machine gun riffs of “One”. The last 3 minutes of this track starting from the machine gun riffs I just mentioned are nothing less that pure bliss. A complex song structure, fast paced riffs and bass lines and a plethora of clean solos near the end put an end to the speculation that “old Metallica” are dead. They sure as hell aren’t.

Yes, James isn't in his twenties anymore and doesn't sound as good as he did earlier but Rob Trujillio and Kirk complete him by doing great jobs at the bass and electric guitars respectively. Kirk has proved his critics wrong by creating a solo which has come right out of the top drawer and sounds like something that would be there on "... And Justice For All."

Extremely heavy, extremely orgasmic and extremely satisfying is what as a Metallica fan is all I can say. If there are more tracks like these on the upcoming album then this will be ranked right up there with one of the band’s best album.

What to do, what to do... - 90%

Lights_out, August 21st, 2008

Having recently heard the song on the radio not 10 minutes has left me with a bit of a conundrum as to what to make of this song. The hype surrounding this album seems to put any impartiality out the window in favor of giddy fanboyism. I for one have hoped to shy away from such things. Indications have left to many question marks in my mind: song titles like Unforgiven III, Kirk's refusal to relearn how to solo without his wah pedal, and the recent release of "Cyanide," which to put it bluntly, drags on for 2-3 minutes more than it should and sounds like an attempt to create a Load or Black Album era song with the writing and arrangements of the songs from And Justice for All.

That said, this album serves almost as a good overview of their entire career and seems to take the best from their last 25 years and weed out most of the worst. Production values from the Black Album with arrangement styles reminiscent of the glory days seems like a wet dream for anyone who hated "One's" production and lack of bass, or those who loved "Enter Sandman's" heaviyness but found it too commercial and the equivalent of heavy metal karaoke for the guitar. Oh and one other thing, KIRK HAMMET ISN'T USING HIS WAH PEDAL ON THE GUITAR SOLO! For a guitar nerd like me its Christmas. The riffs on this song are heavy, fast and keep coming without being repetitive.

So what does this mean? Has Metallica returned? In short, the answer is still no. There's still some things preventing this from being perfect. Those hoping James would improve his vocal delivery will be disappointed; the delivery he's been doing since the Black Album through St. Anger is still there in full here (at least its in tune and the lyrics are less crappy). Cyanide showed Metallica still hasn't weened out the last of their commercial hooks and this song is no exception. And although its without wah on the solo, Kirk blatantly plagerises himself and basically uses the same licks he used on One and Master of Puppets in a different order. And although he's not using it as much on THIS song, previews and their live performances of new songs still show we'll all have to sit through his attempts to be the heavy metal Jimi Hendrix. This song and probably this next album are probably on the fast track to being over hyped and overrated. Continue to be skeptical. Be wary of reviews claiming this album to be in competition with Master of Puppets as the best Metallica album or this song to be the next "One" because they aren't. The song needs to be viewed in the light of the past 20 years of their work. One can't forget the last 3 albums and call this a return. But speaking for myself, I really don't care; It sure is good to hear Metallica put out good heavy music. And although they don't quite deserve calls of "The return of the Metal Gods," they still deserve a hearty "Welcome Back."