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Bittersweet Homecoming..... - 45%

Dead_As_A_Door_Nail, May 28th, 2003

The title track to the new Metallica album is average at best. It beats anything off of Load and Re-Load, but it still comes nowhere near the Metallica of old. Sure, it's heavy, it's fast, it's metal. Yes, Metallica have returned to the style that they helped create and also neglected and ignored, like a middle child for so many years: thrash. Problem is, it's B-rate thrash. The riffs are weak and unimaginative, the don't grab you around the neck and compell you to headbang,the drumming is amatuerish and shows that Lars is rusty, as well as his overall weakness as a drummer. James' voice is better than it ever has been in years, thanks, in part, by James' high-profile sobriety. There are NO solos whatsoever in this 7+ minute song. This is a double-edged sword. Kirk hasn't pumped out a decent solo since 1988, so it spares us from his declining skill, but this makes room for boring, repetitive and useless instrumental breaks. The chorus sounds like something straight out of a Slipknot song, with shouts of "I'm Bursting out! I'm Bursting Out!" in the background over the main chorus, which really distracts from the song. There is also a nice groove part at the beginning, which is nice.

To put it simply, Metallica has returned to metal, however, it's a bittersweet homecoming. It's thrash that sounds like it's being played by teenagers who've only played their instruments for a year or so, with small hints of mallcore(nu metal) thrown in here and there. It's sloppy, underdeveloped but it is fast, heavy and has potential. So, welcome home ,Metallica. We missed you, but you need to clean up a bit before we fully embrace you again. You gotta try harder than this.