Metallica

Beyond Magnetic (E.P.)

by Noel Edge

In 5 Words or Less

Beyond Disappointing..."Sad But True"

Value

Paid $4 (iTunes version) » Worth $0

Affiliation with KNEW GEN

None

Explicit?

No

Genre and Mood

Metal

Notable Tracks

There are some notable riffs on the 29-minute 4-song E.P. (WTF?), but unfortunately there are not enough on one track to make it notable.

Songwriting & Musicianship

Let's start with the good; musicianship. The boys in Metallica are solid musicians.  I'm a big fan of the move to add Robert Trujillo on bass. He's got style and makes everything look so easy (kinda reminds me of Cliff Burton in that way).  Very talented.  I also want to give a shout out to Kirk Hammett...  He does intricate work and plays with feel on much of this E.P.  He's often been criticized as a lackluster guitarist and I flat-out disagree.  There are better players out there, but give credit where it's due!

Now on to the songwriting, which is the reason for the 5 word description above.  I saw this E.P. on iTunes and was curious.  Was this a follow-up to the album?  Did Metallica come out with something in response to the killer albums recently released by Megadeth and Anthrax?  Nope.  These are apparently 4 unreleased fully-formed tunes from the 2008 sessions.  In the words of the legendary Johnny Rotten..."Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"  Just because the songs weren't on Death Magnetic doesn't mean that they weren't good enough to make it (and I'm not saying that Death Magnetic was a good album).  And if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.  Like I said above, there are some kick ass riffs on this E.P.  Unfortunately, the good riffs are interspersed among rather weak and unmelodic bridges, choruses, pre-choruses, etc.  Just when you start getting into a tune, it shifts into an entirely different direction and groove. There is very little flow to any given song, due in part to each track consisting of 15 to 20 mismatched parts.  On top of that, the tunes are on average over 7 minutes long.  Check out the Slayer-inspired "Just a Bullet Away" and tell me it shouldn't have ended around 4 minutes in instead of carrying on for 3 more minutes.

Production

Well produced and mixed.  I especially like the garage-sounding snare, huge kick drum and deep-round rumbling bass.

What Else You Should Know

I've been a fan of Metallica since the beginning, but I think their last good album was the Black Album.  Their recent 8 minute songs sound like they've taken frugality to its extreme...Waste not want not, we shall make use of every riff brought to a session (even the obvious throwaways).  I've been a member of a number of bands and always had a role in writing.  There is a process of weeding out and I'll admit that many of my riffs/tunes didn't make the cut.  Metallica's recent compositions fail to pass muster on the judgment front.  I sincerely hope that their next venture into the studio takes them back to their roots...the early days were so efen good!

Contact Noel at noeledge@knewgeneration.com