METALLICA – Beyond Magnetic (EP, 2011)
Forget the fact that I bought this twice. (Shame on you Metallica for releasing this digitally without even announcing that there would be a forthcoming physical release.) This EP, Metallica’s umpteenth (and fourth in a row last I checked) is totally worth whatever your local shop is asking you to plunk down for it. There’s nothing in the way of special packaging so if you already own a digital copy, you’ll probably be fine with just that. For sheer riffage per minute, this is Metallica the way I remember it.
The production or lack thereof is rougher than Death Magnetic, which is fine by me. The songs themselves all could have been on Death Magnetic, there’s really nothing weak here. “Hate Train” is among the better Metallica songs from the last 20 years. It careens from fast and heavy to melodic and back again. And that’s just the first track. If you liked Death Magnetic, then buying this is a real no-brainer. If you didn’t, and still can’t get over the fact that Metallica don’t sound the same as when you were in highschool, then avoid, because I’ll tell you right now this won’t change your jaded mind.