REVIEW: Metallica – Six Feet Down Under Part II

Yesterday we examined Part I of the Six Feet Down Under EPs.  Click here if you missed it,

METALLICA – Six Feet Down Under Part II (2010 Universal)

Unlike the first Six Feet Down Under disc, Part II was not taken from bootleg sources. The fidelity here is much better, making this an immediately more enjoyable listen. Whereas the first EP released Australian Metallica recordings as far as back the Justice days, this EP was taken solely from Metallica’s most recent Aussie tour.

The track list is quite good:  “Blackened”, “Lightning”, “Horsemen”, “Sanitarium”, “Puppets”, “Justice” (which was also on the first EP), “Fade to Black” and “Damage Inc.”  How could you possibly go wrong?  I found “The Four Horsemen”, performed in breakneck, heavy delivery to be the highlight.

TALLICA SIX FEET_0005You’ll notice all the songs are oldies.  They are all over 20 years old, with nothing from the Black album or beyond. That’s because these tracks were selected for release by the fans!  The fans have spoken, and this is the Metallica EP they wanted to buy. Personally, I prefer a more varied lineup. While I’m sick to death of a lot of the Black and Load album material, it would have been nice to get some recent stuff from Death Magnetic too.

The performances are, as expected, pretty sloppy at times. Hey, it’s Metallica.  We all know Lars is a sloppy drummer.  I get it.  Still, the energy and adrenaline is there, and that’s what makes a Metallica concert special. Since these tracks were pulled from several concerts in Australia and New Zealand, you have to assume the band picked the versions that they liked best.

Packaging wise, this one lacks the little liner notes. However, the cool part is, it comes in a double CD digipack designed to house both Part I and Part II in the same case. Remember back in the early 90’s, when bands would do that with CD singles? I love this little retro touch.

My only complaint once again is the price. Like the last EP, this is not cheap. You have to remember this was released for Australians in Australia. Lots of bands do exclusive releases for certain territories all the time, it’s not a Lars cash grab, and I’m sure most of the money you’ll pay goes straight to the retailers and importers. If you’re a devoted fan you’ll pick this up, and if you’re a resourceful one you’ll figure out how to get it at a reasonable price. If not, there’s lots of live Metallica available out there for peanuts.

I find these two releases (plus a third EP from 2010, Live at Grimy’s which I own on 10″ vinyl) to be a really cool retro treat. Some of us still like to buy CDs and limited editions. That’s who this stuff is for, and I’m really happy Metallica remember their roots as rock fans and collectors themselves.

4/5 stars

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13 comments

  1. Looks like a cool CD too. A bit predictable maybe but I’m sure it’s an enjoyable listen. Can’t really argue with those songs even if I’d prefer something newer/rarer to spice things up. Shame that the previous one was more interesting but poorer quality. Swings and roundabouts!

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    1. You said it Scott. But between the a) Metallica Binge & Purge box set, b) all the single B-sides including the ones I don’t have c) all the official complete concert downloads available (hundreds?) and d) the new live album, all of these songs HAVE to be available in live form elsewhere. Multiple times.

      I guess Metallica haven’t been to Australia as often as other places, so perhaps that is what makes these EPs special.

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  2. I’m glad they fixed up the sound for the second installment. Love the packaging, that’s really neat. I think big bands like this (Pearl Jam, the jam bands) approach releasing all of their shows as a “hey, you were there, here’s a nice momento for you to take home with you!” Pretty sure they’re happy when people collect them all but they probably don’t intend it that way. That’s why the Instant Live thing was so cool, get a copy of the show on your way out the door. Awesome. I have one of those from the Pixies show I saw in Saskatoon. But Metallica, yeah, it’s tough. They only have so many albums, so many songs. And fans wanna hear the same ones over and over, they don’t go into the catalogue too deeply too often (unlike, say, Pearl Jam), so it’s tough to want to buy a lot of it up. With Metllica, actually, I prefer a live DVD. Then at least there’s something to watch, too! You mentioned the Live At Grimey’s set, which I got new on our first trip to Taranna for $2. I still play that a lot, it’s a cool little document. I dunno, these discs are cool, and i might have been tempted if the price had been lower. But I get it, it’s for the collectors, and for their fans in AUS. It’s all good.

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    1. Yes, but this is also the kind of thing where if you did see one in Taranna in somebody’s cheapie bin, you’d have to snag it. If only to give to somebody else, it needs to be snagged. It was hard for me to get these.

      I have a few of those instant live. I have 3 Kiss ones, and I picked and chose shows based on the songs they played, although I also picked Toronto because it was the closest.

      The best instant live I ever got was Blue Rodeo. They only have two — but I do have one of them and it is as good if not better than their official live album. Stratford, in the round. They played a Lee Hazelwood cover called “Run Boy Run” that just blew me out of my seat.

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