REVIEW: Metallica – Death Magnetic (Coffin Box)

METALLICA – Death Magnetic (2008 Vertigo Coffin Box)

“What don’t kill ya, make ya more strong!”

Like many bands these days, Metallica decided to release a boxed special edition of Death Magnetic to make a little extra cash.  And also like a lot of other bands, this “coffin box” edition was crazy expensive. To me the deciding factor wasn’t all the bells and whistles (and there are a lot of them) it was the inclusion of the exclusive CD Demo Magnetic. This disc includes 10 demo tracks, unfinished and otherwise unreleased versions of the final Death Magnetic songs.

There were only 2000 copies of this made, so if you didn’t pre-order, chances are you gotta pay the late tax.


  • Death Magnetic CD (the digipack version, identical to the retail release)
  • Demo Magnetic CD
  • The Making of Death Magnetic DVD
  • Four imitation guitar picks (made of flimsy plastic, not actual guitar picks)
  • Exclusive T-shirt
  • Exclusive bandana
  • Backstage pass with lanyard
  • A card with a download code for a free show
  • Coffin-shaped poster

Death Magnetic is, unfortunately, one of the most famous victims of the Loudness Wars.  Why put time and effort into production only to drown it all out in the mastering?  Apparently the version of Death Magnetic that was used in the video game Rock Band 3 was mastered “normally”, and is far better.  This CD has punch though, I’ll give it that.

On its own the album is worth 4 stars.  Mastering aside,  It is an above-average collection of typical Metallica rockers. Gone are the nu-metal tendencies of St. Anger and that was the correct move. Clearly, Metallica were reaching back and trying to write riffs that sound like the late 80s and that’s also fine.  Metallica are not Dream Theater.  They do what they do, and they do it quite well.

Expect typical Metallica riffage, barking Hetfield vocals, the usual Lars drumming, some tasty solos from Kirk, and slamming bass from Robert.  That is what Metallica do.  It’s not a bad album and some of these songs are damned near as good as the old days.  You’ll love “Broke, Beaten & Scarred”, “That Was Just Your Life”, and “The End of the Line”.  A favourite song for sheer chorus reasons is “All Nightmare Long”. The demo version (called “Flamingo”) is also really decent.

If you’re a diehard Metallica fan, the kind who owns Fan Cans, then you’ll want this box set for the exclusive music. It’s sure to become a rare collectible.

4/5 stars





  1. So rarely does a band put out four masterpieces that define their genre, only to crash and burn to become the biggest joke in the music industry, and one of the most hated bands of all time. But then again, rarely does a band have Lars.

    Praise your buddy’s buddy for making this.


      1. One of the most “hated” bands of all time who went consistently #1 on their last album Hardwired to Self Destruct. Hyperbole indeed! Just because one person hates what they have become, don’t paint us all with the same brush!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Will we ever get a review of the four good Metallica albums? The Garage Days Re-revisited EP is pretty sweet too. Then total shark jump.


        1. I know it’s cliche to like the band’s “big album” I should say, however when I first got into Metallica, I was banging my head to “Sad But True” and “Enter Sandman.” But ‘Load’ has a special place in my heart. I did a review of it not too long ago, if you want to check it out?

          Thank you for showing an appreciation for ‘Load’ because Kevin isn’t a fan of it.

          With that being said, I should check out the rest of Metallica’s catalog before I decide which is their best album.

          Liked by 2 people

        1. A special guest tomorrow night. Kevin, Deke and I reviewed a movie last month called Five Bucks at the Door: the Story of Crocks N Rolls. It’s about a rock club in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is at the crossroads between east and west Canada. We are having Frank Loffredo, the subject of that movie, on with us tomorrow night. I’m very excited. The stories he will have to tell, will blow your mind.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I didn’t know that about Cliff. I think we talked about this before, but I’m a real Jason fan. He was in a Canadian band called Voivod for three albums, three excellent albums.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Yeah Cliff loved classical music and that kind of ties into why the band decided to do S&M. I remember you mentioned being a Jason fan and I am too. I didn’t know he was in a Canadian band, does that tie into why you like him?

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Yeah it kinda does. I mean I liked him already, but when he joined Voivod, I respected it because he did it for the music. He could not have made a lot of money in Voivod. Plus there was the cultural differences, with Voivod being French. He joined because he was a fan, and I respected that in a big way. They needed someone on bass, and he was as big a name as you could get in metal. Here, check out the video! This is a truly great song. (For Voivod he changed his name to “Jasonic” as all the guys in Voivod had unusual names: Snake, Piggy, and Away.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Ah I see. They’re pretty good. For some reason, I thought the lead singer resembled Jason a bit. I read about his nickname being Jasonic, but I had no idea where that came from, thanks to you now I know. Jason seems like such a cool dude and it was nice he joined Voivod because he was a fan. The interesting thing is the band is still going even after Newsted left.


  3. Cool set to own Mikey! I aways liked the demos myself for this album better than the final result. lol. Having said that there is a lot of good stuff on here but its been so long since I played this one.
    May have to dial it up on the iPod.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can someone please explain the late tax expression? I have heard and run into cases where if u wait a few years u get the set for fraction of the original prize but this I take is the other way around? I’m more familiar with the selling out/missing out choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s something I got from the toy collecting community. If you want something but don’t order it right away, you’re going to end up paying way more on the second hand market. They call it the “late tax”. I loved the expression and stole it, and now it’s become popular here too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the music industry has started to be this way with deluxe editions these days. Like the Wildflower set where I think the largest sets are sold out already. And that Neil Young set went already. It’s crazy. Kinda like a weird short attention span gone haywire on new releases.


  5. LIke I remember when they were literally giving away Chinese democracy deluxe t-shirt belt buckle edition for 5 bucks and I still didn’t get one. And now I bet those would go for crazy money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. However the shirt didn’t come in a box with the CD. It was just folded and shrinkwrapped. So to open the CD I had to open the shirt. And without a box to store it, I wore it.


  6. Glad I’m not the only one who heard the over production. This is a great album that i cannot listen to. Hopefully they will come to their senses and remaster it. Or release those demos!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love Death Magnetic. Unforgiven III is the only one I’ll skip sometimes. After seeing the price of these demos… I’ll just stick to listening to them on YouTube for now.


  8. It’s a nice package. I remember when they started this album they posted videos on line on a pretty consistent basis. A lot of riffs I heard in those videos didn’t even make it on the album. A few of em made it to Beyond Magnetic.
    I like all the songs (Loudness wars or not, lol) but I still reckon some of the songs could have been edited down a minute and a bit, like some of the songs on Maidens Book Of Souls album.

    Liked by 1 person

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