Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
✦✦✧✧ Proving that they are still a band that marches to the beat of their own badly mixed drums, Metallica have filled this (their tenth studio album) with riffs and aggression “inspired” by their thrashier past. This is a welcome departure from the overarching theme of the band’s last few albums: ill-conceived experiments in audio engineering gone wrong. Indeed, this is the best sounding and gratifying album that the Boyz have put out since… well, since the last Garage Days album. But none of the songs on here actually work as valuable songs in their own right. Instead of relevance, the whole album oozes with self-indulgence. This is apparently what a Bay Area thrash band cum Hall Of Fame inductee sounds like after three decades; more to the point, this is what they think they should sound like. I imagine the net effect is not unlike the feeling of standing in a Microsoft Store at the mall, down a little ways from an Apple Store after a new iPhone is released.