Anyway, after the black album, Metallica released a bunch of albums that made me want to listen to 'Kill 'em All', 'Ride The Lightning', 'Master Of Puppets' and 'And Justice For All' again. 'Load'? Nope, 'Justice'!. 'Relead', even noper, 'Puppets!'. 'Saint-Anger', nopest of nope but still better than that dreadful thing they did with Lou Reed. Not that those were bad albums, not at all. As a fan of rock and metal music, certainly in the new century, you cannot ignore them. There are some great tunes on these full-lengths, even 'Frantic' is quite ok. But you're not going to a high class wine shop to buy Liebfraumilch and you're not listening to Metallica for anything less than 'One', 'Creeping Death', 'Master Of Puppets' or 'Damage Inc'. But, then again, they have already written and recorded those songs.
In 2008, 'Death Magnetic' appeared, an album that completely passed me by. I didn't care anymore, just like I didn't care for anything by Sepultura without Max Cavalera. I guess by now Metallica was quite similar to that girl who dumped me for being too nice, something I used to care about. I think it was 2012 or even later when I finally gave it a go. Again, not a bad album but immediately after 'Death Magnetic' I pushed 'Justice' into my CD player. Still, something told me that 'Death Magnetic' was a step into the right direction, away from commercialism, angry again. It was no 'Master Of Puppets'. It was simply another Metallica album that would have been better if it came directly after the black album. For a lot of fans, Metallica had lost it.
And that's actually how this song sounds to me. It feels like a punky thrash metal song from the early eighties: pissed-off, in-your-face, kicking against the establishment. If this song was on 'Ride The Lightning', it would have been a classic by now, but no, this is the twenty-first century Metallica, the one people love to shit on to get a little attention from across the interwebs. If this song was the new Overkill, Testament or Kreator track, no one would bat an eye, but no, let's quickly post some negative comments about Lars because it's so damn hip to hate Lars. Lars, who fucked up 'Justice' with his moronic vision about the sound of the bass guitar. Lars, one of the most loathed drummers to ever set foot on the stage. Lars, who is responsible for multiple classics in the metal scene and an inspiration for countless of young people to get their butts behind the drum kit. Thàt Lars!
Since the black album, Metallica have been swallowing criticism, and sometimes with good reason too. They shouldn't have said that they recorded 'St Anger' "in the spirit of 'Master Of Puppets'". But this? This rocks and I bet that most of the people who now criticize the song will soon be moshing their limbs off at one of the upcoming Metallica concerts. If anything, this song makes me want to go see them live again. I will probably be buying a ticket if they come back to Belgium and changes are big that I will buy this new album, maybe even a new Metallica t-shirt. I haven't had one in decades.
There seems to be fire again, power, speed, everything you ever liked about Metallica is here, all in just over three minutes. In a way, this is 'Whiplash' all over again, a fierce speed metal track that will soon blast through millions of already tormented speakers, along with a bunch of other possible fan-favorites. I'm damn sure it will blast through mine and this time, I will probably not be playing one of the older albums after this one. I'm not saying that this is going to be the best Metallica album ever, recording that is no longer possible, but it could be one of the best metal albums of 2016 and that's more than good enough for Metallica. They don't have to prove anything anymore but they just did...