Music Review: Metallica’s “Beyond Magnetic” EP

I talked about St Anger and touched on Death Magnetic some time back, but never got around to reviewing the follow-up EP to it, Beyond Magnetic. The EP starts off on Hate Train, a straight-forward metal anthem to the darkness within Hetfield’s brain and his commitment to survive no matter what. There is a melancholy sadness here that reminds me of the Unforgiven Trilogy of which III on Death Magnetic for me was the pinnacle. The atmosphere then becomes suicidal in Just a Bullet Away where he is considering swallowing a 45 rather than put up with his dying relationship. From there, we go to Hell and Back where James is battling daemons personified by either a prostitute or a feminine projection of the night, it is a bit muddled. However, the music rips and rocks throughout. The last track, Rebel of Babylon, is my favorite one. The transitions are remarkable as are the lyrics which are surprising hopeful at the end…resurrection. This album and its bigger brother Death Magnetic are certainly the resurrection of a harder, tighter, and more focused Metallica than we have had since And Justice for All. I don’t usually listen to EPs finding that if the cuts didn’t make the original album, perhaps they were inferior. In this case, they probably just couldn’t fit in Death Magnetic but are just as innovative and heavy and stand alone themselves as a lonely four just as James, Kirk, Lars, and Robert Trujillo seem on their nearly empty stages. Definitely worth every iTunes $$ that I spent on it!

I am so glad that I found tickets for their show here in May on eBay! Can’t wait…


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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