It has been three long years since Death Magnetic
came out. Aside from a bunch of Live
shows, there hasn't been anything new yet. I was starting to hope that I wouldn't have to wait the six years that fans had to wait between the releases of ReLoad
and St. Anger
finally got their act together and made a new album.
Fortunately, the have. As Kirk
Hammett said, this new project is not a 100% Metallica
album. In that light, let us forget about Master
-of-freaking-Puppets for One moment and just focus on what this new piece, based on Frank Wedekind's Lulu
plays and featuring ex-Velvet Underground vocalist and song-writer Lou Reed.
I, for One, was most pleased with the result of this album. After the fans whined about St. Anger
came out with Death Magnetic
, which seemed to be just a sucking up to the butt-hurt fan-boys. Like they were saying "You're right, everything since the Black Album sucked, so here's what you want." Fortunately, with Lulu
is back to doing whatever the fuck they want. And
This is a fusion of all kinds of genres: noise, metal, electronica, rock and spoken word: all mixed in with a little bit of orchestra. What Metallica
and Lou Reed have dOne is making an album based on an opera-play without sounding like symphonic Power
metal bands which have dOne the same or, worse, by selling out to the Glee fans (now THAT would be an inexcusable sin on Metallica
's part). As far as Metallica
goes, there won't be much in the way of James singing: he's there, but the majority of lyrics are dealt out by Lou Reed's raspy spoken word that makes even Ozzy Osbourne
's thrashed voice sound heavenly. Most people don't like Lou's singing, but I think it increases the dark atmosphere of the album.
" starts out our little adventure, with an easy-going intro that soon explodes into something near to a rock sound. Aside from that, and what it contributes to our story, with our heroine (Lulu
) contemplating fame, it's decent.
most of you have probably heard already is "The View
." When I first heard this, I thought someOne was deliberately trying to slander the new album by releasing One of the worst songs on the album. After a couple of listens, its hooks finally sunk in and I could enjoy it for itself. I absolutely love the Riffs
in the song, and Lars' drumming sounds like a snare-tame reject from St. Anger
. Maybe I'm not totally aware of the story, because I don't know what "I am the table" has to contribute to the main story. But it's fun to say just the same.
So far, I've only listened to most of the first CD and One song from the second One. But that song, "Dragon
" is really something. Aside from Lou's weak vocalization at the beginning (I'm reminded of the "Imagination" song from South Park's Imagination-Land
episode), once the song kicks into full gear, what you have is One of the first three original Metallica
epic tracks (the "Mercyful Fate
" medley from Garage Inc.
doesn't count since it's not original tracks). The Riffs
are killer and filled with doom and a sense of despair. The lyrics are dark and seductive, so much that I feel like I'm watching a dirty movie while listening to this amazing song.
Other high points include the instrumentality on the break-neck "Mistress
Dread" and the groovy 90s-rock "Iced HOney". Perhaps the most jarring song is the unnerving "Pumping Blood
", which is like a mental break-down set to dissonant noise, complete with Lou Reed wailing as Jack
. It's quite surprising.
is at the top of their game. They play their hearts into this album, and it's interesting to note that these songs were a One-take ordeal. The hardest thing to swallow, of course, is Lou Reed's voice. On the up-side, at least he hasn't stooped to using auto-tune, so we know his voice to be genuine. That
's a plus...I guess.
Typically, the majority of fan-boys are angry that Metallica
isn't kissing their asses anymore but doing what they want to again. All I can say is that Lulu
is avant-garde metal, Metallica
style. With every other metal band that has experimented (the big avant-garde names of Scandinavian extreme bands like Ulver
come to mind), there have always been the narrow-minded, insecure, controlling members of each band's fan-dom which have remained obstinately ignorant to the band's decision to explore and try new things. As far as I'm concerned, what I've heard from Lulu
is groovy. It's different, but that's not a bad thing. In Metallica
's case, it is quite a good thing because if they do release a Master of Puppets
II, then they've run out of ideas and have to go back to rehashing already-used material, with nothing new to offer the world. I hope that is The Day That Never Comes
. Long Live The Four Horsemen