Metallica held a very special listening session for the forthcoming, as-yet-untitled ninth album last week in London, where members of the press were treated to six of the album’s ten tracks. K! was there and we’re happy to report it RULES!
The metal kings have been hard at work with producer par excellence Rick Rubin (Slayer / System Of A Down / Red Hot Chili Peppers / Trouble) on the follow-up to 2003's St Anger. The results, predictably, are very heavy, and very metal.
"It's definitely Metallica, that I can tell you," commented drummer Lars Ulrich at a press conference last month. "There's a lot of variation, a lot of fast, slow, melodic... kind of hardcore, nutty super-fast speed stuff. It's a little more like how some of the earlier records were a little more dynamic within the songs."
There's no confirmed track names yet (or, at least, we hope Flamingo isn't a real title), but if you want to check out snippets of Metallica in the studio, head over to www.missionmetallica.com. Meanwhile, here's five things you'll find on the new album...
After abandoning the art of shredding entirely in favour of wet guitars and a drumkit made of dustbins on St Anger, we’re proud to report that Kirk Hammett’s trademark greased-lightning solos are firmly back in place. Hooray!
METAL THRASHING MADNESS!
It must have stuck in James Hetfield’s craw to see the young bucks in Municipal Waste, Evile and Gama Bomb trying to nick his King Of The Riff crown from him. So, to remind these little gits exactly who it was who had a hand kickstarting the thrash movement, on the new record there’s a cavalcade of mental mosphpit moments, as well as the man declaring himself a “heavy metal riff machine”.
“Sunshine never comes”. “Show your scars”. “|Suicide, I’ve already died!”. On the new album, James Hetfield’s once again dealing with some serious stuff in his lyrics, making for some decidedly dark phrases. But it’s not all doom and gloom, he also declares that he’s “Up from the wreckage one more time”. After St Anger, ‘Tallica sure are.
Placing dozens of riffs into maze-like arrangements and joining them up with cunning, tricky fills is essential to making classics like Master of Puppets twist and turn. Once again, Metalllica stick two fingers up to verse/chorus/verse and drop a cunningly designed carpet-bomb of riffola on us. Superb.
Rick Rubin’s CV includes twiddling the knobs for Slayer, Mayhem, System of A Down and Trouble. If there’s an expert of heavy, it’s him, and he’s done a sterling job ensuring that ‘Tallica’s new album is heavier than a pregnant hippo. Although it’s much, much faster than that.