Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Day Finally Came

Day Never ComesMetallica's hotly anticipated new single, "The Day That Never Comes", hit the airwaves today. Go to any of their three websites (main site, their MySpace page, and Mission: Metallica) to listen to the stream. The quality, as expected from a stream, is less than perfect, but it gets the job done.

I'll skip to the chase by saying this is one of the best things they've done since The Black Album. In fact, there's a lot about this song that's better than the stuff on that record, especially once it starts really movin' in the middle.

But let's start at the beginning of this eight minute monster. I was turned off at first by the slow picked opening because it reminds me of Korn's "Falling Away From Me". Fortunately that goes away pretty fast, and we're left with a pattern that's very similar to what we've come to expect from the fourth song on an album from their good days. This pattern ends up sounding very "One"-like due to the song's production, which is very dry. There's no hint of 80s reverb here.

I personally wish James would stop "singing". Metallica's songs always seem better when he yells in key. So whenever he croons a slower number, I end up thinking of "The Unforgiven", which isn't a high point for me.

At the four minute mark James starts riffin' out. It's a bit on the slow/slinky side, and has a cool feel to it.

At five minutes Lars ups the ante with a "Whiplash" type beat, and James speeds up the riffs with some "One" endgame style fast picking. Next we we get some lead bits, in harmony, then some cool pull-off type riffage, and similar pull-off high notes.

Right about 6:30 Kirk shows up and does some soloing reminiscent of Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning. He isn't quite as smooth, and it doesn't scream or wail as much as we were accustomed to, but he tried really hard, so I suspect he's just getting a bit old.

Verdict: win. At this point in their long career I really couldn't ask for any more from them. They're back to playing heavy metal with their own unique combination of acoustic bits, tightly pieced together riffs, and rapid-fire soloing. Welcome back to the fold guys.


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