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Metallica: Beyond Magnetic

More than mere scraps of unreleased leftovers.

Metallica chose to play one previously unissued song from the Death Magnetic recording sessions on each of their four nights at the Fillmore Theatre in San Francisco late last year, as they celebrated their 30th anniversary. Now, these have been bundled together on this EP.

Of course, it all looks like a gimmick. A way of keeping the band’s momentum going with a minimum of effort.

But these are far more than songs which didn’t quite make the album. In fact, they are interesting and fascinating, because the energy and thrust hasn’t been unduly tampered with through too much mixing, as was the case with much of Death Magnetic.

The result is grimy and bare. With the band effectively captured performing live, in many respects, it is a return to the no frills style of ...And Justice For All. Each of the tracks goes through many changes of pace, with James Hetfield’s almost howling vocal style enhanced by some clever and sparse guitar work from Kirk Hammett.

This is surely the way Metallica should record their next album.