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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Death Magnetic Extras: Four Heavy, Solid Metal Songs
I heard these four tracks online when they were originally released as a digital EP, and now it's nice to have them on CD since they're good songs, and since I'm not into iPods. Some of them, especially my favorite, "Just a Bullet Away", probably could've replaced tracks that made it onto Death Magnetic. Metallica might be aging, but they still have some fire left, as...
Published 14 months ago by J. Hill

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71 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Metallica's Musical Apology For the Lulu Project Is Pretty Decent, But Not Great
On the heels of their disastrous collaboration with Lou Reed, "Lulu", Metallica releases "Beyond Magnetic", which I imagine is sort of musical damage control. After all, while "Death Magnetic" still has had its fair share of detractors, I think it is considered by a majority of metal fans to be at least a relative return to form. So after squandering their newfound...
Published on February 5, 2012 by J. Gordon


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71 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Metallica's Musical Apology For the Lulu Project Is Pretty Decent, But Not Great, February 5, 2012
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This review is from: Beyond Magnetic EP (Audio CD)
On the heels of their disastrous collaboration with Lou Reed, "Lulu", Metallica releases "Beyond Magnetic", which I imagine is sort of musical damage control. After all, while "Death Magnetic" still has had its fair share of detractors, I think it is considered by a majority of metal fans to be at least a relative return to form. So after squandering their newfound goodwill by indulging in what could be best described as a musical vanity project with Lulu, it makes sense that they would dip back into the Death Magnetic well, with this release of 4 tracks that were completed for that album, but not fully mixed and released on it.

Listening to it, it reminds me of how confused the band must've been in the time leading up to the Death Magnetic recording sessions. Since the dawn of the 90's, Metallica were being increasingly influenced by their producer, Bob Rock, which resulted in them attempting to re-brand themselves as a heavy rock band, as opposed to a heavy metal band. Load and Reload were both ostensibly attempts to "branch out" into styles that the band members may have already had some interest in, but it was clear that the process was somehow...just not natural. Everything sounded too restrained, too calculated, which I believe was in part due to Bob Rock insisting that they "play it safe", and keep things simplified enough to be commercially viable. Eventually, it all broke down when St. Anger was being made, and with Bob Rock's departure, the band was left adrift in strange and out of tune waters. They had the pent-up rage, but had forgotten how to harness that emotion in the form of actually listenable songs. The songs on Beyond Magnetic are interesting in that they provide an insight on the path back from the confusion of St. Anger, as it is clear why these were not included on Death Magnetic, while at the same time being songs that wouldn't necessarily sound out of place on that album.

Let's get the bad out of the way first: the songwriting here is not as tight and well-polished as what made it onto Death Magnetic, and as the songs were released without the same final mixing and post-production as those on DM, it's a less user-friendly experience in some ways(although with DM's way too hot mix, that may be open to debate). As a result, there's a bit of that scruffy New Wave of British Heavy Metal vibe, which makes sense, given that I think the band went back to those influences on Death Magnetic. Of the 4 tracks here, the weakest among them is clearly "Hell and Back". It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this was one of the first songs written for these sessions, as it sometimes sounds closer to St. Anger than Death Magnetic, and it shares the same overwrought, confessional tone as St. Anger. I will say that the song improves halfway through, and has the kind of pyrotechnic soloing that was absent on St. Anger, but it doesn't have the same success in blending Metallica's different eras together as the songs that made it onto Death Magnetic.

The good news is that the other 3 songs are all pretty damn solid pieces of work. The unfortunately-titled "Hate Train" turns out a lot better than the name would indicate, as it starts off switching back and forth between the heavy-rock boogie of a song like "Fuel", and straight-on metal galloping, with some clean-sounding, melodic choruses. About 2/3 of the way through, the song shifts gears completely, and throws a 1-2 punch of a somewhat thrashy, palm-muted theme and a slower, heavier riff, both backed with some nice guitar harmonies. "Just A Bullet Away" is even more unabashedly metal, relying on a chunky, rapid-fire backing riff that builds up, until everything goes silent, and the band breaks out a clean, mournful section where guitar harmonies sprout like bamboo stalks, until things build back up into the main riff. "Rebel of Babylon" can best be compared to "All Nightmare Long", although the emphasis here is less on fast riffs (which are still present), and more on slower, doomier riffs. The common thread, however, is that these 3 songs don't quite seem to have the same confident tone as those that made it onto Death Magnetic, despite the generally competent songwriting and performance present.

So overall, Beyond Magnetic is a must-have for those who enjoyed Death Magnetic. Those who dismissed Death Magnetic as Metallica trying too hard to recapture the essence of a band they no longer are, are unlikely to find anything to change their minds here. If "Hell and Back" had been a stronger track, this EP could've easily rated 4 stars instead of a "very high 3 stars" (Amazon, please change the ratings to a 10 star system!). This leaves us with the question of whether Metallica's "Lulu" misadventure was just a brief accidental detour, and whether they can regain their momentum that they seemed to have reclaimed in 2008. Only time will tell, but I'm hoping for the best.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Death Magnetic Extras: Four Heavy, Solid Metal Songs, September 25, 2013
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J. Hill (South Charleston, WV) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (Audio CD)
I heard these four tracks online when they were originally released as a digital EP, and now it's nice to have them on CD since they're good songs, and since I'm not into iPods. Some of them, especially my favorite, "Just a Bullet Away", probably could've replaced tracks that made it onto Death Magnetic. Metallica might be aging, but they still have some fire left, as they showed when they played these songs live during their 30th Anniversary gigs in San Francisco. Similar to the other songs from the Death Magnetic sessions, the four tracks here show off plenty of metal riffs and solos, with equal portions of Black Album-style heavy rock. Here's a more detailed account of each track for anyone interested.

"Hate Train"--The first half of this song features riffs very similar to "Fuel" and Black Album-era verses, with the second half sounding more like their thrash era. It has some slow parts with decent singing by James, but some of the first half might have sounded too close to "Fuel" to make Death Magnetic. The solos could be longer, but this song is definitely heavy on riffs and has a lot of different sections. Despite the "Fuel" riffs, I think it sounds less like the Re-Load era than several songs from DM.

"Just a Bullet Away"--Awesome metal song, with great riffs, lyrics, and vocals...this one definitely should've been on Death Magnetic. It seems to be most people's favorite of the four, although "Rebel of Babylon" gets a lot of votes, too. I think it would fit nicely on the Black Album, as it's sort of an almost-thrash song that would sound at home with the heaviest few tracks from that release.

"Hell and Back"--The strange song out of the four. It reminds me of "Broken, Beat, & Scarred" in some parts, and "Cyanide" in others. The weird verses in the first half don't remind me of anything from Metallica. They're almost alternative, I guess; not bad, really, just different. It gets fairly heavy in the middle, then continues with some nice riffs until the end. Even though it might be the weakest of the four tracks, it's still good enough for a solid 4 out of 5.

"Rebel of Babylon"--This is another clearly heavy song like "Just a Bullet Away", with some fast riffing in the verses. James offers a few vocal lines that get about as old-school as he can manage these days. There's still a lot more singing than in the old days, but you hear traces of that gruff, harsh James of the past. It leaves a nice taste finishing things off heavy.

Listening to the songs on this EP, I could make the case that some are about equal to tracks on Death Magnetic, so I can see where Metallica might have had a tough time deciding which ones to leave off that album. "Just a Bullet Away" is the only one that I'd gladly sacrifice a song for (maybe "Cyanide"), but just adding them to Death Magnetic would've made it too long in my opinion. Which makes it cool that they put them together for an EP to hold us off until a new album comes together. Clocking in at about a half hour with four 7-8 minute songs, Beyond Magnetic is a fine EP to add to Metallica's discography. Easily worth the $6 price tag.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can;t believe some of these didn;t make the cut!, March 5, 2014
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This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (MP3 Music)
This is a great little EP form Metallica! These are songs that did not make the cut for the album "Death Magnetic". Some great tues are "Hate Train" and "Just a Bullet Away"
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damage Control yes, but still a very enjoyable and welcomed E.P., February 6, 2012
This review is from: Beyond Magnetic EP (Audio CD)
As many of you know the travesty that was Lulu, the experimental album with Lou Reed, was released and received with mostly harsh and critical reviews. The idea was good, but some things are best kept as that, an idea. But we'll get back to that a little later.

After a mini tour in support of Lulu, Metallica quickly split off and began their awesome 30 anniversary shows, which saw the return of Dave Mustaine, something the old-guard Metallica fans thought they'd never see. Also during these shows, the guys played 4 'new' songs. The songs were not new, only dug up from the Death Magnetic sessions and played for the first time live. That is what you get here in this, the Beyond Magnetic EP. All are rough demos of songs/jams that didn't make it to DM. And each one of them is excellent, just as good or better as the songs on DM. But, why now? Why release unfinished demos from a last album? Timing.

Metallica, I think, knew from the get-go, that the majority of fans wouldn't like or get Lulu. Just look at how fast everyone's forgotten about it. By releasing this and it sounding like their old selves, and anything compared to Lulu, they knew the fans would eat it up. And for the most part they did and are. So the machine keeps rolling, and hopefully learning, at the same time making some great metal in these trying times. If you're a Metallica fan, you'll enjoy this. Hopefully the guys' 'experimental' urge was all let out on Lulu and more productive, dare I say, more back-to-roots Metallica can emerge in the future.
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33 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great EP 4.5/5, January 31, 2012
This review is from: Beyond Magnetic EP (Audio CD)
If you're like me and followed the making of Death Magnetic on Mission Metallica, then you couldn't help but be disappointed when Death Magnetic came out. A great album, but there was indeed some really good material left off. Beyond Magnetic fills in the gap. While listening to this EP, I couldn't help but say to myself, "ooh I remember that!" and I'm sure you'll find yourself doing the same. The four previously unreleased Death Magnetic tracks are here in the same horrible Death Magnetic production. Look out for Rebel Of Babylon, it can get a bit thrashy. And if anyone is wondering where "Shine" is, it's re-titled Just A Bullet Away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set on REPEAT, February 11, 2014
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This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (Audio CD)
Instantly loved it! The boys have done it yet again! Absolutely beautiful...the complicated, thrilling riffs place such a perspective on those dark places we all go in our lives. Thank you METALLICA!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would be better if the songs were instrumentals, September 26, 2014
This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (Audio CD)
The music on Beyond Magnetic is similar to old Metallica. I especially like Rebel of Babylon. James' vocals on the other hand are awful as they have been ever since Load. These songs were not mixed completely, but even so it probably wouldn't have mattered. I just try to ignore the vocals and focus on the music. If they were all instrumentals I'd give it 4 stars but it's worth a listen if you like the classic Metallica sound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Appropriately named, it feels like leftovers, one track stronger than the others, June 29, 2014
By 
spideyns (COLUMBIA, SC, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (MP3 Music)
Before I get into the rating of this album, here is a disclaimer. I am a huge Metallica fan. I've seen them in concert more times than I can count, dating back to the mid 90's. This album is appropriately named. It does feel like it was parts left over from Death Magnetic that they didn't know what to do with when the album was released. I think 3 of the 4 songs are enjoyable but won't frequent my playlists regularly. "Just a Bullet Away" however exceeds those other 3 songs, so I will discuss that one a little.
Bullet reminds me a little of the musical progression of "Broken, Beat and Scarred", it has the same energy, build up, and progression (for the most part). Where it differs from it's Death Magnetic cousin is the interlude, which smacks of a famous cover that Metallica does "Breadfan". The vocal stylings are a little more syncopated similar to what James did on Frantic. At first, for me, it was hard to listen to vocally, but the more I listened, the more I liked it. For the hardcore Metallica nutjob like myself, you're going to buy this album. It is too cheap not to download. For the more selective Metallica fan or even the fair weather Metallica fan, I would just buy "Just a Bullet Away".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 4 songs that should ve been on the death magnetic, June 4, 2014
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METAL MANIAC "heavy metal" (jacksonville, florida United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (MP3 Music)
it is pretty sad that bands now to make more money they make an LP nd then followed by an EP, just to make more money. It used to be in the old days, the 1980s when metal and thrash metal was only about headbanging and having fun. Now that these bands grew old and have their own studios, they are all about making the green.

With that being said, I have respect for Metallica for their music, and they never disapointed. These four songs are very good. I believe they needed a lot more adjusting in the studio, but still the sound and composing is that of what Metallica did and does. I give it 5 star because the songs are great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift, May 6, 2014
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This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (Audio CD)
This CD worked great! It was a perfect gift. I love it for what the price was. A + + +
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Beyond Magnetic EP
Beyond Magnetic EP by Metallica (Audio CD - 2012)
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