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Beyond Magnetic EP

4.2 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 31, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 CD EP from the Metal titans containing four leftover tracks from the Death Magnetic sessions. All four tracks were previously available only as digital downloads, but this EP is the first time these recordings have been available in a physical format. These four songs are the rough mixes, unfinished to their original degree of mixing from March of 2008.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
6:59
Album Only
2
30
7:11
Album Only
3
30
6:57
Album Only
4
30
8:02
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 31, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B006T5FDLG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,250 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Gordon on February 5, 2012
Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I liked this better than some parts of their 2008 release, "Death Magnetic." It almost seems obvious why they would have held these four great tracks for a nice 30th Anniversary EP. I look forward to their future albums, despite public claims to their washed-upness since 1996. I think that with age comes greatness!
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