A couple of weeks ago I picked up the latest Metallica album, Death Magnetic.
This album came out with a lot of hype, but after hearing a few of the songs on the radio, then the entire album end-to-end, the hype is totally warranted. This is a great album, better than 'the Black Album', it sounds more like Ride The Lightning or Master Of Puppets. The music is heavy and fast, something Metallica hasn't done consistently since the old days. And the beat, driven by intense and loud drums, stays at a fast gallop that often changes up in interesting ways.
There are some great songs here, such as My Apocalypse (which reminds me a lot of the old song Battery), and The Day That Never Comes, which is epic. Speaking of epic, most of the songs on this album are long, clocking in at 6 minutes or more. The album even includes an instrumental piece that's just shy of 10 minutes (again, something the group hasn't done since the old days).
The Unforgiven III is also on this album, but it sounds nothing like I or II (which sound very much alike). The only slow song on the album, it's still a great piece.
The weakest song on this album is The Judas Kiss, but even this is not a bad song or even a fluff piece (which Load and Reload seem to be full of). It's a good song that's put together well, but just happens not to stand out as much as the other songs, which are all great.
This album is loud, fast, and what every Metallica fan has been waiting years for...from the current fans, to the old-heads who felt the band "sold out" with 'the Black Album'. Expertly produced by Rick Rubin (who was responsible for Johnnie Cash's late in life resurgence, as well ad Kid Rock's recent album), this is a must-have for anyone who likes Metallica. Hell, I'll go one step further and suggest that this may be the greatest Metallica album of all time!
(note that the link for Death Magnetic also has clips of each song you can listen to, just scroll down.)