Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Metallica's Death Magnetic - Artwork and Titles

Very interesting. I've often thought of Metallica's St. Anger album as the band's midlife crisis. I may be mistaken; perhaps Death Magnetic fits that bill.

This is an interesting moment for the venerable rockers. They're long past the point of needing to prove anything to anyone, and they could just as easily cash in on their past fame, churning out by-the-numbers albums to keep the fans happy and the coffers full. This is typical for any band of musicians in their mid-fourties. And yet Metallica seems determined to have something new to say. True, they'll say it within the context of their classic '80s sound, but like U2's quote-unquote "revival" of this decade, Metallica should revisit their classic thrash metal sound through the '70s blues rock experiments of their '90s work. You know, the albums that have now been denounced for daring to swerve off the beaten path; something that speaks loudly to the creative bankruptcy and infantile mindset of American Culture. Thank goodness Led Zeppelin was never around during these days. They'd be tarred and feathered for Houses of the Holy. Hell, they were belted with rocks for Led Zeppelin III, for the unforgivable crime of playing acoustic folk and blues.

The whiny kids who are too afraid to accept anything new or different will miss out, of course, and the remnants of the Old Republic will continue to be swept away. The dead-end culture of the American Empire is all that matters now; social cliques and target demographics, red states, blue states, my religion, and everyone else's. It's the closed in, paranoid mentality of a nation in decline.

All of which points to Metallica, the most important rock band of our generation, loved and hated by the tides of the junior-high-school mindset. What they have to say will have a great bearing on us as a people. How we react, and how the anti-musical, snobbish elements of pseudofans, will say far more about our times than anything James Hetfield has to say. His insights and struggles have been drowned out for the past 15 years now, and I don't expect that to change. The old-school fans who have been crying sellout will still cry sellout; they'll only find new excuses to pat themselves on the back for their triumphant ignorance. In the American Empire, ignorance is the only virtue. Apart from status, of course. And in this scene, being an aloof snob carries a lot of status. It's enough to make any middle-aged rocker cranky.

Here are the song titles for Death Magnetic.....very interesting....more of the personal struggles from Hetfield? Why am I reminded of the way John Lennon's "She's So Heavy" is followed by George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun?" Filtered through Metallica angst, naturally, wink wink.

1 - That Was Just Your Life
2 - The End of the Line
3 - Broken, Beat & Scarred
4 - The Day That Never Comes
5 - All Nightmare Long
6 - Cyanide
7 - The Unforgiven III
8 - The Judas Kiss
9 - Suicide & Redemption
10 - My Apocalypse

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