Someone at the Steve Hoffman music forums was kind enough to share some photos of his latest purchase, the limited-edition 5-LP box set of Metallica's Death Magnetic. These albums play at the 45-rpm speed, which means there is only one song per side, and the records are mastered at half speed. This typically means the best possible sound quality available. It's a pity that the album was produced and mixed so poorly; I seriously doubt that even this box set could save the damage.
This is such a terrible shame, because the D-Mag box looks terrific. This really is the definitive album design for Metallica's album. I'm finding myself liking the basic all-white CD/LP design less and less. It just looks cheap. This box, by comparison, has that gravitas and style that we have come to expect from Metallica.
The 2-disc LP is barely adequate. No extra photos, no art booklet, only the band photo on the gatefold sleeve, with lyrics printed overhead. It's surprisingly gaudy. The back of the album is entirely blank, save the printing. Strange, very strange.
In any case, enjoy these photos. This box set is limited to 5,000 units, which should make it a highly prized collector's item in no time.