After St. Anger (in 2003), I wasn’t certain I even wanted to check out Metallica’s ninth album, Death Magnetic. After winning my undying love with songs like “Nothing Else Matters,” “King Nothing“, “Fuel“, and the ever-popular “Enter Sandman“, I was extremely disappointed in the guitar-clashing crap that was St. Anger. There’s no redeeming song on that album; each one is plagued with senseless shouting, screaming, endless guitar solos, a nonsensical, nerve-grating compilation of noise that was embarrassing to listen to. I wanted my money back. I still do. It’s like the band shrugged their shoulders, cracked open some beers, and decided that fans would buy damn near anything by now, so quality really didn’t matter anymore.
The only heavy metal I listen to is Metallica, and the main reason is actually the lyrics; I always called Metallica the intelligent person’s metal, since the lyrics dove beyond the standard fist-shaking, “I’m angry, so let’s talk about death” surface. “Nothing Else Matters” is even downright romantic, albeit with a touch of growl. I enjoy the mocking, calling-you-out boldness of “King Nothing“. After listening to albums like “And Justice for All“, I got the feeling I could engage in a heated political debate with James Hetfield (the lead singer, in case you’re not a Metallica fan) and thoroughly enjoy it. After enduring St. Anger, however, I doubted a level of conversation could rise above “keg vs. bong?”
Death Magnetic had to grow on me. I loved the intro of some songs (like “The Unforgiven III“) then felt like the song faltered and fell short. Maybe it was my seething resentment I still harbor over the money wasted on St. Anger. After a few listens, though, I started to warm up to Death Magnetic. I love “The Judas Kiss” most of all and can be seen bouncing and thrashing in my car on my way to work most mornings, waking up ‘tallica-style, and the title alone of “Broken, Beat, and Scarred” drew me to it with devotion.
Now, let’s talk about “All Nightmare Long“. I happen to personally know an up-and-coming megastar of music video production…okay, I’m lying. It’s my little brother, and he pieced together a silly music video segment to promote his huge annual Halloween bash, with “All Nightmare Long” as the theme song. Check this out:
And if you can never, ever hear this song again without visions of ominous, lip-syncing Santa Clauses and head-banging baby dolls prancing through your head…then my work here is done.
P.S. My brother makes a cameo appearance in this video. See if you can pick him out!