So Metallica return with a new album, only the second studio album this Century so what is it like? well thankfully I’m pleased to report that they are back on top form and ready to take on those who had written them off, this is Metallica, raw, aggressive almost back to the roots and nothing like St. Anger.


For starters there are no songs on here less than 5 minutes long, in fact all except the song “My Apocalypse” (that you already know) are over 6 minutes, if you like this track and the first single “The Day That Never Comes” then you will be well pleased with this album, this track is without doubt the best song Metallica have written in 10 years.  The album kicks off with “That Was Just Your Life” chock full of great riffs, like they used to do and plenty of solo’s yes, the solo’s are back with a vengeance, if you want more proof of this, “Broken, Beat & Scarred” and “The End Of The Line” are further proof.  There is a third part to the “Unforgiven III” which starts off with a nice piano piece and orchestration before the guitars kick in and is very tastefully done, the total epic track is the 9 minute plus “Suicide & Redemption” which is full of more riffs than most bands have on an album let alone a single track, also “Cyanide” and “All Nightmare Long” are well worth your attention.


This is without doubt the best Metallica album for quite some time but as I said it has bee a long time in coming, the other thing about this album is the production by Rick Rubin, it’s sympathetic and a nice balance of rawness and simplicity, not over produced, is sounds dangerous, there is not a single track on this album that is sub standard and proves that Metallica cant be written off yet, go get it, you can be sure I will be playing every track on my HFM show in the fullness of time.


WEBSITE      http://www.metallica.com/







I have been a fan of Iced Earth since I first heard their first concept album “Purgatory” and they have put out some very fine albums since then, this is part 2 of the “Something Wicked” saga and is about the coming of the end of days.


Like the Judas Priest concept album the album has two basic components, the songs and the fills that link the story together, there are 10 proper songs and taking them separately they work well individually, which is always a good sign.  The first proper song is “Behold The Wicked Child” which is Iced Earth at their typical best, “A Gift Or A Curse” is a slower, ballad type song that sets the scene, the link track “The Dimension Gauntlet” is the longest of the filler songs and although its short with narration piece in it, its still very good and leads very nicely into the precursor to the album “I Walk Alone” is the guys at their absolute best, plenty of riffs, full of dynamics and still rocks.  The good thing about this album is that all the tracks can be enjoyed as individual\al tracks and it doesn’t even matter if you haven’t heard the first part.  Listen out for “Divide & Devour”, “Crucify The King”, “Come What May” and “Sacrificial Kingdoms” all of which are Iced Earth at peak form.


Overall than a very good album and it shows you can write a concept album and not compromise the bands music, if you don’t know much about these guys this is a good place to start and is quite typical of what the band are about, well deserved album of the week.


WEBSITE                  http://www.icedearth.com/ & http://www.spv.de/