It was inevitlible, realy. In this day and age it is nearly impossible to keep a popular release like “Death Magentic” from hitting the Torrent sites. In this case it was almost 2 weeks before the official release date. Apparently, a small record store in France sold a few copies early. It was, no doubt, uploaded within an hour of the purchase.

Taken from “During a guest appearance earlier today on “The Woody Show” on the San Francisco, California radio station Live 105 (KITS 105.3 FM), Ulrich stated about the French leak, “Listen, we’re ten days from release. I mean, from here, we’re golden. If this thing leaks all over the world today or tomorrow, happy days. Happy days. Trust me. Ten days out and it hasn’t quote-unquote fallen off the truck yet? Everybody’s happy. It’s 2008 and it’s part of how it is these days, so it’s fine. We’re happy.”

Being a diehard fan of Metallica since the early ’80’s, I couldn’t help myself when I read that the new album had been leaked. Don’t get me wrong; I still plan on buying a copy on release day, but I just couldn’t wait to hear the stuff. I’m going to break taboo and give an early review here: THIS ALBUM IS FUCKING METAL!! Yes, the masters of thrash are truly back to their signature crushing riffs and growly Hetfield vocals.

It feels strange saying “they’re back”, when they never really left, for me. I’ve enjoyed every release from Metallica, including the “Load” albums, and “St. Anger”. The Bob Rock era served them well, and gave them opportunity to explore new avenues, while testing the limits their fans would set for them. With that said, it is really great to hear the “old” Metallica again. Although, I will say that, after hearing more structured and “radio freindly” songs from the “Load” albums, some of the longer tracks on this album feel like they have no direction, at times. The epic 8 to 9 minutes tracks are back, including a new insrtumental track. This album actually sounds more like it could have been released between “..And Justice For All”, and the self titled album. James Hetfield said in an interview lately that they wanted to basically start from scratch, and write a record like they were trying to get signed. They took the feel of the first 3 albums, and focused on that energy.

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with this album, and I recommend any fans of the “old” Metallica, or heavy music in general, go pick up this record when it comes out, September 12th.