Is it likely or even possible for Metallica to revitalise themselves?

I think they’ve got a new album in the works and it can’t really be much worse than that last couple, but there’s a chance it could be much better. One could only hope. They’ve seemed to delve into the ‘cover’ a bit the last few years/albums too. Not a big fan of that but they did have some success (e.g. Whiskey in the Jar, Turn the Page).
But, I looooong for something that takes me back to the good old days of Orion, Breadfan, One, Fade to Black, Coming Home etc. I need to hear them crank out something that actually showcases their inherent musical talent that’s been bottled up for 20 years. Screw the vocals, screw mainstream rock radio. Do something you know, not something forced. Play the piss out of the friggin’ guitars, smash the drumset to pieces. Whip out the most wicked of bass lines ever heard. And do it with some stinkin’ passion. Write a song that lasts more than four minutes and throw in a guitar or drum solo to boot.
You guys have it inside you, we’ve heard it before, you even play the songs everybody loves at every concert! Go back and write some more of that shit before your fingers are too old to play it!

Am I expecting too much?

I’m hoping for the same thing. I have heard that they are including guitar solos again on this new upcoming album after not using them on St. Anger. I really hope they come out with something that sounds like Metallica again. At this point I’d even settle for something like the Black Album or even Load. Asking for another Master of Puppets or …And Justice for All is probably asking for too much though.

Someone send me a memo if they go back to kicking the same amount of ass they did with Kill 'Em All. I’ll never forget how disappointed my 16-year-old self was with Ride The Lightning, and I never really got into them again.

Well, from what I’ve heard, Rick Rubin is producing this one.

So first of all, that’s great.

But, also I heard an interview with him when he produced the last Neil Diamond album and he was very interested in getting Diamond to return to his roots, and do what made him good in the first place.

So, if he’s coming in with that kind of approach (and if my info that he’s producing it is correct), it could be quite successful.

By the way, Rick Rubin

CHeck out the list of stuff he’s produced at hte bottom of that page. This woudl seem to be his first foray with Metallica, but he’s produced SLayer, Danzig, AUdiosalve, System of a Down, not to mention a ton of hip-hop.

I don’t see Metallica making a wholesale return to their roots, if only because they’re twenty years older now and just not coming from the same perspective. They’ve changed as people, and I expect that means they’ve changed as artists.

I think I’m one of two or three people out there who actually likes St. Anger, and that’s only after spinning it a few times to get over the initial disappointment. If any other band had done it, it would’ve been hailed as one of the great albums of the year. But the Metallica name carries too much baggage at this point for anything they do to be judged on its own merits. I’m looking forward to the new one, and will make an honest effort to keep an open mind when I hear it.

You know, their older stuff didn’t fit in a cookie cutter. They had long interludes, wild bass tracks, major drum work and minimal intrface with what a song ‘should’ sound like. They used their imagination.
Their later stuff is too predictable with too much emphasis on vocals and being radio friendly. Screw that. Mix it up and let 'er rip. Any and every metal fan on the planet would buy up their stuff if they even remotely produced anything like they did early in their careers.

I’ll tell you one thing, if I can tap along (following the drums and such) to their new work it’ll be a failure. The Older Metallica sound was far too complicated and complex to pick up right away. I don’t know how else to describe it, but the beats were mixed up and unpredictable in a choreographed sort of way. If that makes any sense. It took several spins before I could comfortably ‘air drum’ to anything they used to do and that was something I always held in high regard. Now, not so much.

Yeah, I didn’t really chime in on it, but I didn’t dislike the last 3-4 by any stretch.

What I got from them was that they were “growing” more like AC/DC (still good, but really just more of the same) than U2 (exploring, changing, willing to make a riskier album). So, I think working with a new producer, especially one with the cred of Rubin is a great decision.

Why am I hearing that last paragraph in my “Patrick Fugit” voice. . .

“Lars. Kirk. Ed. Larry… I really love your band. I think the song “Fever Dog” is a big step forward for you guys. I think you guys getting Rick Rubin to produce it, instead of Bob Rock, was the right thing to do. And the guitar sound… is incindiary. Incendiary. Way to go.”

James: hey, waittaminute, man. . .I’m incendiary, too.

I doubt it…the list of bands who have gone from relevant to irrelavant back to relevant again, at their age, is probably only Aerosmith.

I agree totally with Uncommon Sense. If their next album is savage, wild and firey I’d probably buy it. If it’s anything like St. Anger, Load, or Pile o’ Dog Crap part 2 (Reload), it won’t even be worth illegally downloading.

Musicians don’t make so good music when they get older.

What is “Coming Home”? Never heard of it.

Rick Rubin also made “Ball Breaker” which was the best sounding AC/DC album for a long, long time. I have always been mystified as to why they haven’t worked with him again.

The core of Metallica is James Hetfield’s riffing ability. If he can just bust out some kick-ass riffs, the rest can build songs around them, Kirk can do his widdly widdly thing and you’d have a decent Metallica record. It all depends on whether James still has the ability to come up with those “holy shit that was fucking cool, rewind that” caliber riffs. A lot of artists seem to have a decided arc to creative careers (when’s the last time Paul McCartney wrote anything great? Bob Dylan? Jimmy Page?). James might have his best riffs behind him, but who knows?

The band has really never been the same since Cliff died. They peaked with Master of Puppets, IMO.

AKA - Sanitarium.

Things have never been right in the Metallica camp since they started messing about with orchestras. That really put me off and since then, nothing has recaptured the feeling of their earlier stuff.

mr. jp, it’s actually Welcome Home (Sanitarium) on their Master of Puppets album. I have a CD of Metallica playing live in Nickelsburg, Austria and Robert’s bass playing is freaking bad ass. It was one of the shows when they played Master of Puppets in order live to celebrate the albums 20th anniversary. He sounds a lot like Cliff because he plays with his fingers instead of a pick like Jason. With him playing on the new album I would expect it to have a more Old Metallica sound and feel to it. I have St. Anger and I have listened to it a few times, but it’s hard to pass up some of their better albums and put that in.