Metallica/ Through The Never (Music From The Motion Picture) (Blackened, 2013)
I hate my money. There is no other reason that I bought this double live album. Maybe I bought it due to some perverse loyalty to my adolescence. Maybe I bought it out of habit (Oh, a new Metallica album? Okay.) Maybe I bought it because it was only 10 bucks. I did not buy that Lou Reed Lulu album...I don't hate my money that much, man.
The last time that I saw Metallica live they were a bloated, dumbed down “alternative/hard music” arena Rock band. See kids, Metal was as dead as a doornail in the mid-90s, so Metal bands all changed their sounds and styles trying to appeal to Alternative kids. Terms like “hard music” and “heavy Rock” were bandied about. Metal had become “the M word”, as my friends and I used to say at the time. By the Load era they were slow and lethargic live, playing songs like Creeping Death a step or two slower. It was pathetic. Their live shows had become boring and predictable, their setlists stuck in a rut with a one or two rotating spots a night, and of course, the extra song if you bothered to sell out the venue for them that night. Fuckers.
All of this brings us to this live album. They actually tried to play fast on the old stuff. I was surprised. James' vocals are something of a caricature of his old style, the result of a middle aged multi-multimillionaire trying to sound pissed off. His between song banter is embarrassing, the whole “Metallica family” schtick. Come on! James blocks hikers from going through his acres in San Francisco, Lars has a multimillion dollar house carved into the side of a mountain in San Francisco...believe me, these guys have nothing in common with their audience.
I was pleased to see Ride The Lightning and Hit The Lights in the setlist. This live album skews older, with a handful of post '80s songs included. Surprisingly, only one Death Magnetic song made the cut, and it was the worst one, Cyanide. That has the cheesiest, clunkiest bass line out of any Metallica song. I enjoyed most of the performances on this album, and found myself getting caught up in things here or there. Almost enough to make me kinda almost want to see them live again someday.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.