As a gesture of goodwill towards all fans, Metallica have released a four song EP, titled Beyond Magnetic, as part of their 30 year anniversary celebration. Originally, the four tracks were debuted at each night of Metallica’s 30 year anniversary concerts at the Fillmore in San Francisco (open only to card carrying fan-club members) and then released the studio tracks to fan clubbers. Now all four songs, the four outtake songs that did not make their last studio album, 2008’s Death Magnetic, are now available through iTunes and Amazon. The tracks, still being outtakes, do have a slightly rough audio mix, but that does not ultimately affect the tracks in a negative way.
All four tracks do sound like they came from the Death Magnetic, in terms of lyrical themes and overall sound, but with the tracks finding their ways into their own representation of other Metallica albums, for the most part. The lead song, “Hate Train,” is the song that most neatly fits as a Death Magnetic track, sounding like no other Metallica period with its crashing drum and guitar riffs, as well as the dips into soft, undistorted, “Day That Never Comes” bits. “Just A Bullet Away,” inspired by the late Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley, sounds somewhat similar to Load/Reload era Metallica, slowing up considerably from “Hate Train,” and sounding like it has a bit of Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, mixed in. “To Hell and Back” has a bit of The Black Album mixed in, with the focus more on the clean guitars in the verse. “Rebel of Babylon,” the final track, is like “Hate Train” in the fact that it cleanly fits with other Death Magnetic tracks, sounding like the writing was paralleled to “The Unforgiven III.”
Overall, fantastic tracks from the world’s most popular heavy metal band, and a nice snack to tide us fans over until the next studio album. Metallica fans: get these tracks!