Metallica has been a tad uneven ever since the Black Album came out. That might just be the understatement of the year. Coming on the heels of one of the most reviled albums in their discography, Metallica looked as if they were attempting to get some of the good graces of their fans back by releasing this EP of holdover tracks from Death Magnetic. Now, I liked Death Magnetic okay. It was definitely a step forward from their St. Anger album, an album I feel is somewhat underrated, but by no means a good album.
Then of course Metallica collaborated with Lou Reed to produce Lulu and everything went to shit. This EP was a way to save a little bit of face. The only problem with holdover tracks is that oftentimes it is somewhat obvious why the tracks did not make it onto the album in the first place. That is pretty much the case here. None of these songs are really all that impressive.
The songs are all long, with the shortest one being just under seven minutes. They also do not have a lot going for them. The songs do not sound a lot different than other tracks that did make it onto the album, except a little bit weaker. There is not a track here that I like better than anything off of Death Magnetic. Furthermore, all of the tracks here are much closer to modern radio rock than metal.
I am not impressed with this EP. I understand that it was probably released to keep fans from giving up on the band after massively disappointing Lulu, and as a cash grab, but this is just not very good.