Not all metal is fun-loving and dumb. This is the other kind: thoughtful and distraught. In one song I counted more than 20 distinct musical ideas, though it’s the spark of those ideas that makes the music live.
The drummer jabs the rhythm; the melody shudders; tenderness emerges, like a timid refugee from the barrage of rapid-fire guitar. Maybe the songs are too varied, too close, occasionally, to incoherence. Otherwise well, Metallica crashed the mainstream with music this intense. This veteran band, still looking forward, after years of touring in a battered van, might deserve to be next.