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Old 09-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
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Another Metallica Live Album!?

Metallica comes at us hard and heavy with Through the Never- a concept film about some surreal goings-on surrounding one of their shows when a young PA is sent out to retrieve something for the band and ends up way over his head. I'm old enough that the whole idea reminds me of Duran Duran's Arena- and this should be just as enjoyable as that was back in the day.

From the familiar opening strains of Ecstasy of Gold complemented with audience participation, Through The Never is a damn good concert release, a double cd recorded from their 2012 tour. The film itself is reported to have only fourteen songs featured while the cd has sixteen, so you'll get a little extra for your money. And it's pretty sweet; mixing a few old joints in with the better known stuff... My personal faves here were Creeping Death, Ride the Lightning, Hit the Lights- yeah, baby! It even seems like some of the band's stage dialogue from the film got included as well, but we'll see if that's what it was. A final nice touch is the last track- a newer recording of "Orion"- probably used for the film's end credits, and it sounds great! Cliff Burton would've liked it.

Are there any people left who don't have at least one live Metallica album? "Through the Never" is, I believe, somewhere around their 450th official live release, so if you're looking for tunes you don't already have live...well, keep looking.

This is a Metallica greatest hits collection, it just happens to be one that was done live for their forthcoming movie venture. While the movie looks like it has the potential to serve up some teen cheese with the "storyline" that runs simultaneously with the concert, the CD at least has nothing but music.

The band sounds about the same as usual. James seems to be trying to stick a little closer to the sound of the studio versions with the vocals, perhaps so the casual moviegoer won't be turned away by the voice-cracking yodels he's been throwing in throughout most of their modern era. Thankfully, "Battery" doesn't sound as neutered as usual since James is actually singing with some aggression. It almost...not quite, but almost...sounds like one of their older performances from, say, the early 90's.

The guitar tone likewise sounds closer to old Metallica; when I listened to the first minute or so of "...And Justice for All", I thought they had just put some crowd noise behind the original studio recording. Even though it doesn't have anything obviously unique about it, it's decent. The only dud for me is "Cyanide", which is nowhere close to the best song to represent "Death Magnetic". Besides that, you're going to hear songs you've heard many, many times before, with the very slight differences any live performance is bound to have.

Obviously, with a movie release, this couldn't be a collection of obscure deep cuts, but the playing and production are about as good as you can expect with today's Metallica.

A great live album but one glaring omission, Through the Never, the song in which the film (soundtrack) is named after in not included...hmmm

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Old 09-25-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
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They should name it "Yea!"

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Old 09-25-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mikal View Post
They should name it "Yea!"
Classic! James yells that out in concert at least every 10 minutes it seems.

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