Metallica | Death Magnetic (2008)
“Death Magnetic” is a strange release. When it first came out, I was all over it singing its praises, but when I stopped listening to it, I really stopped listening to it. I had no desire to pull it out. While watching the documentary “Mission to Lars,” I heard some of the new stuff again and had to give it another go. It has been stuck in the CD player since. This has been my workout album for a couple of weeks now. The songs are not perfect, and some of them are not even good, but the majority of the songs just rock. I could listen to the first six songs all day long. Starting with The Unforgiven III, it starts to lose its luster, but they are still good songs.
Do not hate on Metallica because they made some questionable decisions. Instead, listen to what you like of theirs and enjoy it.
The Sign of the Southern Cross | Of Mountains and Moonshine (2009)
Asheville, North Carolina’s The Sign of the Southern Cross is a band that I really enjoy. Sure, it has been four years since they released anything, and they only have one full-length album to their name, but it is a good one. They are a Southern Metal band with a redundant sound akin to Down, but do not let that stop you from enjoying their work.
What I would like to see if The Sign of the Southern Cross chart their own direction a little more and give things their own spin. They have a couple of songs on “Of Mountains and Moonshine” that go their own way, but the majority of them sound like something Down should have laid down on an album.
Enslaved | Ruun (2006)
Norwegian black metal band Enslaved released their ninth full-length album, “Ruun,” and I instantly fell in love with it. To this day, Iam not sure if they have topped it. I love “Isa” and some of their newer work, but “Ruun” is so solid. Songs like Path to Vanir and Essence never get old. Ruun had a more progressive metal feel to it and these days, most of their work is much more mellow and progressive, but “Ruun” still was firmly rooted in their black metal influences.