Picks and Pans Review: Metallica

updated 10/06/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Death Magnetic

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If you thought these dudes might go soft hitting middle age, think again: Metallica brings the blitzkrieg on their first studio disc since 2003. This 75-minute opus plays like a headbanger's symphony; all but one of 10 songs stretch past six minutes, with complex arrangements that elevate the genre. Any other metal album this year is doomed to pale in comparison.

DOWNLOAD THIS: "Broken, Beat & Scarred," a slash-and-thrasher

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