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Metallica - Quebec Magnetic (Live DVD Review)

Friday, 21 December 2012 Written by Jonathan Lin
Metallica - Quebec Magnetic (Live DVD Review)

Documenting two shows the band played in October and November 2009 on their World Magnetic Tour, the video release captures a stunning live experience replete with outstanding band performance, a dynamic audience, and screaming guitar feedback. Many songs are from Metallica's latest studio album 'Death Magnetic' from 2008, but longtime fans will be pleased to see classics like 'Master of Puppets', 'Enter Sandman', and 'One.' As they have done in the past on entire albums, Metallica also throws cover songs, paying tribute to the bands that inspired them to pick up and play.

ImageAfter more than thirty years since its formation, the four-piece band is still going strong with plenty of ferocity for years to come. Two of the founding members - singer and guitarist James Hetfield along with drummer Lars Ulrich - continue writing songs, and current lead guitarist Kirk Hammett has essentially been part of the thrash group since the beginning. Nearing age fifty, James and his vocals are only showing minor wear and tear, which are hardly evident at all except for the highest notes and fiercest of growls. Lars keeps steady rhythm with no trouble at all, adding adventurous fill-ins here and there to keep things fresh. Hammett convinced many a young guitarist to buy a wah-pedal, and still shines when it's his turn to shred. The concert itself features the usual playfulness of band members teasing audiences with fake exits, only to return with many encores in exchange for "Quebec's energy." It's quite a sight to see the hundreds of black Metallica-stamped fitness balls dropping from the stadium roof during the band's final song 'Seek and Destroy', with eager fans grabbing them as souvenirs.

The DVD features excellent visual coverage of the lengthy concert, with dynamic camera angles onstage, above the audience, and within the mosh pit. Anyone can see the many hours that went into post-production, where any given riff is constantly portrayed from many sides in split-second clips. There is no question of the Blu-ray quality, where flying sweat and fretboard fingerprints remind viewers behind the screen that they missed out on the live intensity. The bonus songs are fantastic, featuring classics such as 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' and 'Holier Than Though' and making this boxed set a valuable addition to the Metallica fan and avid headbanger. Kirk's two guitar solos almost break the sound barrier, but are saturated with wah-effects and not overly creative in their emphasis on speed. Similarly, Robert's dull bass solo lasts less than a minute, and I doubt anyone would complain.

'Quebec Magnetic' captures what were definitely treats for its concert-goers. The set list was diverse and energetically performed, and like many good live shows they compelled the audience to cheer, laugh, and play air guitar. It's clear that one of the biggest bands in metal, whose influence significantly shaped the genre three decades earlier, still has more to contribute to music. Returning fans will not be disappointed, and first-timers will get a good sense why so many proudly wear Metallica t-shirts.

Metallica released 'Quebec Magnetic' on December 10th 2012 through Vertigo Records.

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