Just got a little chuckle from metalhammer’s post on the status and developments from Metallica’s upcoming album. They naively characterize the upcoming release as “the biggest metal event this year,” then go on to provide a summary of the album by comparing the new songs with songs such as “Fight Fire with Fire,” “Nothing Else Matters,” from Metallica’s “good” albums. They also make the point that this new album is not like “St. Anger” and that the solos are back. Goody, but I remember this same type of hype being circulated before “St. Anger” came out, almost the same type of hype. I remember hearing things like oh yeah, they are extending their songs to epic length, they are speeding everything up, they totally rock now, etc, etc. I’m sure a portion of this is just the pop culture machine wanting to sell shit, but who am I?This hype brings me to what really struck me about metallhammer’s review, and the album that Metallica’s going to inevitably release. No matter what, the album is not going to be like their early work. Maybe it will be better than “Load,” or “St. Anger,” or whatever album you may not have liked. But let me restate, they are not going to return to their Burton-esque glory days, period. It’s not going to happen. The fans need to face this reality. What I am more interested in is whether they can actually be inovative musicians again, like they were in the 80’s. Metallica has not released an innovative album since “Master of Puppets.” Bands such as Machine Head and Rotting Christ have both changed their sound, and is doing so have moved forward artistically and musically. Will Metallica do the same, finally, after twenty years?