Mighty live offering from one of metal’s most enduringly powerful acts.
If Quebec Magnetic confirms one thing within its opening, it’s that the enduring introduction of Ennio Morricone’s The Ecstasy Of Gold still sends a little shiver of excitement down the spine, signalling as it does the start of pretty much every Metallica concert for well over a decade. It’s also clear within the first two minutes of opener That Was Just Your Life that a band with a combined age of 197 has no right to continue to be this powerful, commanding and utterly thrilling to experience. But hey, who am I to argue?
As a live tome, Quebec Magnetic represents a couple of things for Metallica. Released on their Blackened Recordings imprint, it’s their first step into a world where they call all shots with their releases, and acts as a fond look back at the successful Death Magnetic record cycle. It’s a 26 song strong collection with the occasional break from tradition thrown in (…And Justice’s The Shortest Straw, Kill ‘Em All’s Phantom Lord) that hits all the right highs. There’s also plenty of space for the album it represents, drawing eight cuts from Death Magnetic, ranging from the glorious thrash of My Apocalypse to the overly long plodding of The Judas Kiss. Death Magnetic represented a return to form and a bit more familiarity, and given that we’re probably at least another year away from a new record, lapping up its highlights is the best it’s going to get for the time being. Other than that, One remains thrilling, Master of Puppets epic and Enter Sandman reliably crunchy. Job well done.
As a live package, Is it unfair to compare Quebec Magnetic to Cunning Stunts and the Live Sh!t boxset? A little; those are classics in the Metallica live discography, and superb collections in their own right. QM doesn’t surpass them, but holds its own thanks to a great collection of extras, enjoyable setlist and superb presentation. It doesn’t quite kill off the impatience of waiting for a new record, but it’ll certainly do for now.