Death Magnetic

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Death Magnetic Music Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Rock vets deliver dark images, big guitar riffs.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 23 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Lyrics from "Cyanide" demonstrate the album's dark tone: "Suicide, I've already died, you're just the funeral I've been waiting for, cyanide, living dead inside, break this empty shell forevermore." Overall the album's mood is introspective, dealing with feelings of shame, depression, anger, and fear.


Intense lyrics include "Choke, asphyxia, snuff reality" (from "The End of the Line") and "'Cause we hunt you down without mercy, Hunt you down all nightmare long" (from "All Nightmare Long"). The vocals and general musical style are also aggressive.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album -- which made its debut as the first full downloadable album for the video game Guitar Hero III -- has all the trademark heavy metal staples: lyrics about death, dying, and pain accompanied by driving guitars and furious beats. Younger teens might not be ready for some songs' haunting images (references to annihilation, spilling blood, poison, and stalkers, to name a few) and intense vocals. Discussions of suicide and retribution are also briefly mentioned.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJosh Turner October 10, 2019


There is nothing wrong with Metallica's Death Magnetic other than themes of war! If your children like heavy metal and rock music, the PLEASE let them list... Continue reading
Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy February 15, 2013

Really cool.

This band is AMAZING.Now,I know I didn't do a review yesterday,but I decided to enjoy my Valentine's Day and not do a review.My Valentine's Day w... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMr47 August 2, 2014

'tallica Are Back

An excellent return to form for Metallica and you're insane if you don't let your kid listen to it
Kid, 11 years old November 30, 2020

Awesome Guitar Riffs,the other music and lyrics not so much

Pretty good album.Not Metallica's best but the artwork is amazing(especially if you have the CD)and James Hetfield's guitar is great,so go ahead and l... Continue reading

What's the story?

Even though Metallica has been around for nearly 30 years, the heavy metal rockers aren't done rocking quite yet. This is their ninth studio album, and the first with new bassist Robert Trujillo and mega-producer Rick Rubin. The album also marks a milestone in gaming, as the band allowed music from the CD to be downloaded for use in the Guitar Hero III video game before the album's actual release.

Is it any good?

Thunderous and imposing, heavy metal is enjoying a resurgence of late (at least partly thanks to the popularity of games like Guitar Hero). Metallica was there at the beginning of metal's move into pop culture, and, with this album, the band has gone back to its intense roots, embracing extended guitar-fueled riffs and the dark, brooding images of their past. "The Day That Never Comes" is similar in theme to "Unforgiven," and "All Nightmare Long" has the same terror-inspiring imagery as "Enter Sandman."

But this time around, the band is a lot louder, with powerful guitars charging through every track. James Hetfield's vocals are also more aggressive and muscular than recent albums -- almost harmonic screaming, if you will. Even the once-melodic "Unforgiven" is given a super-charged reinvention in its third interpretation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Metallica would decide to pair their music with a video game like Guitar Hero III. Why would that appeal to them? How are games like Guitar Hero influencing the music industry? Also, how has the band's sound changed? After many years of trying to fit into the alternative rock sound, Metallica has come back to heavy metal. Do you think that decision was influenced by today's popular music, or do you think the band generally wanted to try something else? How influential do you think current music trends are on the direction that an established band takes?

Music details

  • Artist: Metallica
  • Release date: September 12, 2008
  • Label: Warner Brothers
  • Genre: Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: October 10, 2019

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