METALLICA‘s official web site has been updated with the following message:
“Last week we celebrated our 30th anniversary together with fan-club members from around the world by playing four nights at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco . . . It was quite the bash each and every night!
“If you were able to join us at any or all of the parties, thanks for coming out to hang with us. And whether or not you were there, you may have heard that we added some unreleased tracks from the ‘Death Magnetic’ sessions to the set list — one ‘new’ song each night as part of the shenanigans on stage.
“This week, we’re releasing those four tracks through iTunes exclusively in North America and on iTunes and additional digital retailers in other parts of the world as the ‘Beyond Magnetic’ EP. All four studio versions of these songs were sent to Met Club members for free immediately following their live debut on stage at the Fillmore and tomorrow they will be available to everyone via the magic of digital downloading. They are the rough mixes, unfinished to their original degree of mixing from March of 2008, and those of you with very keen senses of sound might recognize bits and pieces from the ‘Mission Metallica’ videos posted in the summer of 2008.
“Thanks again to everyone who visited us in San Francisco. As Lars [Ulrich, drums] mentioned at the end of the last show, we’ll be back here in January with an announcement about a special interactive fan event in June of 2012 . . . we may ask you to do a little traveling again!”
“Beyond Magnetic” track listing:
01. Hate Train
02. Just A Bullet Away
03. Hell And Back
04. Rebel Of Babylon
“Death Magnetic” was officially certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 28, 2010 for shipments in the United States in excess of two million copies.
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told The Pulse of Radio in an October 2008 interview that he didn’t understand the controversy that had broken out over the audio quality of “Death Magnetic” shortly after the LP’s release. Some fans and publications had accused the group and producer Rick Rubin of mixing the album at such a loud volume that the music is distorted and difficult to listen to. But Ulrich said that he’s more than happy with the way it turned out. “I listen to this record, and I listen to it every couple of days,” he said. “And when I hear it, it puts a smile on my face and it blows me away, and I don’t understand what people are talking about. Somebody told me the other day that there were 12,000 people that had signed a petition to remix the record. We’ve sold two and a half million copies [worldwide] of ‘Death Magnetic’. You do the math yourself.”
A number of fans said online that they prefer the versions of the CD’s tracks prepared for the Guitar Hero video game, which are mixed differently.
Ted Jensen, the engineer who mastered the album at Sterling Sound in New York, responded to fan complaints that the CD is too loud and the audio is pushed to distortion levels by writing, “I’m certainly sympathetic to your reaction, I get to slam my head against that brick wall every day. In this case the mixes were already brick-walled before they arrived at my place. Suffice to say I would never be pushed to overdrive things as far as they are here. Believe me, I’m not proud to be associated with this one, and we can only hope that some good will come from this in some form of backlash against volume above all else.”
Mastering is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device, the “master,” from which all copies will be produced.
Blame for the sound quality has been laid at the feet of the band itself, producer Rick Rubin and his recording engineer, Greg Fidelman.