Metallica has always been an aggressive force, however they've never been accused of being good songwriters. On Death Magnetic, the metal band still fails to write a solid lyric. The upside is that, while the band is a derivative of its former self, they're still extremely tight. This is a throwback to the band's 1980s-era roots, but it still falls short. The spotlight has been shifted away from James Hetfield (sounding great on "The Day That Never Comes") and placed firmly on Kirk, Lars and Robert. The number of drum, bass and guitar solos on this album is so self-indulgent, one might ask why Metallica doesn't release an instrumental album.