Metallica Release 'Beyond Magnetic' Outtakes EP

Metallica Release 'Beyond Magnetic' Outtakes EP
After the unmitigated disaster that was the collaborative Lou Reed album Lulu, veteran metal unit Metallica have a lot to make up for. This ought to be a start: today (December 13), the band released the four-song outtakes EP Beyond Magnetic as a digital-only iTunes release.

These tracks were recorded during the same sessions as 2008's Death Magnetic, which saw Metallica somewhat successfully revisiting their thrash roots after some disappointing albums and an embarrassing/awesome documentary. The band issued this statement about the new EP, which was previously only available to fan club members:

During the Death Magnetic album sessions in 2007 and 2008, we originally recorded 14 songs. When it came time to pick the songs for the final album, we decided on 10 songs that you've all come to know over the last three years. Some of you may have heard bits and pieces of those other songs on 'Mission Metallica' (remember 'Mission Metallica'?!) or heard rumors about them during the recording process, and wondered, 'What ever happened to those other four songs???'. We kept them in the vault and decided to pull them just for this special celebration, so here are the four leftover tracks from the Death Magnetic sessions. They are ROUGH mixes, unfinished to their original degree of mixing from March '08. These four songs were released as gift to our closest fans, the members of our Fan Club, to enjoy. Now they're being made available to you.

We've heard some of these songs before, but this is now a chance for members of the public to buy a legitimate copy. All four songs clock in at around seven minutes or longer, meaning that this EP adds up to a total of 29 minutes -- a full-length by some bands' standards. In other words, Metallica fans will find the $3.99 price tag to be a pretty good deal, even if the quality doesn't quite match the band's early work.

Meanwhile, Metallica, who are currently celebrating their 30th anniversary, have been reportedly working on a new album. Bassist Robert Trujillo recently told GulfNews, "We've got a couple of new songs we have been working on the past couple of weeks. The writing process for the new Metallica album has begun. We've been in the studio with Rick Rubin, working on a couple of things, and we're going to be recording during the most of next year."

Beyond Magnetic:

1. "Hate Train"
2. "Just a Bullet Away"
3. "Hell and Back"
4. "Rebel of Babylon"