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SStory and Photos by Andy ArgyrakisWith five years in between tours, Metallica not only caught up with its Illinois audience, but more than made up for lost time during Monday's first of two stops at the Allstate Arena. The masters of metal were sporting the brand new disc Death Magnetic (Warner Brothers), which simultaneously hearkens back to the band's late 1980s and early '90s ascent, while also interjecting modern elements of explosiveness and bombast.
Like the epic flavor of that current collection, this tour was packed to the hilt with strobe lights, smoke screens and a circular stage that made every seat in the carnivorous hall desirable. But the James Hetfield-led foursome kept high-wattage musical muscle as its top priority, towering through the fresh fury of "That Was Just Your Life" and "The End Of The Line," along with the menacing snarls of "Cyanide" and "Sad But True."
The shred-heavy head bangers were just as convincing with more melodic expressions, particularly "Nothing Else Matters," which provided some relief from the assaulting riffs, but still resounded with intensity thanks to the furious front man. Of course, the joyful chaos continued with Metallica masterpieces like "Master of Puppets" and "Wherever I May Roam," two timeless tunes for the genre that showcased the band's influence upon younger acts. As "Enter Sandman" closed out the main set, the enduring entertainers confirmed mastery of their cacophonic craft that's clearly spilled over to multiple generations and affirmed its longevity.
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