Metallica’s new album leaks but Lars is not suing mad

For anyone following the rock/metal scene, it’s no secret Metallica has been on the outs with its fan base for some time. A string of bad albums and suing fans for downloading its MP3s did wonders to spoil the reputation for a band that had previously been viewed as one of the biggest, most popular and most significant bands to come along in ages.

Its new album, “Death Magnetic,” is due on September 12, but despite the band’s best precautions, it has leaked to the Internet. Search any BitTorrent site and there it is, in its full 10 song, 70 minute glory.

This is hardly uncommon. Every major album release that I’ve been following for the past few years has leaked a few weeks to a month prior to official release. It usually ends up on IRC and BitTorrent trading posts, and once it gets into those networks, trying to stop the trading would be like holding back the ocean with a bucket.

But there will be no lawsuits this time. Drummer Lars Ulrich, who was particularly singled out for fan vilification over the lawsuits against fans and Napster, told a San Francisco radio DJ “It’s 2008 and it’s part of how it is these days, so it’s fine. We’re happy.”

He should be. The album is getting very good reviews, not just by critics but by fans alike who grabbed a copy. The band needed some positive word of mouth for once.

And yes, it is quite good.

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