Metallica

Nancy Kaszerman/ZumaPress.com

Metallica want opinions about Death Magnetic to live freely online.

The platinum-selling rockers have announced the title of their next album, which despite its fine pedigree (produced by über-visionary Rick Rubin), has already created its share of controversy for the shaggily coiffed quartet.

Last week, Metallica addressed the so-called management mix-up that resulted in several U.K. music blogs being asked to remove early reviews of the band's upcoming new tracks—a request that ticked off the bloggers to no end.

"Once we resurfaced on Tuesday after a few weeks on tour in Europe, we were informed that someone at Q Prime (our managers) had made the error of asking a few publications to take down reviews of the rough mixes from the new record that were posted on their sites," the once-Internet-wary band said in a statement posted on its website.

"Our response was WHY?!!! Why take down mostly positive reviews of the new material and prevent people from getting psyched about the next record…that makes no sense to us!"

Why take down positive reviews, indeed.

"So after a few rounds of managerial ear spank and sentencing everyone at Q Prime to 20 push-ups each, we figured why not take matters into our own hands and just post the links here on our site," the metal specialists continued.

The British blog the Quietus, for one, complimented Metallica on their "magnanimous behaviour."

"We'd like to apologize for suggesting that they were insane and for claiming that they hadn't done a good album since the tragic death of [bassist] Cliff Burton—arrant nonsense by anyone's standards, let alone our own," read a posting on the site.

Precontroversy, the Quietus had deemed two of the preview tracks good and two of them dull. Another site, Metal Hammer, surmised that "these songs are going to sound amazing live."

Death Magnetic, due out in 2008, is Metallica's first studio effort since 2003's St. Anger. Or, the "most disappointing metal CD ever released," according to the Quietus.

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