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Metallica Unveil "Death Magnetic" Cover

July 18, 2008 12:07 PM ET

Yesterday, Metallica unveiled the remarkably subtle cover art for its forthcoming album, Death Magnetic. We see shards of metal arranged in a curious pattern, as if by some natural force, creating a shape that looks almost like a coffin — but what does it symbolize? As always, Metallica keeps us guessing.

In an interview with Norwegian television this week, frontman James Hetfield pontificated on the dense similes the album's title is built upon. "It started out as kind of a tribute to people that have fallen in our business, like Layne Staley. Some people are drawn towards [death], just like a magnet, and other people are afraid of it and push away."

Rock Daily will take the rest of the day off to turn on the black light and really think about that one, though we have to admit that this cover is not nearly as badass as Kill 'Em All or Master of Puppets but is head and shoulders above Load and Reload.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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