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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

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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