Quoted from TOK:
I think Hetfield is playing rhythm even tighter now. He's actually doing something more difficult and making it sound easier -all while singing. The guy is a f'ing monster.
Never would question Jimmys playing. He's one of the most bad-ass rhythm guitarists to ever walk the planet, and my personal favorite. He IS a monster, no doubt. BUT...his guitar tone has changed. I can't tell if its his shitty ESP pick-ups, or a new amp set-up, or lame super compressed production,... but his sound has absolutely changed. It used to be razor sharp,...now it's more "brown" I guess. I dunno. I've only listened to it twice, so I shouldn't pass judgement just yet. I'm not a fair weather fan, not gonna start now. Good news is it's supposed to be a double album, so there's bound to be some greatness on there.
Metal up yer ass !