In 1983, while most bands produced prom-friendly albums (danceable mid-tempo hard rock songs, inevitable power ballads, all slathered in hormones and Aqua Net), Metallica had the best rock-n-roll response: Kill ’em All. Punk in speed and energy, heavy metal in technique and tone, Kill ’em All remains among the most thrilling albums of the era and one of the most defining and defiant debuts ever. Twenty-five years later, Metallica has survived death, Napster, haircuts, therapy, and covering Bob Seger songs to release this year’s Death Magnetic, its fifth straight No. 1 album and a welcome return to form after 2003’s disappointing St. Anger. Produced by noted aging-star-reviver Rick Rubin, Magnetic is classic mid-career Metallica, a throwback to the days when abrupt tempo shifts, holy-shit guitar runs and James Hetfield’s patented growl—now warmer and more menacing—ruled high-school study halls. Metallica has mastered the art of the mini metal symphony, and the new album is no exception; most of Death Magnetic’s tracks clock in well over seven minutes, including the Top 40 hit “The Day That Never Comes.” Pace your head banging accordingly. (Lamb of God and The Sword open.) KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., (Seattle Center), 628-0888, $59.50-$79.50. 7 p.m. PAUL JENSEN

Mon., Dec. 1, 7 p.m., 2008

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