Quasselstrippe Lars Ullrich, seines Zeichens Drummer von METALLICA, äußerte sich folgendermaßen zum kommenden Album:
"This stuff is certainly a lot more dynamic and a lot more varied than the last couple of go-rounds," he said. "There's a lot of light and shade in these songs. There's heavy, fast, nutty stuff, and then there's some slowdowns and musical interludes. It's pretty different from 'St. Anger', and it's pretty different from the 'Load' stuff. This stuff is not the one-dimensional punch in the face that 'St. Anger' was. This is probably a little more like those couple of albums back there in the decade that begins with an '8.'"
When asked if the material represents a return to the "old school," Lars replied, "I hate to be that specific, because six months from now people are gonna go, 'What the fuck? Lars lied to us!' But it feels that way to me. It's been no secret that Rick [Rubin, producer] suggested to us that we use a couple of those records as reference points that we spend some time kind of accessing that headspace. So when we would come to forks in the road, sometimes the exercise became, 'What would we have done at this point in 1985?'"