New Metallica album Death Magnetic has leaked in its entirety ten days in advance of its Friday 12 September worldwide release date.
Reports suggest that a French record store sold a number of copies of the CD on 2 September and the past 24 hours have seen all of the songs appear on YouTube and file-sharing sites.
Speaking on a Californian radio show several hours ago, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich – once an outspoken opponent of illegal downloading – was pragmatic about the leak:
"Listen, we're ten days from release. I mean, from here, we're golden. If this thing leaks all over the world today or tomorrow, happy days. Happy days.
"Trust me. Ten days out and it hasn't quote-unquote fallen off the truck yet? Everybody's happy. It's 2008 and it's part of how it is these days, so it's fine. We're happy."
So, after a marathon marketing campaign, Death Magnetic is finally out there. Have you heard it? What do you think?