Metallica's manager: "98% of listeners overwhelmingly positive"

Metallica: checking out how Death Magnetic sounds on a car stereo?

It's the closest thing to an official response so far: Metallica's co-manager, Q Prime's Cliff Burstein told the Wall Street Journal today that 98% of listeners are "overwhelmingly positive", adding "there's something exciting about the sound of this record that people are responding to".

He's not wrong about people responding to Death Magnetic. However, if the debate raging on fan forums are anything to go by, the proportion of fans unhappy with the way their Death Magnetic CDs sound is much greater than 2%.

At the time of writing, 10,841 fans have responded by signing an online petition to get the record remixed or remastered. The consensus seems to be that fans love the songs on the record, they just don't think that the mix does it justice.

There's still no official comment from any of the band or producer Rick Rubin. Death Magnetic mastering engineer Ted Jensen has confirmed that comments he made about the record in an email that a fan posted on the official Metallica forum were genuine.

"There's something exciting about the sound of this record that people are responding to." Q Prime's Cliff Burnstein

Jensen blamed brick-walling at the mix stage for the audible digital clipping on the record, signing off with the telling comment, "Believe me, I'm not proud to be associated with this one".

Although Jensen regrets the tone, he certainly stands by the sentiment: "I'm not sure I would have said quite the same thing if I was posting it to the bulletin board," he says, but "it's certainly the way I feel about it."

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.

Don't know what all the fuss is about? Find out why some fans think Death Magnetic sounds better in the Guitar Hero III video game than it does on CD.