After listening to "Death Magnetic" a few times, I feared my hearing had finally been shot by too many concerts, as I felt that several tracks exhibited clipping and distortion. This post explains it all. Something is wrong with the mix or the mastering, which are too hot and too compressed. This has been widely reported on Metallica boards across the web and an online petition asking for a proper re-release has even been launched!
Funny enough, the Guitar Hero 3 version - which I couldn't resist buying - offers a much improved sound. In a matter of hours, the GH3 songs have been ripped in lossless format and uploaded on BitTorrent trackers... And we have come full circle again: THE INTERNET CANNOT BE DEFEATED.
Food for thought on distribution channels, digital bundles, price points, quality expectations, etc.