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Metallica Unveils Layne Staley Inspired ‘Death Magnetic’ Song ‘Just A Bullet Away’ [AUDIO]

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Metallica have finally released the ‘Death Magnetic’ track that was inspired by the life and death of Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley. The rough version of the track which was previously referred to as ‘Shine’ and ‘Holy Revolver’ now appears under the title ‘Just a Bullet Away.’

It’s not the most well-known fact that Layne Staley served as the inspiration for Metallica’s  2008 album ‘Death Magnetic.’ The band even hung a picture of Layne hanging in the studio to serve as a reminder of the tragedy surrounding the late vocalist. James Hetfield explained to Guitar World:

“The theme of our new album is that we’re all gonna die sometime. Just like the poles of a magnet, some people are drawn to death and others are repulsed by it, but we all have to deal with it. Lyrically, it started as a bit of a tribute to Layne Staley and all those who’ve martyred themselves in the name of rock and roll. But it grew and evolved from there.”

In a separate interview with Rolling Stone, the Metallica frontman explained that there was also a song more specifically about Layne titled ‘Shine’ that didn’t make the album’s final cut:

“I know Jerry Cantrell quite well and learned about Layne through him… I could see some of the things Jerry went through to keep that band together. I started writing a song around a Layne Staley type – a rock ‘n’ roll martyr magnetized by death. Why did he choose that path, someone with such talent?”

Metallica unveiled two ‘Death Magnetic’ B-Sides yesterday — the first of which being ‘Hate Train‘ and the latest called ‘Just a Bullet Away.’ Our previous research on ‘Shine’ would indicate — even though this latest outtake has a different title — it is the same song. Metallica attached this message to the video:

“We’re pretty excited to be bringing these songs back to life nearly four years after they were recorded. Once again, this is the unpolished version of the song… the original rough mix from March of 2008 in its rawest, untouched form.”

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