LOS ANGELES—Weighing the pros and cons of the palm-muted low-E-string lick, Metallica’s 12-member board of directors reportedly debated Wednesday whether lead guitarist Kirk Hammett’s newest riff might negatively impact the band’s shareholder value. “Frankly, I don’t see any downside—when Kirk drops in after the intro with that feedback-heavy all-out assault on the lower register, it just melts your fucking face off,” said band CEO Don Herbst, rebutting the claim made by some of his colleagues that, given the current business climate, shareholders stood to “lose their asses” on a stripped-back Master Of Puppets–era hook dominated by cleanly picked minor dyads. “I get the argument that you might be able to goose your ROI by a few percentage points with a tremolo groove that gets more and more vicious with each repetition. But to hack its balls off by cutting the tempo to anything less than 180 [beats per minute] would be ludicrous from a cost-benefit perspective.” According to reports, the board later voted to sell off 200,000 units of stock to finance a chest-exploding, Trujillo-driven bass harmony.

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