Death Magnetic barely redeemed them after St. Anger. Barely. The songs from St. Anger are okay taken by themselves, but it's a huge chore to listen to the album.
On the one hand, it wouldn't surprise me to know Hetfield used an autotuner (I haven't noticed, but will check it out). On the other hand, wasn't this album produced by Rick Rubin? That's not been his style for a while... but, then again, he did start out with hip hop, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise on that front, either.