The ones you say are the best are but i also like the other ones.
What i meant by lack of bass is that Metallica actually decided to tone down the bass on the album.
Cliff was a VERY skilled Bassist and a fantastic song writer.
Yes they are working on a new album and i have also heard they are trying to go back to their older style(They actually played a new song live called "Death is not the End" i believe and it was quite good). And they have a great new producer and a better Bass player in Rob Trujillo(Bassist of Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne and Infectious Grooves) then Jason Newstead who did the job but didn't seem to do much other then do what the others told him to do.
Devil's Dance - Metallica