Here's a question: if you invite journalists to listen to a playback session, and don't actually ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement (or even mention that it's meant to be a big secret), should you be surprised when the journalists publish a report on the evening?
Exactly. And yet Metallica were, flying into a squawking rage when they discovered reviews of the music they'd played to journalists were online, and issuing "requests" for take down (which we gather to be of a 'nice-place-shame-if-something-happened' nature) to the websites that were carrying the pieces.
The official explanation is that the songs were "unfinished" and so it would be unfair to review them - although if the songs were so far from ready, why would you play them to people whose jobs are writing about the songs they've been played?
More likely is that the reviews were somewhat lukewarm: Blinded By The Hype saw the Quietus piece before they dropped it to protect their writer:
Not, perhaps, the ringing endorsement Metallica were hoping for. Maybe the other reviews were more excited, but then - since Metallica have rushed about having all memory of them wiped from the web - we'll never know, will we?
[Thanks to Sebastian Robinson for the story tip]