Ulrich said when he and his fellow Metallica members began working on "Death," they were concerned that revisiting their '80s sound would somehow lessen their past accomplishments, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.
"We just wanted to make the best record possible," Ulrich told the newspaper. "We had a weird taboo relationship with our early records that we felt scared to revisit because we'd be in some way cheapening them."
Ulrich also downplayed complaints that "Death" tracks sound distorted due to problems during the final mixing process.
"We can't put out records for every niche in our fan base. We attract such a diverse group of people, we can't please everybody. Metallica has made (its) career out of doing what we need to do for ourselves," he told the Tribune. "I love the way the album sounds."
"Death" marked the ninth studio album from Metallica, which enjoyed '80s success with albums such as "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets."