Metallica is one of my top 3 favorite bands of all time, right behind Nine Inch Nails and Alice In Chains. I’ve been eagerly anticipating a new album from Metallica for a while now. And I can honestly say that the wait was well worth it. Metallica really delivers the goods on their new album Hardwired…To Self Destruct. This album has everything Metallica fans love about the band. It’s thrashy, riff driven with lots of groove, and harks back to their more raw intense days of say Kill Em All and Ride The Lightning, with bits of the Black album and dashes of Load era blues. Let me simplify that for you, this new album is as though Kill Em All and The Black Album fornicated and did a few lines of Load.
Now here is a track by track rundown of the album:
From the start of the album with “Hardwired,” you know you are in for a ride. The anger and intensity that comes from everyone in the band comes alive on this song. “Atlas, Rise,” is a borderline epic jam that has flashes of Ride The Lightning influence to it as well as an Iron Maiden feel.”Now That We’re Dead” is very groovy, and musically there is a tinge of Alice In Chains to this song. “Moth Into Flame” is one of the best songs Metallica has ever written. There is nothing about this song that isn’t awesome. The melody, the riff, the drums and rhythm, it simply rocks. “Dream No More” is a very “black album/Ride The Lightning” influenced song, with some more grunge rock melody, making for a very gritty track. There is even a mention of Ktulu, which is a nice little ode to the Ride The Lightning era. “Halo On Fire” is one of the more somber and mellow tracks on the album but, by no means does it lose the edge the rest of the album has. Kirk Hammett’s leads on this song add a sense of melancholy in a good way. “Confusion” keeps with the melodic and heavy riffs. “ManUNkind” is thrashy and heavy. This is one of those songs that really has the Kill Em All/Ride The Lightning feel to it. Plus the video for it is absolutely awesome. “Here Comes Revenge” is another heavy track but, this one has lots of dynamics to it, that separate it from the rest of the pack. “Am I Savage” starts off with a very epic drawl then transforms into a groovy track. “Murder One” is one of my favorite songs on the album. There is something really rocking and cool about this song, as it’s a tribute to the great Lemmy of Motorhead. Closing out the album is the heaviest track on the album “Spit Out The Bone.” This is the type of song many Metallica fans have been waiting for, for many years. This is a song is going to be one of those songs live that will leave you with whiplash from headbanging.
Metallica have delivered a truly great album. From the songwriting, production, artwork, and marketing, Hardwired…To Self Destruct is going to go down as a classic for the band. James Hetfield sounds great on this album. His lyrics are top notch and full of insight and imagery. Kirk Hammett’s solos are tasteful and full of melody. He even manages to lay off the wah-wah pedal enough to showcase his playing. Robert Trujillo provides a layer of thunder with the bass that hasn’t been heard since The Black Album. Lars, well Lars actually brings a speed and intensity that he has lacked in recent years. Sure he’s not playing like he did all those years ago but, he’s giving the songs what they need.
I for one am glad that Metallica took their time and didn’t rush to put out an album. Among their peers in the metal community, they have always done what they wanted and it pays off in the end, with the exception of St. Anger. That was just wretched but, necessary to get the band back to where they need to be, heavy and ruthless in their approach. Take a listen to the entire album and let this album encompass you and make you fall in love with Metallica all over again.
Overall Rating: A
Metallica- Hardwired…To Self Destruct: