Metallica Hardwired Review

Metallica. The very name itself conjures up many thoughts and images in a music fans mind. Some of those maybe of love, hate, or love for a certain era of the band, but when a new Metallica album drops, everyone in the hard rock and heavy metal community talks about it!!! Even those that are no longer fans or never been fans, so now it is my turn to do so!

 

  The bands 10th studio release and first in 8 years kicks off with an old school attack from the title track. Thrashy riffs, Blazing guitar solos and an almost punk like beat accompany the tune while not sounding forced or dated. The disc continues on with “Atlas, Rise!”, and my personal favorite “Now That We’re Dead”. Both of these tunes showcase lots of vocal melody and guitar harmonies, and while not being nearly as fast or immediate, do not let up in terms of heaviness.

 

   The first disc closes after a few other tunes (“Moth Into a Flame”which was recently performed at the grammy’s alongside pop mega star Lady Gaga and “Dream No More”) with “Halo On Fire”, a very guitar driven mid-paced tune that is almost like some of the bands Metallica has toured with over the last several years (Ala Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold, who will be accompanying the group on the forthcoming summer US stadium tour), without sounding unlike the band in general.

 

  The second disc loses a bit of steam, only due to the first two songs(“Confusion” and “ManUnKind”) being very similar in sound, things begin to pick up a little with the track “Here Comes Revenge” (which is very reminescent of the Black Album!). The group puts on a bit of twist on the second half of disc two beginning with the Ozzy-era Sabbath homage “Am I Savage?”. This track has a very calm and peaceful intro, before kicking into the main riff, which has a swing to it very reminescent of Iommi/Ward in their 70’s glory days. A mid-paced but very heavy and “fist in the air” tribute to Lemmy follows next with “Murder One”, before the 2nd disc closes with “Spit Out The Bone”. This is easily the heaviest song the band has wrote in almost three decades, being very reminescent of …And Justice For All meets Master of Puppets (and yes with AUDIBLE bass!) in it’s pacing and nearly eight minute time length. the song even features a brief bass solo by the “new kid” Rob Trujillo (who has been in the band almost as long as previous bassist Jason Newstead at this point!) with a punishing, repetive but effective outro riff.

 

   For those of you with the bonus disc, we get all of the B-sides that were released inbetween the previous offering (2008’s Death Magnetic) and Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. Starting off with the previous vinyl only track “Lords of Summer” (which in hindsight is a very good indication of the overall vibe of this record) before launcing into 4 excellent cover versions from there. These consist of a “Ronnie Rising Medley” (a mash-up of several Dio era Rainbow tunes), Iron Maiden’s “Remember Tommorrow”, and the rare Deep Purple cut “When A Blind Man Cries”. Finishing off the third and final disc is a live set from Rasputin Music that occurred this past August, which contains a healthy balance of rarities and hits, concluding with the first ever live performance of the title track from this record.

 

   If were a fan of …And Justice For All and the Black Albun, this one will be right up your alley as those are the two older releases I would personally compare them to. If their more accessible contemporary work of the Mid/Late 90’s scared you off and you didn’t check out Death Magnetic (which you should as it too is a solid record), then I would recommend giving them and this release a chance overall.

 

3.5/5

 

Tracklisting: “Hardwired”

“Atlas, Rise!”

“Now That Were Dead”

“Moth Into Flame”

“Dream No More”

“Halo On Fire”

 

Disc Two: “Confusion”

“ManUnkind”

“Here Comes Revenge”

“Am I Savage?”

“Murder One”

“Spit Out The Bone”

 

Disc Three (Bonus Disc): “Lords of Summer”

“Ronnie Rising Medley”

“Remember Tommorrow”

“When A Blind Man Cries”

“Helpless” (Live)

“Hit The Lights” (Live)

“The Four Horseman” (Live)

“Ride the Lightning” (Live)

“Fade To Black” (Live)

“Jump In The Fire” (Live)

“For Whom The Bell Tolls” (Live)

“Creeping Death” (Live)

“Metal Militia” (Live)

“Hardwired” (Live)

 

 

 

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