Metallica are back! Having made long-suffering fans wait for eight long years, recent months saw the metal giants ramp up the hype machine for their return. Well, the day has finally arrived and we’re sat here armed with our copy of the new Metallica album and, having already heard a number of new tracks, are a little intrigued to see if the band have gone some way to repairing the damage done by some less-than-impressive recent works.
As hardened ‘tallica fans will admit, since their groundbreaking Black Album, it’s fair to say that Metallica’s catalogue hasn’t had too many memorable moments so, how does Hardwired… To Self-Destruct fair up as a whole? Well, the already-heard title track and “Atlas, Rise!” set things off with the band following a simple, straight-forward heavy metal formula – a big sound, crunchy riffs and easy-to-digest hooky melodies. “Moth Into Flame” is more of the same while “Dream No More” sees the album head into a darker, grungier direction. Disc one finishes with eight minutes of epic metal in the form of “Halo On Fire”. An impressive start with only one real filler track in “Now That We’re Dead”.
Disc two revs into life with the rockier mid-paced “Confusion”, a direction the release continues in through tracks like “ManUNkind” and :Here Comes Revenge”. Now, given the blistering display at times on the first disc, it’s fair to say that disc two doesn’t quite have the same impact with the band steering their sound into more hard rock-inspired waters. However, the chuggy groove and Kirk Hammet’s wailing solos will offer fans a sense of heart-warming familiarity and when the band wind up with their touching Lemmy-inspired tribute “Murder One” and the face-ripping thrash of “Spit Out The Bone”, they sign off with something to again get the old-school hardcore fans’ blood pumping.
So, is Hardwired… To Self-Destruct a classic? Nah, of course it isn’t. They’re never going to replicate the unbridled fury of their early material, nor are they going to throw out another mainstream smash like the Black Album. What they have done though is taken elements from their entire back catalogue and given us a solid effort which, despite needing a bit of the filler trimming off it here and there (ie. one or two tracks), will certainly put a smile back on fans who’ve been waiting patiently for the band to return to form.
Hardwired…To Self-Destruct Track Listing:
02. Atlas, Rise!
03. Now That We’re Dead
04. Moth Into Flame
05. Am I Savage?
06. Halo On Fire
02. Dream No More
04. Here Comes Revenge
05. Murder One
06. Spit Out The Bone
Run Time: 77:26
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Check out the song “Atlas, Rise!”