Hardwired...To Self Destruct
Metallica - 2016
This could either be the longest review I’ve ever written, but I think I’ll spare you a few thousand words and be more concise.
Metallica is my favorite band of all time and they haven’t released a proper new album in 8 years, so yeah, I was looking forward to this a little bit. Their career was was amazingly awesome through their first 5 albums, and then fell off in the late 90’s when they changed their sound to a more radio friendly, bluesy, hard rock kind of thing. I applaud them for taking lots of chances, like playing with a full orchestra, or the Lou Reed album, even if I didn’t care for those projects. 2008’s Death Magnetic has some production issues with the sheer volume it was mixed at, but the album itself is a fantastic return to form, and I think it’s pretty underrated.
Hardwired is a very, very solid release. It’s kind of a combo of various eras of the band. There’s straight up thrash, melodic metal, radio-friendly hard rock, and prog-metal. (no ballads either, yay!)
The song “Hardwired…To Self Destruct" is the shortest of Metallica’s career, and they pack a lot into that one song. It’s the thrashiest song they’ve recorded in decades. "Atlas Rise” is my favorite song of the year, and a top 20 favorite Metallica song of all time. (possibly…I haven’t made that list yet). The other single, “ “Moth Into Flame”, is another heavy track highlight, as well as the speed metal closer, “Spit Out The Bone”. “Here Comes Revenge” and “Now That We’re Dead” are other great tracks, although more hard rock than metal.
Overall there are no bad songs here, so the one gripe I have is my ongoing issue with Metallica from the mid-90’s on, and that’s a lack of brevity. They can always cut a couple of songs out, even if they’re pretty good, so that the album experience is stronger overall. It’s a luxury complaint for sure, but I need to mark them down a couple of notches because of it.
To sum up, there are 3 fantastic songs here, a bunch of really great ones, and some decent rock songs. I think it will just miss my top ten, although as much as I like “Atlas Rise”, “Hardwired”, "Spit Out The Bone”, and “Moth Into Flame”, maybe it should be.
EDIT: Of course they are making my top ten. Who the hell was I kidding? This is a Tambe top ten.
Posted by Tambe