When I first heard that they were releasing new material I have to admit that I was a skeptic just like the rest of their fans. The reasons being… the last 2 albums (Some Kind of Monster from 2003 & Death Magnetic 2008) were okay yet not what we expected at all. In 2012 they released a 4 track EP called “Beyond Magnetic” which was a step up from the initial “Death Magnetic”(In my personal opinion those 4 tracks fit better on Death Magnetic). Over the last few months Metallica surprised us with the title track single “Hardwired… To Self Destruct”. With lyrics such as “We’re so f*cked,Shit out of luck”,a heavy feel and speedy sound,fans like myself were taken back by its glory and we had a glimmer of hope that the band we love were officially back! Just after the first single was released we got to hear another gem from the new stuff called “Moth Into Flame”. This was already my favorite of the 2 initial releases that debuted on their official YouTube channel as the sound was heavier than on Hardwired as well as an old familiar sound that the band we love had woken up out of their funk. I was taken back some more as I didn’t think they could still pull this kind of sound off in their older ages. Then on Halloween we were blessed with the 3rd single called “Atlas,Rise!”. This was a track that I honestly did not care for the first listen. After a few plays it grew on me, and before you know it… It became my favorite out of the 3 initial releases. Everything about the lyrics, the speed, the sound and the solos hit me with such nostalgia and really hit home. “Atlas,Rise!” has such moving lyrics and Kirk Hammett really owns on the solo.I and this will definitely be up there on the greatest tracks recorded.
Now that we have the original 3 singles spoken about, Let’s move on to the newest one titled “Spit Out The Bone”… Holy Shit!!! This song has as an opening that reminds me of “Whiplash” from the “Kill em’ All” album just with 90’s sound. Metallica once again kicked some serious ass as they were once again on point with this track. The solos and the speed and lyrics were really something else. I was actually taken back from how amazing the solo via Kirk was once again. It truthfully became one of my new favorite Kirk Hammett solos! Metallica released Hardwired as a 2 disc set with 6 tracks per album. They gave us 12 new songs that sound as amazing as Load and Reload,a bit of And justice for all and even some Black album. We spoke about 4 of the 12 tracks, Let’s briefly go over the other 8! The track that really sounded old school was “Confusion” as it reminded me a lot of “Am I Evil?” from the opening & closing riffs. It’s as if they were channeling their younger “Garage, Inc. ” selves. Then they have “Dream no more” which is another track dedicated to Cthulu. I’m seriously impressed by that track! I wonder what made them dedicate another song to Cthulu as that came off as a bit of a shocker when I heard the lyrics.
Let’s talk about “Halo on fire”. Everything about this track reminds me of “Load” era Metallica. Vocals to riffs and of course that incredible outro with James singing “Hello darkness, say goodbye” very eerily. “Now That We’re Dead”channels newer style Metallica but also has the feeling that you’ve heard this song on the Reload album from the 90’s. They also have a song on Disc 2 titled “ManUnkind” Very interesting track! The riffs once again sound very “Load/Reload”era to me, Although lyrically I’m still not sure how I feel about it.However it is most certainly a great track! It kind of reminds me of a blend on “Unforgiven 2” From “Reload” and “Mama Said” off of “Load”. Not my favorite track but truthfuly… neither were those!
“Murder One”… better know as the “Tribute to Lemme song”. After Lemme passed away earlier this year, it left a hole in the world of metal. Lemme was one of the most iconic voices in all of the genre so naturally Metallica recorded a track in dedication. Motorhëad was a huge influence to Metallica when they were first starting out. Definitely a great song!
“Here Comes Revenge” is probably one of my favorites off this album. It has an opening and closing riff similar to the track “Leper Messiah” from “Master of Puppets” with their more current style in between. Worth it to give it a chance as for “Am I Savage?” It is a modern-day “Carpe Diem Baby”. It’s a good track, however not a favorite.
I give this album a solid B+ rating as it is a vast improvement over what we have gotten since “Reload”. Metallica really tried hard with this one and I give them a lot credit. We need to remember that these guys have been performing for 4 decades. They’re not as young as they used to be. The fact that we even got a new album is amazing! To quote James “We’ll never stop,we’ll never quit ’cause we’re Metallica!” reigns true here. This album was not only a huge shocker, but a huge welcome back! In closing I just want to say:
“Die as you suffer in vain
Own all the grief and the pain
Die as you hold up the skies
How does it feel on your own?
Bound by the world all alone
Crushed under heavy skies
Crushed under heavy skies