Metallica – “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct”: A Review

Posted: 12/30/2016 in Uncategorized

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Metallica has finally released the long awaited follow up to “Death Magnetic”. It has proven well worth the wait. While DM was a terrific rock effort, “Hard Wired”is quite simply..metal…it puts the heavy in heavy metal and is the return to form attempted with “Some Kind of Monster” years back. Where SKOM failed to attain the metal god heights of yesteryear, Hardwired soars and easily strides to the  stratospheric levels that made Metallica a force of nature in the realms of both rock and metal.

I have often said, they play like men half their ages. With this latest volley which includes a third bonus disk including homages to Deep Purple, Ronnie James Dio and Iron Maiden before pushing forth to recent live efforts, Metallica assures their spot in  the heavy metal echelon.

Without sounding florid, this disc is tour de force. “Atlas Rise” is most likely the best track but there is just so much good that it is hard to really pick a  stand out track as there are so many hits. “Dream No More” is vintage metal, citing “Cthulu”, the Lovecraftian source of darkness. Who the hell does this anymore…? Metallica…that’s who. In a take no prisoners sonic assault, over three hours of tune-age passes by as if mere moments and this is a rare thing.

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There is a reason this album debuted at number 1 in 57 countries. It is that good. The release opens with “Hardwired” which is simply a hard rock anthem, pounding with speed and energy. “Atlas Rise” is anthemic with aspects of the mythic throughout. “Now That We’re Dead” features stellar guitar work form Kirk Hammet as does “Halo on Fire”. Both songs with various chord progressions and tempo changes ripple with vigor. Melody is not compromised in any respect and Hetfield’s voice is in terrific form. Ulrich’s drumming is other-worldly. It is as much a rhythmic onslaught as it is a study in tempo, pacing and channeled musical fury.

The second disc finishing up the 80 minutes of new songs is more frenetic and up tempo. The style is metal, the talent throughout is rock n roll stripped bare to its purest essence. Standout tracks are “Confusion”, “ManUnkind” and “Spit out the Bone” though honestly, there are no duds with this foray. The bass work throughout by  RobTrujillo mirrors  and strengthens Hetfield’s work, re-establishing his “lord of down picking” monicker.

The bonus disk delivers as well, showing the range of Hetfield’s vocals and the broad pastiche that is Hammet’s guitar-work. Kirk Hammet is not only a superb metal shredder; he is an exceptional guitarist whose work merits its place in the rock n roll pantheon. If you are lamenting the decline of modern rock or the lack of attention paid to heavy metal except for nostalgia tours, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. You will happily discover that Metal is alive and well channeled via the quartet that is Metallica. Metallica’s “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” is simply outstanding and well worth your time.

 

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