Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-DestructCultureMusicAlbum reviews
American rock metal kings Metallica return with an epic album that sonically builds up and launches listeners into chaos. Filled with their regular line up of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct is raucous and an obvious return to form. It is a train, without any brakes, there is no stopping the overpowering force of the sound on this record.
Title track, Hardwired, has been given radio play all around the globe. Clocking in at just over three minutes, it is the most obvious to bridge the gap between metal and popular culture. It is Metallica-by-numbers, a simple comeback song that will appease the long-standing fan base, whilst also harnessing the potential to gain a further following for the band. Chugging guitar and fierce drums fill the space around Hetfield’s instantly recognisable vocals.
Atlas, Rise! and Moth into Flame, the two follow-up singles, both feature on the album very soon after, delivering two of the finest offerings on the songlist. Now that We Are Dead veers away from the stereotypical metal tracks, to deliver an ounce of conventional rock, infused with bluesy riffs: an ever-so-slight curveball from the LA band. Within this number, there is an element that seems borrowed from timeless rock heroes Guns N’ Roses.
Hardwired… to Self-Destruct momentarily stands still during MenUNkind, which begins with a gentle interlude, before it is thrust into crashing drums and shredding guitars once more as the record continues to drive forward at speed. A final highlight of this comeback album is Murder One, which contains punchy drums throughout, and will bring carnage to live shows.
For those still buying physical records, this three disk mammoth release is a lengthy experience (all 26 tracks last 157 minutes), which demonstrates Metallica’s legacy and work rate. However, the ability to churn out this many songs in one collection does come with a potential risk that the album may become inconsistent in quality or, in some cases, just too long to digest. Whether or not the rockers fall foul of that hazard is entirely at the discretion of the listener.
Ultimately, this is a well-produced album, by the idols of their genre. Where at parts, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct may drag in entertainment, it is does not take away from the sheer speed, determination and excitement it is clear went into making this record. Metallica are skilled masters of their trade, writing a lot of good songs, if possibly a few too many.
Hardwired… To Self-Destruct is released on 18th November 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Murder One here: