METALLICA – Hard Wired to Self Destruct
A long 8 year wait for a new studio album that’s so far sold between 260-280K of records according to the charts. Was it worth it? To me, yes but of course there are those strong critics out there including myself to conclude that sad fact METALLICA of the 80’s remains gone forever. Not to say that there aren’t thrash elements to this release, it’s more of a heavy metal album than anything else. It’s a post Justice sort of “Black Album” revisited and the Black dates back to 1993!! So much for reliving the old as I stressed.
What’s the music like? Well, distorted guitar riffs with cheesy blues leads via Hammett. Some have same the similar blues riffs reminiscent of the “Black Album”. But the rhythms are really catchy, I’d have to conclude those guitar riffs were the best part of the album. Not to mention the production quality. So don’t expect super-heavy METALLICA because it’s just not going to happen again. Not in this lifetime. Some songs that really struck home with me were the first 3 that were featured on YouTube: the title track, “Moth into Flame” and “Atlas, Rise!” The rest of the songs were good, but those 3 the most.
Hetfield’s vocals still show that he’s got the flame still and it’s undying. But in certain songs he’s a bit lame, though the music throughout the whole album. I would take out and reevaluate Hammett’s contributions in the lead department. For the first 4 albums, he’s strong then he’s declined ever since. The overuse of the wah-pedal I think. Not enough technicality and Hetfield saves the band with his awesome songwriting musically though I think that the lyrical concepts were good only I couldn’t relate to them. He’s really focused on a dark realm of civilization and humanity, but still quality.
I’m sure that the millennials are loving this one. Me being in a different generation the METALLICA of the old is where it’s at. But was it worth the wait for this one? I’d say yes and no. Yes because they’ve gone back to being heavy metal (though we love those thrash days) and no because of the lead guitar. If either Cliff Burton (RIP) were onboard or Dave Mustaine was with the band, then METALLICA would still probably remain a thrash band. But it is what it is, so are we happy about them now during this midlife sort of lineup? I guess yes because they still have the flame.
The only real album to compare this one in METALLICA’s discography is the “Black Album”, that’s the closest. That album I think is a better one than this one. For many reasons but mostly the musicianship and the thicker guitar sound. However, METALLICA members being in their 50’s are still kicking butt. They to me were predicted to sell that many albums and the biggest streamed heavy metal release in the world. But do they live up to fan’s expectations? Some yes, some no. For me, I’m in-between. I like what they’ve demonstrated musically, but I still have to be objective and say flat out that Kirk Hammett is way overrated of a lead guitarist. I still wonder if Mustaine was with them…
Ryan “Death8699” Fanucchi