Eight years ago Metallica released their 9th studio album Death Magnetic. The album had mixed reviews, but was received fairly well. Following 2003’s St. Anger, which was considered a misguided disaster by many, Death Magnetic was a welcome breath of fresh air. It was Metallica’s return to form, the album where the band re-established themsleves as the thrash legends they are.
Now after a long, but very interesting eight years, in which they made an album with Lou Reed, made a concert movie, and played multiple large festivles around the world, and even playing in Antarctica, the band has come back with their 10th studio album Hardwired…To Self Destruct. And right as you start listening from the opening track, you can tell that Metallica hasn’t held anything back with this album.
The opening track Hardwired throws you into vast whirlwind of speed and riffage. The lyrics are honest and acerbic, as you can hear from their chorus, We’re so fucked/shit out of luck. While not Nobel Prize worthy, it still adds to the rawness of the song and leaves the listener feeling pumped with high speed energy.
Songs like Atlas Arise, and Moth Into Flame, is where we hear the Metallica we know and love. The fast, and melodic licks on Atlas, and the heavy riffs and extreme double bass on Moth, have you breathing a sigh of relief, while simultaneously making you want to head bang as hard as you can.
The album follows a similar trend of talking about man’s imperfections, as is stated with ManUnkind, it paints a pessimistic viewpoint for the problems with the world today, which itself is implied by the album title.
After the first song, the album takes a slower turn, and most of the songs tend to be nice and long which is a Metallica hallmark. But the songs still retain the heavy beats and fast solos that is needed in metal. There are a few instances on some of the longer songs where the momentum starts to slow and feels slightly dull, but these are rare occasions, and are usually resloved by the return to fast and interesting riffs.
It is truly invigorating to hear Metallica come back and pump out some awesome music. Although this album is not as groundbreaking as Master of Puppets, it still shows that Metallica still has what it takes to make a spectacular metal album. It also proves that even though they are now in their 50’s, they can still tap into their roots, which defined the genre, and continues to influence metal bands today.
Final Rating 8.5/1