by Justin Stockton
On November 18th, 2016, Metallica who are undoubtedly the biggest and probably most well known Heavy Metal act ever are releasing their tenth studio album entitled “Hardwired to Self Destruct”. It has been almost a full decade since Metallica released the extremely popular Death Magnetic and being that this is a long time coming, I am going to look at each of the studio albums that made Metallica who they are today. Today I am starting all the way back at the beginning when Metallica released their debut album all the way back on July 25th, 1983 entitled “Kill Em All”. This album surely set off a bomb and was a hint of what was to come from these guys.
1. Hit The Lights- I have not listened to this song since forever and it really is a welcome return. The beginning sounds a lot like Weapons “Set The Stage Alight” but since Metallica were huge fans of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal I could see the influence here. The song is classic early speed metal in America where literally no one was doing this. Kirk really shines in this song as he really rips on the solo. One of their best openers ever.
2.Four Horsemen- Metallica follow up one of the most ferocious openers they had ever written with one of the catchiest and probably most complex songs on the album. Originally known as “The Mechanix” which Megadeth later recorded on their debut album, this song has such a catchy and heavy rhythm going for it with a quieter bridge in the middle which definitely changes up the tempo and adds some flavor to a classic metal tune. I have always enjoyed James' vocals and how he just screams out a lot of the lyrics as well. Just classic.
3.Motorbreath- This song has more of that NWOBHM influence both in how it is structured and three lyrics as well. It has that punk edge to it as well which I dig. I always wished the bass peddle was a bit louder in a lot of these songs as well but it was an independent label recording. Kirk has some great quick solos here as well which I enjoy. It is a short but thrashy and catchy as hell tune.
4.Jump In The Fire- The main riff in this song just screams classic heavy metal. It isn't quite as much as a Speed Metal song as most of the others but it has that catchy element and at the time. A lot of American bands were searching for the commercial sound that would make them big. Metallica I don't think gave a shit and wanted to play music like their heroes. This song is another fine slab from a fine debut. It isn't their best to me but it still has that raw edge from a young and very hungry sounding heavy metal band.
5.Anesthesia(Pulling Death)- A distorted, wah wahed out solo from Cliff Burton is all this track is and it definitely surprised the hell out of me in junior high. I always thought how the hell could you make a bass sound like that?! He really nails it down to and the jam between him and Lars at the end makes it even better. Just an absolute awesome little jam in the middle of the album that leads into one of Metallica's fastest songs.
6.Whiplash- This song comes right out of the gates and it isn't fucking around. The beginning builds so well with the pounding drums and open e chords and just explodes. It is essentially Metallica's “We're here to fuck shit up song” and It is catchy as hell. If someone asked me to explain early thrash metal, I would just tell them tom listen to this song. The solo, the chorus just everything really gets you going with this song.
7.Phantom Lord- The is my second favorite Metallica song so I am kind of biased on it. It is a relatively simple speed metal song with a catchy quick chorus to it. I just really think the chemistry between all four members is just so electric and that is why I enjoy it so much. Kirks solo really ramps up and culminates at the end of an almost acoustic but quick bridge it just gets me so ramped up every time I here it because it seems to only get louder. A heavy, catchy and fast number that is to me the biggest highlight.
8.No Remorse- This song is paced a bit more like jump in the fire as it almost has a diamond head like feel to the riffs which to most of us, is obvious. It has some interesting riffs in it and still retains that catchy feel to it ( a word I am going to use a shit ton throughout these reviews). The end turns into a full thrash metal assault and ends on a really heavy mark.
9.Seek And Destroy- Definitely the only song off this album that ever receives airplay on the local station and I can see why. It is definitely a more mid paced song but probably the catchiest on the album with awesome hooks all the way through the chorus. The middle of the song goes more for the harder and faster tempo and leads back into the main bulk into the song. James' voice especially on this song is just so classic sounding I don't know why but it just works so damn well.
10.Metal Militia- Metallica fire off on all cylinders with this song. It is a thrash staple and ends the album on a heavy as fuck note with the sounds war blasting through the speakers as the band jam their asses off till they fade away.
Overall, the very first outing from Metallica is a really high note and for some groups coming out this high on top can almost be career crippling. I give the album a solid and I mean very solid 8 out of 10 only because Metallica prove on later albums that they can play even better but that is for another time. Next we are looking at Metallica's 1984 sophomore effort entitled “Ride The Lightning”
Metallica 'Hardwired' Song Review