By Justin Stockton
“Hardwired...Toe Self Destruct” is the tenth studio album by heavy”thrash metal quartet Metallica and is to be released on November 18th,2016. Finally the biggest heavy metal band in the world releases their next album unto the world. And Metallica definitely kept themselves busy as well with doing the Lulu collaboration, a big week long list of special shows to promote their thirty years together and they even made a movie akin to Led Zeppelin's the song remains the same. But finally they have graced us with not only a new album but a double album. However, with so much material does the album crumble under its weight or does it come out on top? Well lets wrap this Metallica-thon up by delving right in.
1.Hardwired-Right off the bat, Metallica are going straight for the jugular and sound a lot more pissed off than they did on “Death Magnetic”. This song definitely is reminiscent of the early days and starts the album off just right. Very simple but very brash and very heavy with probably one of Kirk Hammetts most simple solo's as well.
2.Atlas, Rise!- This song is easily one of the more complex tunes on the album and is one of my favorites as well with “Death Magnetic” as well but the production I feel is a tad more slick here. James' voice also sounds just a lot more solid on this album as well and Kirk's solo in this is really good and really peaks during the melodic moment right before the song comes right around to the verses. The chorus is very Iron Maiden like as well and I dig it. So far the album is shaping up to be very lively.
3.Now That We're Dead- Whoa 90's Metallica has swept in! And it is the good kind with the big riffs and solid grooves. I love how this song groove's a long and slows the pace down from the past two tracks a bit. It has a bit of radio quality to it but mixes things up especially early in the game. James sings damn good here as well just as solid as he was singing on “Load” as well and the chorus is pretty solid as well.
4.Moth Into Flame- This song returns back to the more straight forward heavy metal moments but with a whole lot more melody to it and I don't think I have seen Metallica utilize melody like they had in this track. The chorus is extremely addicting on my 6th listen I still find myself singing to it. I also love Kirk's solo in this song as well, it is reminiscent of some of his old solo's from back in the day. I als0 have to compliment how much more audible the bass is on this record to, it rumbles a lot more than it did on “Death Magnetic” and I can dig that.
5.Dream No More- This song has a bit of “Sad But True” mixed in with the edge of a track like “King Nothing” and I really like it. The riffs are very simple but solidly done. The best thing about this song is easily James' vocals, it literally is James' voice off of “Load” and for good reason, he gives off a dark vibe to the song especially in the chorus. As simple as the song is it is catchy and is another one of the slower songs that I dig a lot.
6.Halo On Fire- This is sort of the epic song on the album with more of the softer guitars coming out during the verse and then a monumental chorus with James shouting the lines out and making this one of his strongest vocal performances I think ever. I enjoy the loose feeling of this song as well with Kirk kind of doing more simple but groove driven soloing throughout. Another great and emotional song off the album.
7.Confusion-The Diamond Head influence cannot be denied here and not in a total ripoff way, although I do get major Am I Evil vibes in the beginning. There are some good riffs throughout this track but it falls short just a bit for me around the chorus. It just doesn't have the magic the first two sides had. It isn't a bad song but just falls short a bit.
8.Manunkind- I really like how the music video is a total black metal show, almost seems like a tribute to black metal band Mayhem. The song is a slab of old school heavy metal with a bit of seventies rock influence to it as well. It is a good more hard rocking tune again with the “Load” era in mind with some strong vocals laid over the top as well.
9.Here Comes Revenge- Another one of my favorite songs with a darker vibe to it as well. I love the riffs in this song with the heavy chugging but at a mid tempo adding a bit more of a groove. This song sports another pretty damn catchy chorus as well. Kirk has a dirtier solo on this track that I dig as well.
10.Am I Savage?- Opening with a darker vibe, almost Gothic in tone which I really dig, it's something different. The riffs are again more simple but with some good grooves in the verses but again falls flat a bit during the chorus. It just feels a bit bored in some aspects.
11.Murder One- Metallica finally give their tribute to Lemmy (with a kickass video too). This song has more of a hard rock edge to it and some dirty bluesy sounds too. It definitely is more of a jam tune and a cool little inclusion on the album.
12.Spit Put The Bone- Holy Hell what the hell happened! Metallica literally exploded on this song and haven't done it this good since Master Of Puppets honestly. It is so unrelentless and James' vocals are amazing like holy hell this track alone makes the whole album worth it. It is catchy as hell as well all the way through the chorus. This is heavier than anything on Death Magnetic I honestly can't believe they had it in them to still play THIS fast and tight still but I applaud them for ending the album with a huge bang and I love Trujillo's bass solo as well, a killer inclusion!
Overall, I give “Hardwired...To Self Destruct” a good 8 out of 10. Honestly it isn't an album that is a complete return to form for Metallica, hell Death Magnetic was more of a return to the style of “...And Justice”. However there are aspects that are done better than that album and the variety from straight forward thrash metal to more of their 90's hard rock sound is what really works here. The album does trudge a bit during the second half but the good songs are really good and then the average songs are there but being a double album, I think we get enough songs that would make a concrete single album with some songs that would have worked more as bonus tracks. Overall, it is a welcomed return once again for the boys at least to me and I also gotta say, spring for the deluxe edition if you want an awesome revamped version of “Lords Of Summer”. So that concludes my Metallica retrospective with all ten studio albums and their Lou reed collaboration. No matter where you stand, you cannot deny that Metallica are as big as they are for a reason, because they still can write good tunes. Long live Metallica!
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