Hardwire: To Self-Destruct: Metallica

Rating: 65%

Metallica_Hardwired..._To_Self-Destruct_2016.jpegIn 2016, Metallica decided to put out a two CD or in the deluxe model, a three CD album. I have the two CD version of this release. So far I have mixed feelings about this album. Some of the songs really kick ass, but most sound as if they were leftovers from the “Load” and “Reload” era with a bit of the “Black” album thrown in. I am surprised that there isn’t another “Unforgiven” on here.

Positive note, you can hear other influences thrown in from Iron Maiden to Diamond Head. At least for that fact, Metallica has gone back to its roots to seek newer ideas and try to employ those ideas. There’s nothing wrong with looking at the past to see the future. But, this experiment somehow, somewhere was thrown off the tracks. I think it’s partly due to the long drawn out songs.

First, this is not a Heavy Metal album by the famous Heavy Metal band. The overall sound is to light and is focused with more of a mid-tempo style surrounding Hard Rock. Because of that, this album copies its sound and style from the two “Load” albums. The song structures seem a bit straight forward, nothing to complex and mostly standard stuff. There are a few Thrash Metal riffs here and there that helps to give this album a much needed boost. Then, there are those songs structured around a slower pace rhythm sections that are heavy to a point, but looses the excitement because they lack intensity. This has the classic sound of the 1990’s era “Load” and “Reload.” It’s got some grit to the overall sound, but there’s no explosiveness to the quality of the music. It’s just the songs themselves are much slower and drawn out. There seems to be many loose ends with the song writing.  There are a few songs on this album that I just can’t seem to get into and I find myself fast forwarding to the next track.

The musicianship is good. Metallica has always been a band that seems to have fun and love what they do. Just when they experiment, what might be fun for them, is not so enjoyable for us. James Hetfield’s vocals seem strong. I have always liked his vocal style. He has gotten better with age. There is some decent riffs by Hetfield and Kirk Hammett that seem to be up there with the “Black” album. But repeating itself over and over as a filler, well those riffs seem to loose the lust after a while. There are some good leads and fills conducted by Hammett, but nothing explosive. Lars Ulrich drumming is decent, but he too is lacking intensity and seems as if he is having problems keeping up with the tempo of the music. My biggest complaint is with Robert Trujillo’s bass. Where is it? You have a bass player, use him! He’s got talent, but I can only hear him on a few songs.

What we have here is a double album release that is about average with a lot of filler. Maybe taking some of the stronger songs and releasing just a one CD album would have made the difference. It has its highlights and it also has its low points. I have noticed that on many of the reviews of this album compared to the new Megadeth, many prefer the new Megadeth album and I do too!

Track listing:

Disc one
1. “Hardwired” 3:09
2. “Atlas, Rise!” 6:31
3. “Now That We’re Dead” 6:59
4. “Moth into Flame” 5:50
5. “Dream No More” 6:29
6. “Halo on Fire” 8:15

Disc two
1. “Confusion” 6:41
2. “ManUNkind” 6:55
3. “Here Comes Revenge” 7:17
4. “Am I Savage?” 6:29
5. “Murder One” 5:45
6.”Spit Out the Bone” 7:09

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