Metallica is back and bigger than ever. It's been a long time coming since their last record, and some were losing hope. But here we are in 2016 with the band's new album, Hardwired... To Self-Destruct.
Metallica has in the game for over three decades now and they're not showing any signs of quitting. Perhaps previous efforts may have shown signs of the band fading, but Hardwired is a definite boost to the band's ego. The best of the band is back, full of energy that makes the record feel fresh. Hardwired is filled to the brim with big, demanding riffs that command your attention in every moment, bringing the true blistering nature of Metallica back to its top form.
'Atlas, Rise!' will give you a real first taste of the power this band has found. It's a true metal song in true Metallica fashion. The intro features powerful guitar punches with drumming in between, building into some giant riffs and resolving into a great solo. James Hetfield sounds a bit too clean, but definitely has a lot of strength in his voice. 'Moth Into Flame' has a similar vibe and structure, combining melody, metal, and guitar solos into one thrashing, powerful experience.
The entire album is pure rock and metal, but that doesn't stop it from having some tasty moments in between. The gentle intro of 'ManUNkind' serves as a contrast for the rest of the song, which immediately comes in thrashing with an evil composure. Dark melodies make 'Here Comes Revenge' a standout track, Hetfield's voice dramatically rising above Lars Ulrich's brooding drums in the verses really separates the track others on the record. It feels like there's genuine hatred there, whereas other tracks just sound angry. The breakdown in 'Am I Savage?' is the heaviest thing on the record, with thick, explosive guitars raging into a spiraling solo. Final track 'Spit Out The Bone' isn't the heaviest, but it definitely has the most urgency, being the fastest song on the record and perhaps one of the fastest in Metallica's entire discography.
While the album as a whole deserves praise, there are some weaker moments. Opening track and lead single 'Hardwired' is a blistering song with some solid riffs, but just as our review of the track stated, the song lacks a certain grit. Perhaps its the production of Hetfield's voice that's to blame, or maybe the pretty awful lyrics, but this song stands out as a weak point on the record.
Metallica's return to the game is a big one. Hardwired... To Self-Destruct is a wildly powerful record and one of Metallica's strongest efforts in years. It's thrilling, angry, and heavy, as Metallica should be. Whether or not Metallica is here to stay and start putting out more records, Hardwired will be sticking around with its punches for a long time to come.
Favorite Tracks: Spit Out The Bone, Halo On Fire, Am I Savage?
Least Favorite Track: Hardwired