It's 2016, and we finally have a new Metallica album on the way! The double LP Hardwired... To Self-Destruct is due out in November (details here), and ahead of it's release we can expect some new music from the record to hit radio. The first new music shared from the record was the single 'Hardwired', a riff-filled track harkening back to Metallica's origins.
The first thing you hear from this track is the blistering palm-muted guitar and big snare hits. Right from the get go, this song's big and up in your grill, and that's before the really riffing even comes in! As the riff kicks in, we get the drums picking up the drive in thrash nature. James Hetfield barks angrily over the thick instrumental, as to be expected from a good 'Tallica track. The bridge features a short tremolo solo that wildly flails atop the big riff.
That's about as much praise as you can give the track, though. It's not terrible, but as a whole, just uneventful. After the hype of the intro comes a big riff... that repeats for the entire song. The solo doesn't help much, because its just flailing all over the frets. Hetfield sounds very underwhelming in the scheme of the track, too, no grit to support the angry message, which is send through the words, "We're so fucked, shit out of luck / Hardwired to self-destruct". There's angst there, definitely taking them back to their roots, but without the creativity of what made old Metallica so grand and powerful. It's like a light punch - its stunning at first but you won't have any trouble brushing it off after a few moments.
Metallica's new album has a lot of potential. If they riff as big as 'Hardwired', a true metal behemoth may be on the horizon. But, if 'Hardwired' is to say anything about how creative they were, there may be a flop. Let's see how this one plays out - and hope it's not as bad as the cover art for this single. We'll be waiting, Lars.
Rating: 55 / 100