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Metallica - Hardwired...To Self Destruct Award winner

Hardwired...To Self Destruct
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 26 November 2016, 9:22 AM

In the current political landscape, we can see from the last two weeks on Facebook and all social networks that it’s clear that METALLICA once more is again playing with the illusions of their fans (and even from their persecutors). Yes, it’s because after eight years since their last studio album, they are back, releasing “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”, and the main question is: what can Metal fans expect from this new album?

Let’s be honest: imagine a band that has a great collection of victories and defeats, of great errors and hits. Now, imagine that only the great ones learn with their mistakes and take advantage of the knowledge that only time can grant. You are near to what “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” represents. Yes, you will find elements from their classic albums, some traces of “Metallica” (easy melodies and harmonic structures), and even from “Load” and “Reload” times (the vocals using very good tunes and knowing how to sing). The album is simply excellent, because they are back to Metal. Even more, they are back to Thrash Metal, with the melodic aesthetics from traditional Heavy Metal. The production was done by Lars and James along Greg Fidelman (the same one that worked with them on the mixing and the sound engineering from “Death Magnetic”, and work with names as SLAYER, APOCALYPTICA, SLIPKNOT, U2, JOHNNY CASH, ADELE and others). The result is a clear and excellent sound quality, but keeping the strength and heavy weight they need. Also, that nasty noisy sound from “Death Magnetic” is not here anymore. The art for the cover is really creating a stir, causing different reactions (some love, other hate). But John Buttino seems to get the spirit of the band, because METALLICA albums always divide opinions.

Yes, if you are an older Metalhead like Big Daddy here, you’ll be reminded that all albums of METALLICA created great divides in the past, and “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” is really here to cause the same reaction, but I’ll not lie: this is their best album since “…And Justice for All”. It’s the album that Metalheads from my generation were waiting for 25 years.

Full of energy and musical aggressiveness, on disc one we have the fast and simple “Hardwired” (great chorus, fine guitar riffs and solos, and the same raw and catchy energy from “Kill ‘Em All” days), the excellent “Atlas, Rise!” with its NWOBHM scent (very good melodies once more, showing a very good work of bass guitar and drums), the heavy bitterness of the vocals on “Now that We’re Dead” (this one has that very good melodic appeal we can fell on “Metallica”, with the vocals using very good tunes), the Heavy/Thrash Metal catching song called “Moth Into Flame” (perfect rhythmic changes and conductions from bass and drums, a hooking chorus, and the same harmonic aesthetics you can find on “Disposable Heroes”, from “Master of Puppets”), the slow paced aggressiveness of “Dream No More” (yes, a slow and bitter song, with some modern touches on the guitar tunes, and even some Bluesy/Southern Rock influences), that same old structure of heavy parts-melodic tender and somber moments-heavy parts that we all know very well heard on “Halo on Fire” (with its eight minutes, the rhythmic changes are excellent once more contrasting with very good guitars are the greatest features of this song).

On disc two, we have some more technical tempos on “Confusion” (where the band once more takes advantage of its past and brings back some influences from their old works, especially from “…And Justice for All” due the technical insight used that is mixed with heavy melodies), the abrasive harmonies shown on “ManUNkind” (don’t be naïve to believe that the clean guitars and bass guitar parts from the beginning are the main idea, because soon your ears will be blown up with aggressive guitar riffs with a technical aesthetic that reminds something used by BLACK SABBATH on their past), the experimental touches and abrasive modernity felt on “Here Comes Revenge” (filled with abrasive melodies, the idea that we have is that they mixed the elegant aspects from “Metallica” with the experimental vocals from “Load” and “Reaload” times, and the heavy aggressiveness from “Ride the Lightning” and “Master of Puppets” times), the “back to basics” song called “Am I Savage?” (again, the band reminds their earlier influences from BLACK SABBATH and NWOBHM, mix with a simple technique, showing slow tempos and very good work from bass guitar and drums once more), the simple and catchy “Murder One” (the heavy simple grasp used on this song reminds a bit something from “Metallica” era, and this one is an homage to the greatest motherfucker Rock’n’Roll brood in existence, our loved Man in Black Lemmy Kilminster), and the fast and savage “Spit Out the Bone” (it’s a spite of aggressiveness and technique that brings back our mind to “Kill ‘Em All” once more, where the vocals are perfect once more, the guitar riffs are destructive and the rhythmic session is really creative).

Well, I spoke about every track, aiming to show you all the values of “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”, but I have to put some considerations on the table:

1. This album is not to be heard only one time. “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” demands to be fully understood, as well as it has some complexities. So, listen to it and don’t say nasty things about it (as I told in the beginning, Facebook is full of crappy words about the album).

2. Is it a new classic? Sorry, but it wasn’t and it isn’t my intention to be a Nostradamus disciple, because only the years can state such a thing. I’m a writer, just that, and it’s enough.

3. Obviously, some narrowed minded guys and girls will try to justify their opinions at the band’s cost. When METALLICA experiments, haters complain; when they do as they know, haters complain. I say, to Hell with haters opinions, just listen to the album (and don’t get on my nerves, because my balls are not to be used as decoration for children birthday).

4. No need to fear, nephews and nieces: METALLICA is back, thirsty for blood, and have the will to burst our ears and minds! Sorry, but 2016 is the year when the old Metalheads are teaching the beginners how to make a Metal album…

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Disc 1:

1. Hardwired
2. Atlas, Rise!
3. Now that We’re Dead
4. Moth into Flame
5. Dream No More
6. Halo on Fire

Disc 2:

1. Confusion
2. ManUNkind
3. Here Comes Revenge
4. Am I Savage?
5. Murder One
6. Spit Out the Bone
James Hetfield – Vocals, rhythm guitar
Kirk Hammett – Lead guitars
Robert Trujillo – Bass
Lars Ulrich – Drums
Record Label: Blackened Recordings


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