There’s already a million identikit reviews floating around in internet land so Worship Metal simply cuts to the chase and answers the questions on everyones lips. No bullshit, no fannying around, just straight up answers to the burning questions. Starting with….
Is this the Metallica album everyone’s been waiting for?
- Yes….and no. This is the best album Metallica have released since The Black Album (of course, that depends on how you feel about The Black Album) but those looking for a double album of old-school thrash will probably already know that Hardwired….To Self Destruct is not that kind of release. What it is, is an amalgamation of 30+ years of ‘tallica history….rolled into one (or two if we’re being pedantic).
Are Kirk’s solo’s any good?
- No, 99% drivel.
Is Rob’s bass audible?
- Yes….and the man is a beast on this record!
Has Lars’ drumming improved?
- No, his footwork in particular is appalling. But, at least the production’s decent.
Can James still deliver decent vocals?
- Yes, this is the best he’s sounded in decades; real grit, fire and passion.
Does it sound like Kill Em All?
- Kind of. “Spit Out The Bone” and “Hardwired” are reminiscent of the full-force thrash attack found on ‘tallica’s genre-defining debut.
Ok then, does it sound like St Anger?
- Thankfully, not in the slightest.
What the fuck does it sound like then?
- A little of the old, a little of the new. There’s plenty of links to Death Magnetic and Load/Reload but also more than a cursory nod to their humble beginnings. Unsurprisingly, it’s the thrashier numbers that hit hardest, recalling past glories and leaving an indelible impression.
Are there plenty of “Hey!” “Hey!” “Hey!” moments?
- You betcha ass there is, there are ample breaks for a good old fashioned Hetfield led chant-a-thon…just how we like it!
Are Hetfield & Ulrich back on form as a songwriting partnership?
- Yes. There is a cohesion here and an overall sense of quality that far outweighs the hit and miss nature of much of their post 80’s output.
So, what’s the pick of the bunch?
- That’s easy, “Hardwired”& “Moth Into Flame” are standouts and will go down great when experienced live! Backing them up are the moodier and more groove-orientated “Dream No More” and “Here Comes Revenge”, an alternative to the thrashing and both exhibit that ‘classic’ Metallica sound post …And Justice for All.
Should we give a shit that Hardwired…To Self Destruct even exists?
- Yes, it’s the best Metallica album in over 25 years and considering we hold these guys to a higher level of scrutiny than almost any other band on the planet (only Opeth seem to receive similar heavy-handed treatment), the guys should be applauded for delivering a great (but by no means perfect) album….even if it did take 8 years!
Is it better than the recent output from the rest of The Big 4?
- No. It’s on a par with Slayer’s Repentless but not the equal of Megadeth’s Dystopia and Anthrax’s For All Kings. That being said it’s also blatantly not as accomplished as Testament’s Brotherhood Of The Snake, Death Angel’s The Evil Divide, Flotsam and Jetsam’s self-titled release or Exumer’s The Raging Tides either. But, all that indicates is how strong a year 2016 has been for thrash!
Overall impression, a very respectable: 7/10
Of course, none of the above is a substitute for listening to Hardwired…To Self Destruct yourself and forming your own damn opinion. This shit is subjective! Any other questions you require answering? Stick ’em in the comments below, we’ll have a crack at them….the more obscure the better!