Sunday, 27 November 2016

Metallica - Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (Deluxe Edition) (2016)

Genre - Thrash Metal / Heavy Metal / Hard Rock
Label - Virgin EMI

Track listing:
CD 1:
01. Hardwired
02. Atlas, Rise!
03. Now That We're Dead
04. Moth Into Flame
05. Am I Savage?
06. Halo On Fire

CD 2:
01. Confusion
02. Dream No More
03. ManUnkind
04. Here Comes Revenge
05. Murder One
06. Spit Out The Bone

Deluxe Edition CD 3: 01 - Lords Of Summer (2016 version)
02 - Ronnie Rising Medley
03 - When a Blind Man Cries
04 - Remember tomorrow
Live at Rasputin Music;
05 - Helpless
06 - Hit the Lights
07 - The Four Horsemen
08 - Ride the Lightning
09 - Fade to Black
10 - Jump in the Fire
11 - For Whom the Bell Tolls
12 - Creeping Death
13 - Metal Militia
14 - Hardwired (Live in Minneapolis)

Eight years have passed since Metallica's last album 2008’s well received Death Magnetic which repaired damage the band did to its reputation in the early ’00s — first with the horrible 'St. Anger' an album that offended long time fans with its lack of guitar solos, then with 'Some Kind of Monster' a documentary that captured the group’s childish infighting.
Truly, the road to what would become "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" has been a long and patience-wearing one for all involved. With ventures like the bizarre Through the Never (2013) film and the band starting (and stopping) their own festival called “Orion Music + More”, it seems that the Californian quartet has been doing everything bar making a record for the best part of the last decade.
Opening with the thrashing title track ‘Hardwired’, the record truly picks up steam early. At roughly three minutes, ‘Hardwired’ is all-killer-no-filler, refusing to relent in its speed and aggression for even a second.
Follow-up ‘Atlas, Rise!’ maintains a small portion of its predecessor’s speed but, for the most part, is closer to mid-paced, setting the precedent for the rest of the record to follow.
That’s right: "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" is NOT a thrash metal album.
Rather, it is a release that utilises the conventions of a number of heavy styles, from NWOBHM and modern melodic metal, to classic metal, of course with a pinch of thrash which is the band's trademark - they created the genre - but only in a minor degree. Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" sound encompasses the entire range of Metallica's mighty back catalogue.
Metallica 2016 sounds strong. Hetfield’s vocals are doubtlessly at a peak right now. The front-man lays out a near-flawless performance on Hardwired…, creating some truly empowering melodies over the course of the record’s two discs. From power shouts to soaring clean notes to even some pulse-pounding growls, Hetfield can do no wrong here.
There's a lot to digest in "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", but the album flows easily. All tracks are pretty solid and even there's a loving tribute to fallen rock god Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead in ‘Murder One’, and that fact comes across unabashedly as Hetfield bellows 'Aces high!' in a distinct and unbridled unleashing of harmonic emotion during the chorus. In fact, vocally, this is Hetfield’s best track, mixing powerful highs with dark lows.
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" is one of Metallica’s most versatile works, predominantly mixing classic metal styles to make an enigmatic concoction that is guaranteed to draw fans back again and again.
It's an album that I am sure with each listen, it will only get better.
But there will be as well a Deluxe Edition with different artwork including a bonus disc featuring 4 new studio tracks plus a killer concert at Rasputin Music with the band playing all their classic songs.
The four bonus studio tracks include, Lords of Summer, the single released earlier this year, the awesome Ronnie Rising Medley, taken from the Ronnie James Dio Tribute album This Is Your Life, When a Blind Man Cries from the White Snake / David Coverdale tribute album and Iron Maiden Remember Tomorrow, taken from an Iron Maiden tribute album, all of which sound amazing.
A very solid album and quite possibly the best Metallica release in years!

Rating: 9/10

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