The return of easily the most polarizing and divisive bands in all of the metal world has returned. Many dread it, many hyped it up, and some of us simply waited and investigated when the time was right. Metallica has had its fair shares of ups and downs throughout their mythic career as a band, and I feel its obvious to say that anyone who didn’t hate Metallica before had high hopes for this new record, but not without caution. Hense, let me tell you that if you had enjoyed any of the singles that Metallica had released previously in support of “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” you’re about to find good news, but if you’ve never found yourself fond of Metallica I’ve potentially bad news.
My thing with Metallica at this point in time is the fact that they’re literally the most widely accepted, famous, and possibly the richest metal band in the entire world ever, and that fact has always planted the seed of doubt in my head of how they could really just pay other people to make music for them so they can rake in the dough via radios and all that. However, you can’t put a price on having a passion for what you do, and that’s something Metallica has always had. They’ve always been proud of their work even when the vast majority of everyone everywhere said a piece of their’s was shit. That doesn’t stop them from bouncing back, and after an eight-year break from the studio and a slow increase in their levels of heaviness in their style, to call this album a triumphant return would be an understatement.
“Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” is simply better than any effort that Metallica has put out since even before the record that shall not be named. Before we go anywhere else, I don’t mean this record is better as it appeals to my personal taste, I mean in terms of production, mastering, sound, background technical bullshit, and what have you. That being said, I also find that Metallica has created their best piece since the black record, but the last thing I want to do is compare “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct” to previous efforts simply because this isn’t something from the 80s or 90s (shocker). This record is just so much modern than what Metallica has done, but it’s still undeniably taking a page or two from their earlier years and if you ask me they hit the nail right on the fucking head after being away from the fast and heavy for so long. Every song, bar the title track, are all well over 5 minutes long giving “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” a run time of over 70 fucking minutes! Not a single moment of all that time is squandered either with one song after another proving to be massively entertaining. Whether it be the track’s sound, rhythm, theme, intensity, or overall badassery there’s always something to be found in all twelve pieces. With that out of the way, they aren’t all magnificently awesome, but I honestly cannot call a single one bad in any way. That really helps prevent the record from becoming stale even after several spins, and that is something that I believe we can all appreciate.
Should you find yourself to be a fan of Metallica be it for a short while or for decades on end, you’ll be right at home on this album. However, if you’re the kind to favor Megadeth instead or have just flat out never been able to get a good feel for Metallica, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” will most likely not be anything superbly amazing to you. And while this probably isn’t the most monumental record that this band has ever busted out, it’d be straight up criminal to not say how grand this album is in just about every aspect imaginable. “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” is without a doubt one of the largest releases in metal that we’ll see, I can just about guarantee it, and after hearing but a few tracks it’s not hard to see why, unless you’re just made of stone, that is. Otherwise, I feel most everyone agrees with me in saying that Metallica have done it once again, baby.
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