By: Jude Falcon - MSTv Korea EIC
If you are among the Metallica haters and are looking for another review taking a shit upon the thrash metal masters, this is not it. If so, get lost and read someone else’s review of resentment.
Becoming a Metallica fan in 1993, after a few high school-ers were rockin’ out to them in our school band room, I have never been a hater of anything they put out. Disappointed yes, but never a hater.
It has been eight very long years since we have heard any new music from The Four Horsemen and I’m here to tell you it was well worth the wait. If you have been following them, then you know that the guys have been busy with their “Through The Never” movie as well as starting up their “Orion” music festival. So it would seem that Metallica have been doing everything but recording an album. That is, until now..
With that being said, their new offering, "Hardwired.. To Self Destruct" is now available to the public.
Although this is their tenth album, I find that Metallica has gotten in touch with an original sound, which is something that many purists feel has been lacking since the release of "The Black Album" in 1991. "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" is quite possibly the most versatile album they've ever put out mixing thrash, melo-death and classic metal to make an ambiguous brew that is guaranteed to please the most discerning of fans.
James Hetfield’s vocal performance may be at the most superlative level I have ever heard it. Kirk Hammet is an absolute monster with the tastiest riffs, while Robert Trujillo sets some truly awe-inspiring and thunderous grooves. Lars is on fire with bad ass fills while even throwing some double kick in there for good measure.
On the whole, we are left with almost eighty minutes of FIST PUMPING, BAD ASS METAL, comprised of speed, power and precision from the elder statesmen of metal. While the mix of the album is marvelous and crystal clear; it sounds crisp and punchy with razor sharp guitar tones, thick-aggressive low end bass, and a killer drum sound with snappy snare notes, a fat bass drum and bright cymbals.
“Hard Wired : The title-track chugs into oblivion on the low E string and it is a furious attack of nonstop shredding guitar riffs and pulsing drum beats that doesn’t let up for a second.
“Atlas Rise”: is a bit slower paced which sets the tone for most of the remainder of the first disc.
“Now That We’re Dead”: is reminiscent of an 80’s throwback rocker with great vocal hooks that have you sold at the pre-chorus and its chugging guitars. It also has a breakdown starting around 4:00 with an epic build back into the chorus at 5:50 that is sure to catch the attention of many.
“Moth Into Flame”: This may be one of my favorite songs on the disc because it has a fantastic hook coupled with a perfect head bangin’ rhythm. It also has a sweet-ass breakdown at around 4:15 after a blazing solo that I’m in love with.
“Dream No More”: This one has the absolute best groove on the entire album, that only gets heavier on the chorus. It’s also an adept set-up for the final song on disc one…
“Halo On Fire”: It is definitely a closer or middle of the record song in this case and is along the lines of “The Unforgiven” or “The Day That Never Comes”, as it is on the softer side of the previous five songs. It has climactic guitar solos and the best bass tone on the entire album which finally places a spotlight on Trujillo to give us a prime example of what we have come to expect on our Metallica albums.
“Confusion”: Not the strongest song on the album because it just sounds like the same old Metallica, which is not the worst thing in the world. However, it loses the originality that you find on the first disc. It does have some cool riffs so it’s not a total loss, so don’t lose hope friends…it does get better.
“Man UNkind”: Doesn’t really possess any more flavor than track one did for me.
“Here Comes Revenge”: Now things begins to get good again. It’s got a similar rhythm to “Moth Into Flame”, so it is a welcomed change of pace from what we heard previously. Sweet riffs of thrash coupled with a melodic chorus.
“Am I Savage”: I’m sorry to report but sadly, it isn’t as good as the other songs on the disc, but they all can’t be number one singles right?
“Murder One”: Guess what, they are back! It’s a tribute to Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead which is apparent from the lyric “Aces high”. The vocals on this one may also be the best on the entire album. A fresh track with melodic exultation and somber lows set the stage precisely for the last track. The payoff is…
“Spit Out The Bone”: You had better strap in because it will be a wild ride. An absolutely incredible way to finish an album with it returning to the roots of the opening thrash explosion of “Hardwired”. It’s made even more memorable because of the rarity of songs like this on the album. This song is a marvelous closer and is utterly astonishing. The album ends on an exhilarating note and leaves listeners satisfied.
"Hardwired-TSD" isn’t a perfect album, but it only has a few faults which is why I feel it will not be forgotten quickly and will wet the palette for The Metal Militia to relish Blitzer’s next Ecstasy of Gold.
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Your MSTv: Korea Ex. Producer & lead photographer team, Jude & Dodi Falcon
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Halago on Hangang River
The Halago is a premium party ship/venue located in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea. Known for their premium Food & Craft Beer parties, their location on the Han River also grants access to bike paths & picnic areas. All this, makes for an absolutely perfect day of fun, with the quintessential ending being Halago.