Hardwired to Self-Destruct – Metallica Album Review

After a long wait of 8 years, Metallica releases a new album- Hardwired To Self-Destruct.

The early teasers and singles from the album surely built the excitement among the fans who had been waiting long for some new Metallica music. Besides, post Death Magnetic, Metallica had been completely busy touring all across the globe.  They even managed to become the only band to play in all the seven continents, yes even Antarctica!

Crazy isn’t it. Well, that’s them, ever since Kill Em All till Hardwired.

This blog is basically a review of Metallica’s Hardwired to Self-Destruct album. I will take through all the tracks from the album and also give you an insight of how the album was processed.

Hardwired To Self-Destruct

This is Metallica’s the tenth studio album and was released on November 18 2016 under their vanity label- Blackened Recordings. The album was produced by Greg Fidelman, who also previously produced and engineered Death Magnetic. This is the first album with no song writing contribution from lead guitarist Kirk Hammett.

As James Hetfield says, “like always, it was just me and Lars doing our thing“.

Like the past 5 albums, even this album charted number 1 on US Billboard 200, selling 290,000 copies in the first week of release. Well, you can’t expect anything less than this when it comes to Metallica and their music. They might be aging, but it seems like their music is getting younger, faster and heavier.

As a die hard Metallica fan, I felt this album has elements of young Metallica, with a lot of similarity from Kill Em’ All and The Black Album, when it comes to song composition and riffing.

Lets’ now take a look at each track from the album and discuss them particularly.

The album comes in three CD’s. Let’s take a look at each of them chronologically but in parts. So here’s a take on the first CD.

Note: The following information has been gathered from Songfacts.com and the online Metallica Universe.

Disk 1

Hardwired

This is the lead single from the album. The track debuted on August 18, 2016 during a live interview with Minneapolis rock station 93X.

  • 93X’s Pablo was discussing the band’s upcoming performance at US Bank Stadium when Lars Ulrich surprised him by unleashing the song for the first time.
  • Clocking in at 3:11, the incendiary track is old-school Metallica with a distorted riff that hearkens back to the group’s earlier thrash metal sound. Drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone that characteristic extends to the rest of the album and was in part inspired by Metallica’s 1983 LP Kill ‘Em All.
  • Kill ‘Em All had its own thing with the speed, but it’s simpler — the songs are longer but not quite as progressive,” said Ulrich. “It’s a world all its own. And I think there are some elements of that that rubbed off into Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. I’d say there’s a trace of residue from rediscovering Kill ’em all that crept into the song writing” says Lars.
  • Song length: 3:09 minutes

 

Atlas, Rise!

This song is majorly dedicated to Lars, and James metaphorically compares his burden to that of Atlas’. James Hetfield calls out Atlas, the Greek mythological figure who was condemned by Zeus for his part in the war of the Titans to support the sky on his shoulders.

 

Here are the lyrics supporting this.

How does it feel on your own?

Bound by the world all alone

Crushed under heavy skies

Atlas, rise!

 

Now That We’re Dead

In this song, James Hetfield sings of someone whose lover has died, and he is looking forward to them being reunited in the afterlife.

When Metallica started tracking this song, they figured that they were over thinking a lot, forcefully trying to make the song sound perfect. So when they went back to the pre-production rehearsal tracks, they figured that it was quite smooth as it and did not need any extra punch. So the pre-production rehearsal track was fine-tuned and that’s how they conceived this fantastic track.

Track Length: 6:59 minutes

Moth into Flame

This song is inspired by how a lot many people in the modern society live each day striving to be loved.  This is what James had to say about this track.


“Moth Into Flame’ is pretty literal. These days everyone [has] an obsession with being famous. Being popular. Whether it’s your Facebook account or walking around the street, watching someone doing selfies of themselves as they’re walking down the street. Like what? What are you doing?”

Track Length: 5:50 minutes

Dream No More

This track has more of HP Lovecraft , more of Cthulhu. Well, a true Metallica fan would get it. In remembrance we live, don’t we ?

Track Length: 6:29 minutes

Halo on Fire

This the longest track from the album. Halo On Fire runs for 8:15, including a two-minute breakdown section at the end.

This is what James had to say , “‘Halo On Fire’, there’s a juxtaposition in all of us, good, evil, and when does that come out, when does it show itself? Some people portray themselves as real saints, [and] the more their darkness is, the more they have to portray themselves as saints. So you’re basically getting away from the real ‘you,’ like you’re making up for all of this [stuff] that you think is really bad.

Track Length: 8:15

Stay tuned for part two of this blog.  \m/

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