For Those About to Squawk: Peckin’ on Metallica

‘Sup, peeps? Happy Turkey Day, you shouldn’t eat birds by the way… So, you know I’d be remiss not to review the new Metallica here, so, like, that’s what I’m going to do.

Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct came out on their own Blackened imprint. So, normally, I review things that ARE coming out, but this time, I’m going to review this, since it IS out. If you haven’t heard any songs from this by now, get out of that cage! AND AWAY WE GO.

My first impressions are this is a bunch of old men trying to regain the fire and the anger they had in their youth, but I gotta say, they don’t really fail miserably. In fact, you’ll be a little surprised. But it is no surprise that this isn’t Kill ‘Em All, and also, this ISN’T Death Magnetic. The production here is crisp, clean and has enough sack to make it seem like it’s not some stodgy overproduced release, but it is pretty one dimensional. One would expect a band with Metallica’s resources could make a really raw sounding record, but then again, listen to St. Anger… The first thing to notice is that the songs are a little long winded at times, most of which exceed five minutes or more. The record is basically front loaded with more of the “barn burner” upbeat kind of songs that actually have some life and kinda have a more of a nod to Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets era, and most of these songs have a bit of a looseness that hasn’t been achieved by this band in decades and actually come across like the band is having a little fun. All of this isn’t to say that there isn’t ANY remnants of the darker (read: poopier), Load-era Metallica here, there are some grooves here that are more reminiscent of the more cringe worthy times of this band, and there remains some mid paced thrash that should appeal to the newer (i.e since the ’90s) era fan. But, (there’s always a but isn’t there?) that isn’t all. The latter part of this record is bogged down in attempts at trying to sound like Sabbath and kind of just plod along with seemingly no real purpose, but not all of this is boring, and there are some moments. Lyrically, Hardwired is a little more like And Justice… with some exceptions; the goofy “ManUNkind” is a shining example. Hetfield’s voice is more akin to what has been needed for this band and most of the “ohh yeahs” and things like that are gone… Hell, Lars even understands what he needs to be doing on this. What we have in Hardwired is a solid metal record by what used to be an awesome band.
7 Fucking Pecks.

Remember this though? This still sucks.