METALICCA RE­VIEWED

Public News (Houston) - - FRONT PAGE - By Robert Cas­tro

Fi­nally we get a new Me­tal­lica record after eight years since their last one (Death Mag­netic). Hard wired… to Self

De­struct’ was re­leased Novem­ber 18th 2016 and it ad­heres strictly to the stan­dard four piece thrash metal band setup. At no point is the pum­mel­ing of heavy elec­tric gui­tars bro­ken up by an acous­tic gui­tar, a string sec­tion, an or­gan, a trum­pet, or any­thing else.

In my opin­ion it’s the best al­bum since the Black Al­bum. I re­ally liked the al­bum as a whole. It’s awe­some. An abun­dance of songs dis­played here from the thrash metal leg­ends.

It is a 2-disc al­bum which doesn’t make too much sense to me since to­tal play­ing time is about 80 min­utes. But what a pound­ing you get in those 80 min­utes.

Hard­wired… To Self De­struct cer­tainly starts out like it means busi­ness. The open­ing ‘Hard­wired’ is a no-non­sense, three-minute burst of fran­tic thrash metal that sounds lit­tle like any­thing the band have served up since … And

Jus­tice For All, and is enough to cap­ture the at­ten­tion of even the most jaded fan. Ma­chine-gun like drum­ming? Check – and Lars Ul­rich, of­ten crit­i­cized for sloppy play­ing and poor tim­ing, sounds more pre­cise and switched-on than he has for years. In­hu­manly pre­cise rhythm gui­tar? Check – and James Het­field is in un­com­monly good voice here, too, even throw­ing in a few juicy ob­scen­i­ties for good mea­sure; it’s al­most as if the band are draw­ing a line un­der their ra­dio-friendly pe­riod and are em­brac­ing the fire and re­bel­lion of their early days once more. Kirk Ham­mett’s brief solo may be a lit­tle lack­lus­ter, but then the three-minute for­mat of the song doesn’t lend it­self to gui­tar hero­ics.

Robert Tru­jillo’s bass is a sturdy frame­work through­out. In short, ‘Hard­wired’ is ex­actly what long-term fans were hop­ing to hear. Its po­si­tion as opener is no ac­ci­dent, how­ever, as the rest of the al­bum is quite dif­fer­ent in tone. Hon­estly, some of the songs aren’t any­thing mind-blow­ing or amaz­ing, but they’re good none­the­less. “Spit Out the Bone” is the best track over­all. It feels like a well thought out mid paced thrash song. The riff re­minds me of “Ham­mer­head” by Overkill. If you liked the thrashier mo­ments that Death Mag­netic had to of­fer, you will dig this one. It’s not as one di­men­sional as “My Apoc­a­lypse”, and has a great dual gui­tar part which was al­most worth lis­ten­ing to “Here Comes Revenge” to get here. The opener is ser­vice­able old­school thrash metal

“At­las, Rise!” is an­other great song draw­ing in­flu­ences from NWOBHM and Maiden in par­tic­u­lar, with lit­tle hints of ‘...And Jus­tice For All’ in the tempo changes and struc­tur­ing. “Moth Into Flame” gives the first disc the edge over the sec­ond, giv­ing the disc a much needed boost of speed, and it’s an­other good heavy/thrash song that re­minds me of “Dis­pos­able He­roes” with the gui­tar doo­dle part when it’s in full flow,

‘...And Jus­tice For All’ in the mid-sec­tion and ‘Black al­bum’ in terms of over­all vibe.

Over­all I would say that Dad­tal­lica is now back to full fledge Me­tal­lica we have all known was still in there and was just wait­ing to peek it’s head out once again.

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