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Metallica: 'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct'
Released: Friday 19th November 2016 (Blackened Recordings)

metal talk
Steve Göldby

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It's D-Day this coming Friday as Metallica's first studio album since 2008s multi-platinum 'Death Magnetic' finally becomes available and the only certain thing about the most anticipated release of 2016 is that it will split the fanbase right down the middle.

'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct' is many things and will become and remain many more things to many more people as it becomes embroiled in the public psyche and entwined in Metallica's rich back catalogue.

Everyone has heard the first three releases, 'Hardwired', 'Moth Into Flame' and 'Atlas, Rise!' and once the whole album becomes available on Friday, some will say that there is nothing startlingly different to these three tracks and that we already got the best of the album up front, while some will point to 'Halo On Fire' and 'Confusion' as being standout Metallica and right up there with the best they have done since the 'Black' album or 'Fuel'.

Your first listen to 'Halo On Fire' will either suggest that this is what Metallica would sound like if they 'went Maiden' or that massive, epiccy guitar solo might tell you that after eight years out of the studio, Metallica have found a new maturity and reached a higher musical zenith.

You may think that the intro is rehashed from previous Metallica eras or you may decide that if you turn up the light, they really do want fire after all and the same conclusions could be reached for 'Confusion'. Is the loose soloing after the huge opening a lack of imagination or Metallica attempting to yet again break new ground, as they have done many times previously during their stellar career?

Let's have a recap on what has already been made publicly available and then we'll ask, "are you alive" or is it a case of "now that we're dead"?

The (almost) title track, 'Hardwired', dropped unexpectedly in August and over twenty million YouTube views suggests that Metallica remain possibly the most valid Metal band in the world right now and it's clear to anyone with more than half an ear that 'Hardwired' is a major career milestone. It set the scene for a massive album and raised expectations significantly.

So did 'Moth Into Flame' but some will say that 'Moth...' is simply 'Blackened' rehashed while others will say that the middle eight/refrain makes a standard Metal track into something unique and special.

Have a listen to 'Dream No More' on Friday and ask yourself, 'do you see what I see?' You may do or you may see a new future dawning for an iconic band who have taken their sound to a new level and created new openings for themselves. You may see prophetic vision and heightened imagery in the simplicity of the lyrical content or you may decide the band have run out of ideas in this department...

"When darkness falls,
When reaper calls..."

Now That We're Dead

"Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth,
I return this nightmare"

Here Comes Revenge

"Desperate hands that lose control,
Have no mercy on your soul"

Here Comes Revenge

"Turn up the light,
They don't want fire"

Halo On Fire

One standout element of the album is the drum sound which some will say is deep, rich and enticing while others will suggest it's a step towards a more commercial direction.

You may also pick up on 'ManUNkind' (the Jose Mourinho song) and see Metallica taking musical risks and giant strides forward in forging their modern identity and not remaining rooted in past glories or you may hear Metallica putting their own take on the Down/Clutch stoner style so popular in modern day Metal.

Is 'Spit Out The Bone' classic Metallica for the 21st Century or is it pointless when you can turn on YouTube and listen to 'Master Of Puppets' or 'Ride The Lightning' at will? Does the meaty goodness of 'Am I Savage?' make you want to offer a 'fist in the air' salute to a band who have upped their game significantly since 'Death Magnetic' or does it fill you full of scorn and make you yearn for the long gone days of '...And Justice For All'.

On Friday we will find out whether 'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct' will kill 'em all or whether Metallica will emerge unforgiven.

We're going to give the final verdict to you, our well informed readers who ultimately have the last word on the success or failure of a new release so here are ten empty pint glasses. Fill as many or as few as you wish and let us know from your first and subsequent listens just what you think of Metallica's tenth studio album.

beer beer beerbeerbeerbeer beer beerbeerbeer

Have Metallica become disposable heroes or are they fighting fire with fire? Have they created some kind of monster or is this the thing that should not be?

The stage is now yours... let us know what you think on our Facebook page right here.

'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct' is available for pre-order at Amazon right here in various configurations including: CD, Vinyl, Digital, Deluxe, and Deluxe Deluxe Versions.

'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct' Deluxe Edition (Digital Download and CD) Tracklisting
Disc One
1. Hardwired
2. Atlas, Rise!
3. Now That We're Dead
4. Moth Into Flame
5. Dream No More
6. Halo On Fire

Disc Two
1. Confusion
2. ManUNkind
3. Here Comes Revenge
4. Am I Savage?
5. Murder One
6. Spit Out The Bone

Disc Three (Bonus)
1. Lords Of Summer
2. Ronnie Rising Medley
3. When A Blind Man Cries
4. Remember Tomorrow
5. Helpless (Live at Rasputin Music)
6. Hit The Lights (Live at Rasputin Music)
7. The Four Horseman (Live at Rasputin Music)
8. Ride The Lightning (Live at Rasputin Music)
9. Fade To Black (Live at Rasputin Music)
10. Jump In The Fire (Live at Rasputin Music)
11. For Whom The Bell Tolls (Live at Rasputin Music)
12. Creeping Death (Live at Rasputin Music)
13. Metal Militia (Live at Rasputin Music)
14. Hardwired (Live in Minneapolis)

'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct' Deluxe Box Set (3 LP and 1 CD) Tracklisting

Disc One Side A
1. Hardwired
2. Atlas, Rise!
3. Now That We're Dead

Disc One Side B
1. Moth Into Flame
2. Am I Savage?
3. Halo On Fire

Disc Two Side C
1. Confusion
2. Dream No More
3. ManUNkind

Disc Two Side D
1. Here Comes Revenge
2.. Murder One
3. Spit Out The Bone

Disc Three Side E (Bonus)
1. Lords Of Summer

Disc Three Side F (Bonus)
1. Hardwired (Live in Minneapolis)

Bonus CD
1. Ronnie Rising Medley
2. When A Blind Man Cries
3. Remember Tomorrow
4. Helpless (Live at Rasputin Music)
5. Hit The Lights (Live at Rasputin Music)
6. The Four Horseman (Live at Rasputin Music)
7. Ride The Lightning (Live at Rasputin Music)
8. Fade To Black (Live at Rasputin Music)
9. Jump In The Fire (Live at Rasputin Music)
10. For Whom The Bell Tolls (Live at Rasputin Music)
11. Creeping Death (Live at Rasputin Music)
12. Metal Militia (Live at Rasputin Music)



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