Metallica maestro Kirk Hammett will release his four-track EP Portals on 23 April 2022. The solo project includes two songs co-written with Edwin Outwater, conductor for Metallica’s S&M2 project.
“Initially, before I even had the idea for a solo EP,” Kirk said, “I was inspired by the need to create some sort of soundtrack music to accompany The Kirk Hammett Collection for the first It’s Alive exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, 2017.
“I wanted to conceive music to play on a loop in the background as people walked through the exhibit. I sat down one night with a progression, and before I knew it, all the parts were there for Maiden and the Monster.
“The initial concept for Portals started with that one song. Following that, I realized I could create different soundtrack moments.
“These songs are what I call Audio Cinematic. I’m creating sounds and pieces of music for the movies playing in my head. Hopefully, they’ll create movies in other people’s heads in a similar fashion.”
Portals will be also be released as a record store day exclusive on an ocean blue vinyl format. Side A contains Maiden And The Monster and The Jinn.
Edwin Outwater, who contributed to the songwriting on the side B tracks High Plains Drifter and The Incantation, also adds keyboards and leads the orchestral players from the LA Philharmonic.
“I love living in lots of musical worlds,” Edwin told MetalTalk in an interview around the S&M2 project. “I can jump from a classical situation to a Metallica situation, and I love to be able to do that.”
Outwater was understandably proud of his contribution to Metallica’s history and his role in leading the San Francisco Symphony. “Everyone got on really well,” he said, “and you can hear in it the final product. Everyone was going for it. “There was no click, and the live excitement was there. Orchestras can adjust tempo, and we went on a rollercoaster ride. I think that came out really well in the recording.”