Metallica – Hardwired…To Self Destruct (Blackened)

Genre: Metal

RSD Exclusive Gatefold Double Red Vinyl


For all their misguided collaborations, grandiose productions, mainstream festival dominance and frequent drops off the rock and roll radar, the release of a new Metallica record remains a major event.

And with Hardwired…To Self Destruct the biggest band in metal have finally delivered an album to match the hype. Think …And Justice For All‘s focused noise married with the Black Album‘s slick commercialism and Death Magnetic‘s renewed urgency – this is not another Master Of Puppets but it’s the best Metallica can muster these days.

James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich allow Robert Trujillo to join them for a spot of songwriting on the quirky Man[un]kind but it’s the only time the band’s ‘Big Two’ allow one of their colleagues to make a creative contribution. Perhaps that’s why HTSD sounds so refreshingly retro or perhaps it’s the only way a new ‘Tallica album would ever see the light of day.

Hetfield veers from the rabid (Moth Into Flame) to the ridiculous (Halo On Fire) with his wildly inconsistent vocal performance but that’s part of this record’s undoubted charm. Metallica’s singer has never lost his edge in the live arena but his studio work has become increasingly one-dimensional: HTSD marks a refreshing change. Confusion is standard fare where the former thrash titans are concerned yet Hetfield has rarely sounded quite so convincing belting out the confusion/delusion couplet.

Pressed on a deep red, marbled vinyl for independent record stores, there’s a sense that HTSD marks a new era for a band that might have been finished a few years back. A strident new set of furious anthems reflects a band that’s finally listened to its fans – and taken note of those little voices inside their heads pleading for one final, classic Metallica record before it’s too late.

Dream No More‘s vocal harmonies, Murder One‘s sensational intro. and bullish set closer Spit Out The Bone scream defiance and determination. Welcome back to the Metallica you knew and loved.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Metallicanny