Metallica are back, ladies and gentleman. Back with a big middle-finger-to-the-doubters-and-the-haters type of vengeance. The type of vengeance we were hoping and waiting for!
Being a Metallica fan for nearly 30 years (!) hasn’t always been an easy prospect. But when I love a band, I love a band through thick and thin (and LuLu). As I’ve mentioned before, I admire most the artists who are willing to take risks and who refuse to make the same record twice. And Metallica are certainly willing to do whatever the hell they want:
- Play with a symphony orchestra? Check.
- Stand up for artistic control, unwittingly creating a negative backlash that still haunts them? Check.
- Make a soul-baring documentary about the making of what was an emotionally (and snare-sound) challenging album? Check.
- Make an unexpected avant-garde album with Lou Reed? Check.
- Bankrupt their budget to make a full-length feature film? Check.
- Wait 8 years to make a new record and then blow us all away? Check.
These are dudes who march to the beat of their own (Danish) drummer. Sometimes it only makes sense to them, but their willingness to take risks is hugely appealing. This, perhaps even more than their awesome music, is why I’m still here 28 years later going, “Fuck yeah, Metallica!”
A band as big as Metallica could easily rest on their laurels. Instead they give us their best album in almost two decades. Hardwired…To Self Destruct is a welcome return to the energy that was missing from the otherwise good Death Magnetic. I know I’m not alone in having assumed that while we could rejoice in Death Magnetic‘s return to form, we would need to accept the loss of Metallica’s high-octane energy. That almost feral, powerful energy that makes you invariably break the speed limit if you are driving while listening to them (or maybe that’s just me? 😉 ). Don’t get me wrong, this loss was understandable. None of us are getting any younger and we all feel the passage of time.
Except the guys in Metallica just gave a giant middle finger to their age and created songs like “Hardwired” and “Spit Out the Bone“. Songs whose speed and energy make you headbang at your desk (don’t forget to take off your headset first!). From the speed of these songs to the sludgier “ManUNkind” to the more accessible, 90’s-esque “Now That We’re Dead”, the album does not disappoint. It runs the gamut of their career–even Ktulu returns, as Cthulhu, in “Dream No More“–and yet it sounds fresh and exciting. Hardwired…To Self Destruct is the album we needed from Metallica at a time when we desperately need an album we can rally behind. One that makes us raise our fists in the air and bang our heads. One that gives us a mirror to look back at ourselves (and Lemmy, may he RIP). One that helps us to forget all the awful going on for an hour or two.
In addition to delivering an awesome album, Metallica have graciously given us a video for every song on the album. Real videos. Not lyric videos or audio-with-an-album cover videos. Real, honest-to-goodness videos. And they gave them to us before the album came out so we could enjoy them early if we wanted. Cuz the guys are awesome like that. Check out the full playlist of videos here.
Since in the end the music speaks for itself, let’s check out some of the new tunes. I’ve already featured the first three singles on Facebook, so here are some new favorites:
Now That We’re Dead. I love this song!
Here Comes Revenge. Not only is the song awesome, but the video by Jessica Cope is surreal and incredible.
Halo On Fire. Love the song. Not exactly digging the video. Your thoughts?
Confusion. Coming from a military family, I appreciate that Metallica (and other metal bands) provide a sympathetic view of the challenges some of our military personnel face with mental health and re-entering regular life. \m/
Like what you hear? I bet you do! The album is available for purchase and streaming pretty much everywhere…including Napster – gasp! 😀
Now we just need that long awaited tour announcement…