Metallica, Hardwired to Self-Destruct. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Arguably Metallica will go down in history as the kings of American Metal, if not contenders for the band that Empires quake and fall for, yet for all the blazing guns, the screams of red hot pokers as they clash against the sabre, the sword and the caressed steel, there was undoubtedly a period in which some of the fan base felt lost in the group’s company. Following on from the Black Album and right through to the debacle that was St. Anger, there was a general feeling of unease in the air, it cut through the swathes of vinyl, through the past honours and threatened to disable the moorings of one of the finest music ships ever created.

Hardwired to Self-Destruct, it is a rite of passage that we must all go through to come through the darkness, through the self imposed moment of career led suicide and into the brightness once more. It comes, like Time, in motions, in sniffs and steely resolve, and whilst it may have been eight years since the release of Death Magnetic, the feeling of honesty, of cherished content remains; gone now is the period between 1993 and 2008, its monument is left to rust and instead perhaps the fans can revel in a second coming, a return to sheer magnetism, of the pulse of incense and fury.

Hardwired to Self-Destruct, the call to the wild, the deep wolf like moan in the depths of the dark forest, you cannot help but be entranced by its romance but you also know it is dangerous to approach, the smell of the Timbre Wolves running through every part of your being, looking to eat you alive and yet you cannot help but accept the invitation, you cannot help but feel the maddening exasperation of the wolves as they track you down and it feels good to be so wanted.

The music is hard, the lyrics harder, no loose and undesired sentences fill the gaps, this is pounding aggression on the same scale as Master of Puppets and the rage lingers on, it grows in strength and in tracks such as Atlas, Rise, Dream No More, ManUNkind and Am I Savage?, Metallica take all the resentment, all the passion that resides unnoticed in the world and kick out, hit out with knuckles bleeding and hammer the point that you can never keep a legendary band down.

Back to back great albums, arguably for the first time since they were the Kings of all they surveyed and it is with pomp and ceremony that the fans await the inevitable and look-forward too gigs.


Ian D. Hall