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Metallica

Hardwired...To Self-Destruct [3CD Deluxe Version]

Format: CD   Release Date: 11/18/2016
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    Track Title

    Time

  1. Hardwired
  2. Atlas, Rise!
  3. Now That We’re Dead
  4. Moth Into Flame
  5. Dream No More
  6. Halo On Fire
  7. Confusion
  8. ManUNkind
  9. Here Comes Revenge
  10. Am I Savage?
  11. Murder One
  12. Spit Out the Bone
  13. Lords of Summer
  14. Ronnie Rising Medley
  15. When a Blind Man Cries
  16. Remember Tomorrow
  17. Helpless [Live at Rasputin Music]
  18. Hit the Lights [Live at Rasputin Music]
  19. The Four Horsemen [Live at Rasputin Music]
  20. Ride the Lightning [Live at Rasputin Music]
  21. Fade to Black [Live at Rasputin Music]
  22. Jump in the Fire [Live at Rasputin Music]
  23. For Whom the Bell Tolls [Live at Rasputin Music]
  24. Creeping Death [Live at Rasputin Music]
  25. Metal Militia [Live at Rasputin Music]
  26. Hardwired [Live in Minneapolis]

Metallica began their long journey back home some time after nearly imploding during the recording of 2003's St. Anger. Hardwired...To Self-Destruct arrives 13 years after that album but it, almost more than its 2008 predecessor Death Magnetic, feels like a repudiation of the band's '90s, the years when Metallica shined up, slowed down, and got a lot weirder. Sprawling over two discs when it could've fit onto one (an aesthetic choice certainly meant to evoke memories of 1988's double LP ...And Justice for All), Hardwired...To Self-Destruct does indeed rage, roaring out the gate with a title track where James Hetfield bellows "We're so fed/S out of luck." That palpable desperation recalls the free-floating angst that fueled Metallica's '80s, but Hardwired...To Self-Destruct doesn't find the quartet scrambling to sound as ferocious as they did during their heyday. Often, they do unleash the fury -- "Moth into Flame" gallops forward in a manner reminiscent of "Battery" -- but there's no denying that Metallica are an older band now, either incapable or uninterested in maintaining that intensity over the course of a full double album. When they slow down, it's not exclusively to churn and brood. "Murder One," a salute to departed Motörhead leader Lemmy, may belong in that category, but "Am I Savage?" teeters between ominous dirge and intricate transitions, while "Dream No More" has a backbeat that nearly swings. "ManUNKind" also has a bit of buried funk in its rhythms and that, along with the preponderance of complicated suites, is a clue that Hardwired...To Self-Destruct is primarily the work of Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Kirk Hammett doesn't have a single songwriting credit -- allegedly, this is due to the guitarist losing an iPhone filled with riffs just prior to recording -- and he's also diminished in terms of solos, leaving Hardwired as a showcase for Metallica's musical constructions. If the riffs don't always sink in deeply -- and if the entire production feels slightly monochromatic -- what impresses here is the thought and musicality within the compositions and the performances, elements that have always been at the band's core and shine brightly on Hardwired...To Self-Destruct. [A Deluxe three-CD edition was also released.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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