Hardwired: To Self Destruct (Wb) (Dig)


aec.bkrgnd0031.2 11/18/16 New
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    Hardwired: To Self Destruct (Wb) (Dig) Blackened
    1. Hardwired: To Self Destruct (Wb) (Dig) Blackened
    2. Hardwired: To Self Destruct (Bonus Track) (Wb) Blackened
    3. Hardwired: To Self Destruct (Shm) (Jpn)
    4. Hardwired: To Self Destruct: Deluxe (Shm) (Jpn)

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Review Text 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 f***ed/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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Hardwired - 3:09
  2. 2. Atlas, Rise! - 6:28
  3. 3. Now That We're Dead - 7:59
  4. 4. Moth into Flame - 6:50
  5. 5. Dream No More - 6:29
  6. 6. Halo on Fire - 8:15

CD: 2

  1. 7. Confusion - 7:41
  2. 8. Man UNkind - 7:55
  3. 9. Here Comes Revenge - 7:17
  4. 10. Am I Savage? - 6:29
  5. 11. Murder One - 6:45
  6. 12. Spit Out the Bone - 7:09

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