I did not know that this song could be done with one string, but someone was able to play One with One string. There are a couple times where he layers, primarily since there’s still a lead & rhythm guitar portion to the song. But it appears to be the same string in both instances.
It’s pretty good. It’s not 100% the same, but it’s also not 16% the same, so this guy can do more with one string than Metallica does with 6. I assume that’s how that works, right?
Anyway, you’ve likely heard the song 14 million times already so I don’t need to go into it, so enjoy!
Hey so there’s a new Metallica album. And you wouldn’t know it given how little press they’ve gotten for the past six months. It’s a two-disc thing, with disc 1 coming in at 37 minutes and disc 2 at 40 minutes or so. I’m not sure if I can get behind an album being almost as long as some feature-length films. Trim it down. Kill Em All was a tight 51 minutes, Number of the Beast came in at 44.
Anyway, the album starts off strong and then falls off the rails a bit. I saw a great description that seems pretty apt: This album is like the bastard child of The Black Album and Load with some Justice sprinkled in for good measure.
This one has most of the singles they released in anticipation, and I’ve talked about a few of them in previous Friday Morning Metals. The disc starts with Hardwired, a swift kick to the face of a thrash track. Atlas, Rise! has a Master of Puppets and/or Black Album feel, not quite as frenetic but still a well put together track.
Now That We’re Dead has some very heavy Enter Sandman vibes to it, with heavy drums and a chuggy intro. It’s also a solid 90 seconds before vocals kick in, making for a 7 minute song with a lot of riff repetition. If they cut it down to maybe 4 minutes, that’d be great.
Dream No More. What can I say about Dream No More? I kept waiting for it to kick into gear. Kinda like a song off Load or the Black Album, it’s alright I guess. But the intro kept building to what I assume would be a quick break and then double kick for days, and it never happened. Halo on Fire sort of runs the same Black Album/Load era sound. It’s also 8 and a quarter minutes long.
Disc 2 kicks off with Confusion and its strong march rhythm, that feels like it’s going to hit a break and go into some sort of double kick thrash master session. Instead it stays with the slower rhythm chug kind of reminiscent of Eye of the Beholder.
Manunkind starts off with some plinky plunky acoustic guitar stuff, almost like Dance of the Dead from Maiden. Then kicks into chunky chuggy riffs and big fat drums. It’s a solid rollicking hard rock sound. More like ReLoad than their older stuff.
Am I Savage? Has some of the same slow chug as the other songs on the second disc. Borderline doom metal stuff. Same goes for Murder One.
Oh and then Spit out the Bone, the final track. This is Kill Em All era Metallica right here. Machine gun drumming, crazy riffs, it feels like the ice cream you get after eating all your vegetables. That’s right, the rest of Disc 2 is summer squash and carrots and boiled spinach.
At the end of the world
Hardwired to Self Destruct feels like an uneven love letter to a bygone Metallica. Most of the tracks have drum fills, riffs, or distortion effects that were heavily used in previous albums, mostly pre-Black Album stuff. I remember reading that they were going through their older albums during a remaster or something and wanted to get back to that sound, but I didn’t realize that meant mimicking it. Thankfully, that older sound is phenomenal so even if it’s a straight lifting it’s still great. The slower songs aren’t really my jam, and they have a much closer sound to Black Album & Load.
Regarding song length, I understand that Metallica’s songs usually run long, but the average track in this is nearly 6 and a half minutes long. Even cutting a minute off each turns this into a slightly over an hour long album and stuffs it onto one disc. And for some of them, that merely means removing the same riff that was used a whole lot. Hell, cut the second disc aside from Spit out the Bone and stuff that song onto the first disc, now you have an album.
The first three tracks they released as singles were definitely my favorites of the album, and I can see why they’d put those first, as the rest of the album is pretty alright, but not lose your shit amazing. If you celebrate Metallica’s entire catalog, this is a great addition. If you’re a fan of recent stuff, it’s a great addition. If you like pre-Black Album Metallica, there are great parts but it’s otherwise yet another post Black Album… well… album.
One week to new Metallica, and a third song has been released for our perusal. This time it’s Atlas Rise, which has some solid hooks into Master of Puppets-era Metallica. I think. I’m not 100% on this crap anymore. All I know is it sounds great, it’s a little slower than the previous songs that were released, but it’s still pretty classic Metallica. Dare I say, I’m still looking forward to the new album.
Hey remember Metallica when they’d layer harmonized guitar riffs and sometimes even vocals too? They did that again in Moth Into Flame, another track on their upcoming album, Hardwired to Self Destruct. It’s a near six-minute thrash/speed metal clinic, and yet another track that’s gotten me excited for the new album.
The guitar sound in the intro has a solid 1986 vibe to it, before they drop into a bit more modern sound for the verse. Hearing backing vocals on the chorus was unexpected yet well done. The later guitar solo definitely sounds like the same setup they used in Kill Em All, which is probably my favorite of their albums.
It would be nice to hear the bass a bit more prominently, since bass is important and fun to not just tune out of the mix.
Hey so you know how Metallica like 30 years ago would turn brains to a paste with their frenetic thrash sounds? They found the sound again! Or they pulled bits from older tracks and smooshed it into this new really great song, Hardwired. Either way, this song shreds and I imagine there is a large cohort of metalheads who are now confused and excited and possibly aroused at the prospect of a new Metallica album.
I’ll admit I haven’t been the biggest Metallica fan since Reload. There were a bunch of solid hard rock tracks on the Black album and Load, but the drums on St. Anger and Death Magnetic sounded weird and tinny and it just didn’t vibe with me. I wanted to hear the same crude Bay Area Thrash that launched them into the stratosphere in the first place. But if this song is a framework for the album, I may be listening to it a ton.
The vocals are great and don’t have quite as many of the ungh’s and hah’s as their previous stuff. And did I tell you about the drums? They sound straight up legit. There are bits throughout the song that remind me of bits from Kill ‘Em All, particularly the guitar solo has a strong Hit the Lights vibe to it. Which is fine, it’s their music if they want to go back to a well so be it. And that well is so fantastic that they ought to do it more often.
This was the first metal album I ever got, back in like 9th grade. Seems pretty fitting, since it’s slightly older than me. I hadn’t listened to a lot of metal by then, mostly the stuff that made it onto like KISW or random industrial songs friends would play. So going from a vision of Metallica that was mostly Sad But True and Enter Sandman to this amazing thrash was a shock to my core.
Hit the Lights starts like a true thrash song, almost like an orchestra tuning up before a performance. Except they were probably drunk and angry. And Kirk Hammet (could’ve been Dave Mustaine I’m not sure) dropping that slide after the initial crescendo just lets you know that you’re in for 52 minutes of great. This song is the prototypical thrash song upon which other bands ape. And that is a great thing. The guitar solos have the same balls-out fury that matches the rest of the song, the noodly progressions that some say are cliche but are very needed.
The Four Horsemen is a great exercise in how dueling guitars can be amazing in stereo (see also: Guns N’ Roses Apetite for Destruction.) You can also hear Cliff Burton’s bass line wander throughout the melody, reinforcing the structure of the song. I have a conspiracy theory that he and Dave Mustaine wrote most of the music. And the Black Album is what happens when they’re not around to help. Back to the track, biblical reference in heavy metal is great, and Metallica does a great job of tying scripture into various songs. I’ve said that Creeping Death is my favorite Passover song, and for good reason.
Kill Em All has a frenetic pace to every song that keeps you wanting more. The transitions between key phrases and verses have a kind of raw feel to them, but these guys were like 17 at the time and trying something that few other bands had at the time. It’s unfortunate how much the band gets shit on with regard to their later albums (Black album and on), especially with how they came out of the gate with such a strong offering in this album.
Hey you know Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth? That’s a bass solo. Because Cliff Burton was a bass phenom. And then it drops into Whiplash, a great song. In all, this album is a fantastic primer for growing an appreciation of thrash metal and the frenetic joy they bring to so many guys with mullets.
I need to research more to find out if there are other metal songs about Passover. Because there’s a lot of gnarly shit that goes on in the story. Frogs, locusts, animals getting covered in boils, it’s pretty brutal.
Here’s Metallica performing Creeping Death live in like 1991. You can already hear Hetfield doing the goofy vocal junk that’s invaded Metallica since the Black Album.
And then someone took the original version and put it on top of clips from the Ten Commandments. Totally awesome
Hey I had the unique privilege to see Blistered Earth last week. They are a Metallica Tribute band, which sounds like a corny cover band, but they rocked it pretty hard for the whole set. Their opener, Voyager, started with Hellion/Electric Eye, so I knew it was going to be a kickass show all around. Anyway, if you have the opportunity to see either band live, you should definitely take it.
Here’s Blistered Earth covering my favorite Passover song, Creeping Death.