It’s been a while since Metallica has released a studio album that gives them back that fire they blazed over 30 years ago. It seems they’re still gathering audience support through endless small venue shows where they play their ‘golden oldies’ with a sound that’s as close as it’s ever going to get to the old feel back when Cliff Burton was still alive. They had suffered through the ‘Newsted’ years and took a beating for every album after ‘And Justice for All’... So- is Metallica ready to take another crack at public redemption? Their newest album release “Hardwired...To Self Destruct” is ready to roll- November 18, 2016 and for those of us who still like listening to Metallica got to hear the newest single entitled: “Hardwired”. Here’s what that initial song gives as a hint to what we can expect on the new album.
Now here’s a new song that sounds very familiar and really takes you back to the good old days of thrash metal. Or does it? After really listening to Hardwired, I got the impression they mashed together old Kill ‘Em All songs with riffs sounding more like they borrowed heavily from ‘Four Horsemen’ with mighty drum gallops added from ‘Battery’. To be fair- I think they took from the best of older songs to make a single that sounds like they’re still hardcore. Or perhaps they finally started listing to old Slayer albums and thought, “Gee- that sounds like a cool idea to cover, we should re-invent thrash metal again”… Hardwired is very entertaining which can only give a glimpse into what otherwise might just be the best thing Metallica has done in years.
Curious fans of the band ‘Korn’ are getting a lot more of the (old song) sound which made them rise to fame. This is more pronounced due to the release of their album “The Path Of Totality” which combined their music with drum and bass heavy ‘dubstep’ remixing on every song of the album. This not only created a backlash of negative press and endless controversial hype for Korn, but angered fans who couldn’t adapt or accept this strange mixture of nu-metal with dubstep. As a result, the band has spent the last 5 years fixing this awkward mistake of artistic expression and experimentation gone wrong. Korn has all since abandoned the dubstep sound and returned to older/harder versions of their music which made them so popular. This impact of the so-called ‘real’ Korn sound was more solidified in 2013, when fading fans were treated to surprise appearances of ex-guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch. This helped repair the anger of their fans who felt they were selling-out, and gave dedicated listeners more Korn that was listenable. As a result, Korn is back in the spotlight with many fans all too happy to hear the newest album music they’re doing to this day. This example seems quite obvious for what Metallica has been doing ever since Cliff Burton had passed-on. A string of unsatisfactory albums since ‘And Justice for All’ -through the 2008 release of ‘Death Magnetic’. It seems that Hardwired...To Destruct is the most promising thrash metal sound Metallica has to offer or entice starving fans. It all started sometime in 2011 which kicked-off: “The 30th Anniversary Celebration”, which in essence was the revival of older songs that fans hadn’t heard in years. It also rejoined former band members like Dave Mustaine and Jason Newsted to play on stage once again.
Fans can be the worst critic of them all when it comes to the reception of new music that a band releases. Long gone are the days when the ‘Metal Militia’ thrash metal movement was in full swing. Perhaps it’s the revival of vinyl records which started getting a second wind of interest around 2008 and became more mainstream by 2010 with many new repressed versions of older Metallica albums, fans old and new could enjoy. Hard to find EP’s such as Jump in the Fire, Creeping Death, Whiplash (special neckbrace version), and who could forget their legendary picture discs. Thrash metal itself is a genres that never fully went into extinction. Megadeth is among the few who rose to fame, yet- stuck to the thrash metal theme. While more underground bands like Voivod, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, and Anthrax are still active producing thrash metal albums. The thrash metal scene began in the early 1980’s with Metallica being only one of four bands to share this new sound. Others who paved the way for thrash metal include Slayer, Anthrax, and of course Megadeth. One of the most endearing points why thrash metal works so well are the themes involved since so many songs include the element of war, murder, corruption, anti-justice, isolation, and many forms of human suffering within society through the anger towards politics and governmental rule. As we can see, times have changed but some music themes never get old.
Metallica has been busy enough filling the internet with plenty of fun filler which brings back the feeling you might remember from their glory days. Well, actually more crunchy and sounding as raw as it gets, since we loved the concert feel which was unmixed and spontaneous. That powerful wall of guitar which rattled your teeth and made you thrash-all-around. Metallica made headlines with the 2013 concert film “Metallica: Through the Never” which was presented at many IMAX theaters all over the world. There is also the ‘Freeze ‘Em All’ concert which was preformed live for a very select audience in Antarctica and the recent April-2016 Record Day concert for an even-smaller group of exclusive fans. All the while the build-up of that original thrash metal sound they used to play back in 1983! Until the new album is finally released, we can find plenty of revived Metallica music coming to the surface. Which after all, is what good promotion is all about now that Metallica is back to steal their thrash metal fire back once again.