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Review: Hardwired...To Self Destruct-The New Album of Metallica

Updated on January 26, 2018

Hardwired to Self-Destruct front album cover

The album's cover shows the face of James Hetfield in the center.
The album's cover shows the face of James Hetfield in the center. | Source

Introduction and how it got to this point

How exactly can we live our lives with a purpose? This is the same question that I had been asking myself for many years. I have now finally found what one of my purposes in life is and that’s why I am going to share this with anyone who is interested to know this. My goal is to make a difference in other people’s lives. That purpose is to be the best writer that I can be. Does that mean that there will be perfection? Not really. So as part of that purpose, let’s take a look at Metallica’s newest album Hardwired to Self-Destruct. It is a double album and this is the band’s first actual album in more than 7 years. The reason: Beyond Magnetic is an EP and not a full album. Those of you that have been following my writing journey probably remember that I prefer Metallica’s music over that of Megadeth.

Track Listing for Hardwired to Self-Destruct

  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

The first three to four songs are very strong

The opening song Hardwired is about the fact that the world as we know it may terminate. It may self-destruct. Let’s hope that cooler heads will prevail among the human race and that we resolve our differences peacefully. Metallica’s music has saved my life in a way. Their music helps some get meaning because of the thought-provoking lyrics but because of their longevity as well. It was 2017 when the first draft of this review was composed and these guys still want to keep playing music and performing. It was back around 1998 or so that I remember Lars Ulrich saying on the VH1 Behind the Music segment that he hoped that the band could continue playing for another ten years. The band has gone well past that! The song Now That we’re Dead makes reference to the fact that humans have sinned. Since humans have sinned, the penalty for this is death. When we die, we return to dust.

I write about Metallica because their music saved my life

All of us have a purpose on Earth. For Metallica, it was to excite audiences by the power of playing music. For me, it is to write about the creativity and skill that this American band has displayed over a career spanning more than 30 years. I really do enjoy writing these album reviews and this is a way to inform the world that Metallica is still active even in 2018. Moth Into Flame has a sort of power metal feel and this enhances Metallica’s creativity.

Hardwired (official music video)

How Hardwired differs from other Metallica albums

Hardwired is an album that has less thrash metal elements than the band’s earlier albums and it has more progressive stuff in it such as the song Halo on Fire. This is the case considering that Metallica was formed even before Fates Warning was. Fates Warning is one of the earliest American progressive bands that had their style but Metallica has decided to use a softer and more progressive sound in Hardwired.

Metallica's Hardwired to Self-Destruct Album

Some analysis of the second half of the album

Confusion is about a soldier that wakes up ready to face the day but he cannot get the memory of the war out of his mind. This is one of the things that happens when a soldier has PTSD. He gets these flashbacks that he is not able to get out of his mind. The song is nowhere near as great as the song called One. ManUNkind is about the chaos that ensued because of Adam’s sin. And if a person deviates from the social norms and kills an innocent person, they not only become a criminal but a sinner as well. The Bible says that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden due to their sin of eating the fruit that they were not supposed to eat. This is the unfortunate reality that we humans have to face and there’s nothing we can do. The song is one of the weaker songs in the album. But I think it is odd for these guys to wait so long to release albums. Earlier in their career, Metallica would release a new studio album every two or three years. Spit Out the Bone is the last song in this album and just like Death Magnetic ending with the fast song My Apocalypse, Hardwired ends with another fast song. Even in their 50’s, these guys are not afraid to show that they can play fast and technical and make it work out well.

Spit Out the Bone (official music video)

Final thoughts on the album

Kirk Hammett in a recent interview revealed that the band has this tendency to over obligate. That’s one word I’ve never heard. These guys are in their 50’s now and you would think that they would try to prioritize their obligations so that they could release new material sooner. Hammett himself referred to the situation as a precedent that they wouldn’t want to set. Hardwired is a weaker album than Death Magnetic but it is still a good album for Metallica. The strongest songs are mostly in the first half. These are Hardwired, Now That We’re Dead, Moth Into Flame, Spit Out the Bone, and Atlas Rise!

The song Now that we're dead

Moth Into Flame (official music video)


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