Metallica: Hardwired… to Self-Destruct review – thrillingly direct

(Blackened Recordings)

It’s testament to the enduring appeal of Metallica’s early work that in recent years their live setlists have included almost nothing recorded after 1991’s Black Album. To that end, their 10th album is an attempt (and a more successful one than 2008’s patchy Death Magnetic) to replicate the glories of their first three. The back-to-basics approach serves them well. Recent single Hardwired is a thrillingly direct opener, almost matched in ferocity by the closing Spit Out the Bone. Elsewhere they sacrifice speed for heaviness. There are a couple of missteps, notably the ponderous Dream No More, and several songs are unnecessarily long (a recurring problem from which they’ve suffered since 1988’s flawed …And Justice For All),but when they lock into a winning riff, as on Confusion and Atlas, Rise!, there are still few better bands around.


Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

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