This one isn’t exactly about growth, per se. So bear with me.
My two favorite rock bands are Van Halen and Metallica, so of course I felt compelled to share a few thoughts on the latter’s latest album, “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct.”
In short: it’s pretty good, but unbalanced. The high points are as good as anything they’ve ever done, in particular the stellar “Moth Into Flame,” a dynamic, unique piece of music with James Hetfield howling all over it. It’s an inspired effort from a band with some miles on them, and probably their best song since 1991’s “Black Album” and a top-5 Metallica song ever for my money.
“Atlas, Rise!” is also a darn good tune, with clever progressions and some classic, thumping Metallica moments and a great chorus. “Hardwired” is a simple, chugging roarer with a fairly timely chorus. (The language is a little coarse, so Google it at your own risk.)
“Spit Out The Bone” is exactly what some Metallica fans have been waiting for since ” … And Justice For All.” It sounds like a late-80s thrash explosion, full of impressive drumming from the often-maligned (and somewhat fairly, perhaps) Lars Ulrich and a great display from bassist Robert Trujillo. It’s an aggressive tune, reminiscent almost of “Battery” in tone and will undoubtedly be an asset to many workout playlists.
Those are the definite highlights. The problem on this album is, they wrote 4 excellent songs, a couple OK tunes (“Now That We’re Dead”, “Confusion”, “Dream No More”) and then a bunch of clunkers, almost all of which are on the second disc. I get wanting to do a double album, in part because of the 8-year wait for new Metallica material, but there’s a lot of junk here.
Scrap the entire second disc aside from “Spit Out The Bone” and “Confusion,” make it one disc, and we’ve got a classic on our hands. As it stands now … it’s pretty good, but not “Master of Puppets.”
Another note: go listen to “Lords of Summer” and the “Ronnie Rising” medley that appear on the deluxe album. Freaking awesome. And then go listen to Rainbow, because why the heck haven’t you?