Grae Reviews: Metallica — Hardwired… To Self Destruct (Part 2)

Disc 2 & Conclusion

Track 7 — Confusion

This song follows on from the common theme established in disc 1, aka chugging riff and a pace that can be best described as glacial by thrash metal standards. This is fitting here though considering that this is a song about PTSD. This is one of the 3 highlights of the 2nd disk and its mostly thanks to James and his vocal work. The band has said that this album is a continuation of Death Magnetic and this song is the best example of this, a part 2 for The Day That Never Comes if you will. Ending on the typical Kirk Hammett solo on the Wah pedal. This one gets a pretty comfortable thumbs up.

Track 8 — ManUNkind

Step forward Rob Trujillo for his one and only songwriting contribution on this album, and of course it starts with a bass solo! This is highlight number 2 of 3 to be found on the 2nd disk purely because it’s finally something that sounds markedly different from the rest of the chugging riffs. If you know of Rob’s past as a funk musician then you’ll know how much of him is shown in this song, with an Infectious Grooves style funk riff played in that unmistakable Metallica sound. Those who saw the song title and expected something in the vein of The Unforgiven trilogy will be disappointed but that aside this is a pretty good song in my book and gets the thumbs up from me.

Track 9 — Here Comes Revenge

And here begins the comedown from the unique sound of ManUNkind back to the familiar chugging riff formula. It’s at this point where it starts to become obvious that songs are starting to blend into one another and while I am able to tolerate it, I can fully understand why people would be tempted to give up at this point. It’s especially not helped in this case as this is the 2nd longest song on the album and really doesnt have much in the way of a reason to be this long. This might be harsh but 9 songs in I shouldnt be thinking anything along the lines of blah, blah, blah, we’ve heard it all before and thats how I feel with this song. Thumbs down.

Track 10 — Am I Savage?

The pace comes straight down for the intro to this one and while it doesnt quite build up again in much of a meaningful way, I can at least say that this is an improvement on the previous track. The song title invokes memories of Metallica’s cover of Diamond Head’s Am I Evil? and the riff definitely compliments that line of thinking. Sadly that means that most will compare it directly to Am I Evil? and in all honestly it’ll never live up to that mantle. That said I do enjoy this song and Kirk finally delivers a solo on this disc that gets the fists in the air. Not quite enough for a thumbs up but I had fun with this despite its flaws. Thumbs in the middle.

Track 11 — Murder One

I was slightly spoiled on this track as my first encounter with it was watching the music video for the song and in that context, this tribute to Motorhead’s Lemmy is one of the coolest things Metallica has brought to the table in the 21st century. However I’m here to review the song on it’s own merit and it’s yet again another chugging riff at glacial pace. It’s a bit more fitting here given that it’s a tribute song but it is a bit of a let down without the video to accompany it. Thumbs in the middle.

Track 12 — Spit Out The Bone

HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!! Metallica has always been known for book ending their albums with all out thrash and this is no exception. This song literally has it all. Amazing main riff, James killing it again on vocals, Lars kicking arse behind the kit, Kirk melting faces with a great solo and a fucking distorted bass riff from Rob that is such an amazing homage to Cliff Burton. By far and away the best song on disc 2 and quite possibly the best on the album overall. Thumbs all the way up.

Conclusion

This album has quite a lot of meh moments and a severe let down in the form of Here Comes Revenge, but the good is sooooooo fucking good that it pretty much makes up for all the filler material. Moth into Flame and Spit Out The Bone are up there amongst the best stuff that Metallica has ever produced.

Most people who review Metallica albums always fall into the trap of comparing it against their previous work and while that is a legit form of critique, it makes it very difficult to find redeeming quality in what could very well be good work on it’s own merit (that’s why I still maintain that there are 2 songs on St Anger that I actually think are ok, Sweet Amber and The Unnamed Feeling in case you were wondering). I always try to just review albums as a stand alone experience and there’s a lot to like here. It’s not perfect by any means and I can understand if you decide to give up halfway through but I like this album enough to give it an overall thumbs up.

Listen to NOW! Hardwired, Moth into Flame, Spit Out The Bone

Give a miss: Now That We’re Dead, Here Comes Revenge, Am I Savage