Metallica, Rise!


Dylan Berkowitz, Staff Writer

“It’s happening! It’s actually happening!”

These are the words of many Metallica fans world wide. After a long eight years, metal’s biggest name is finally releasing the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic. The name of the new album is called Hardwired…To Self-Destruct and let me tell you, this is a really good album. Like, really good!

The history of Metallica is honestly like a story. Once upon a time in Los Angeles, 1981, 19 year old singer and guitarist James Hetfield sends out an ad in the local newspaper. After getting a reply from drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Dave Mustaine, and bassist Ron McGovney, Metallica was formed.

Through the years following, Metallica parted ways with Mustaine and McGovney, eventually getting Kirk Hammett to play guitar and Robert Trujillo for the bass. The band was at a high when they released 1991’s Metallica (aka The Black Album). The success of The Black Album caused the band to get a lot of media attention and still sells a ton of units to this very day.

Though there are some albums in their line-up that many fans may want to forget about (I personally love them all, but that’s just me), there is no doubt that Metallica is the biggest metal band in the world.

With many ups and downs in their career, even having the chance of the band splitting up in the early 2000’s, the band still tours and even recently became the first band to perform in every continent.

Now a new album is coming out, and there is a lot to prove. You see, the problem with being the biggest metal band is that you will get a lot of criticism from your oldest fans. Ever since The Black Album (maybe even before that), their hardcore fans would say that the band betrayed them. How could they not?

The entire band cut their signature hair and stopped going thrash and tried using more acoustic sounds and ballads for 1996’s Load and 97’s Reload.

In 2000, after losing their at-the-time current bassist, Jason Newsted, due to unknown reasons (it is now known that he was treated like garbage by James), it took three years to write the album St. Anger, and that ended up being one of the most hated metal albums of all times. Even Death Magnetic gets ton of hate, not for the music so much, but for the production value that, for most people, really makes such a small difference.

Now that the entire Hardwired album has been released into the world, I can say that this might be the best album the band has ever put out.

What makes this new album much better than what came out in 2008 was that when they were writing that time, they tried to write what was essentially a sequel to what they made in the 80’s. What came in the way of that was that in the 80’s, they were living a rocker’s life; alcohol, girls, and most importantly, not giving a darn. 

In the 21st century, they are all dads and family men, so instead of trying to replicate what they used to write, they started to take a look at their past and used it for inspiration.

There is not a single song on the new album that I would say is bad, and the fan base agrees with this. Not once on the internet have I seen any negative things about the album (aside from trolls and actual thought-out criticism). Even some of the older fans who lost all faith in the band like it.

Almost every song feels like it can fit somewhere in Metallica’s history. The (almost) title track, Hardwired, sounds straight from their debut album Kill ‘em All, but Moth Into Flame sounds like it’s from 1988’s …And Justice For All. Though these perceptions may change from person to person, it is clear that this album is a love letter to all the fans, old and new.

Hardwired…To Self-Destruct is out now and is available pretty much everywhere that sells music.