Hard rock legends Metallica have released their tenth studio album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, through Blackened Recordings. Band members on the recording include James Hetfield (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Kirk Hammett (lead guitar), Robert Trujillo (bass), and Lars Ulrich (drums).
The LP features 11 tracks covering 77 minutes, and was recorded at the band’s studio in San Rafael, California. This is their first studio album since 2008’s Death Magnetic (not counting their Lulu collaboration with Lou Reed in 2011), and is the first recording to not have any songwriting contributions from guitarist Kirk Hammett.
Eight years is certainly a long time to wait for a new album, but in Metallica’s case, the wait was certainly worth it. Hardwired…To Self-Destruct is a polished album that finds the band perfecting their craft of delivering hard rocking songs fueled by aggressive guitar riffs with intricate arrangements. In many ways, this is a return to the band’s roots as several of the songs sound like tunes from their catalog going back to the ’80s.
Beginning with the thrashing opening track “Hardwired,” Metallica steps on the accelerator and shows that 30+ years of being together has not slowed them down one bit. Hetfield’s vocals sound as fresh as ever, Kirk’s guitar riffs and solos are lightning fast, Trujillo holds down the bottom end, and Lars’ drumming is precise and technical.
If there is an overall lyrical theme to the album, it seems to be paranoia and mental issues. Songs like “Confusion” touch on the topic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), “Am I Savage?” deals with a son inheriting his father’s anger, and “Dream No More” references madness and losing one’s sanity.
Metallica promoted Hardwired…To Self-Destruct leading up to its release this week with a music video for every track on the album. It was well worth it, as this may be the band’s strongest material since their 1991 self-titled album otherwise known as The Black Album.
Pick up Hardwired…To Self-Destruct on Amazon. You can also stream the full album for free above, via Spotify.
Additionally, the band will be celebrating the album’s release with a concert at London’s House of Vans. You can watch a free livestream of the event, beginning at 4 PM ET and the video will be available to watch for seven days after the event.
For more on Metallica, check out their Zumic artist page.