Metallica have been around for so long that unfortunately they’re always going to fall into the trap of having their new material being compared to their back catalogue. That means that any decent new album (like this one) is always going to be compared to a masterpiece like the Black Album.
Hardwired is exactly what you’d expect, a Metallica album that sounds like a Metallica album should and doesn’t try to do anything too crazy (anyone remember St. Anger?). The album is heavy throughout with only very short breaks to draw a breath. While it probably lacks a true classic tune to add to the catalogue, none of the tracks are outright duds.
The usual heavy metal motifs and themes are present, especially on Murder One and Spit Out The Bone; no new ground in terms of lyricism is really broken, but who listens to Metallica for the lyrics anyway? Lars’ drums are as Larsy as ever while Kirk Hammett quietly drives the band as he’s done for over 30 years now.
Overall this is a solid album and a good buy for any classic metal fan who wants something new to headbang along to. Whether from legends like Metallica or some long haired blokes down at the local, good heavy metal is always good heavy metal.
By Nathan Quattrucci