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Review: Metallica - Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (Deluxe Edition)
Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (Deluxe Edition)

Label: Blackened Recordings
Year released: 2016
Duration: 2:37:03
Tracks: 26
Genre: Heavy/Thrash

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: October 15, 2017
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (Deluxe Edition)

Rated 2.43/5 (48.57%) (35 Votes)

Well, well, well. Will you look at that. Metallica have pretty much been crap after 1991's self-titled album (more commonly known as The Black Album) and even that one hasn't aged so well, especially compared to their excellent 80s albums. I've mostly been ignoring them as best I could for the past several years, until a friend told me to check this one out.

Well, I'm glad I did. While it is nowhere near as good as their first four albums, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct is at least a couple of steps in the right direction. It looks like Metallica have tried to satisfy the various factions of their vast fan base and I'd say they did a decent job. While you won't find any of their mid-80s thrashers on here, there is a good number of hard-hitting songs that show hints of that era and even Hetfield often manages to sound a bit like his former, pre-pussified self with some convincing vocals a little reminiscent of his 80s vocals. A few songs borrow more from their 90s material and are not as good (duh), but at the same time they're actually quite listenable though after several spins I found that they tend to get old compared to the more metallic material on here. So, as far as the new songs are concerned, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better after their 1991 album. Note that Lars still isn't that great a drummer, with a few cringe-worthy passages here and there. It had to be said.

Sounds interesting? Well, if you're going to get this you'll want to get the Deluxe Edition which comes with a healthy dose of cool covers and live songs. I was surprised to hear them sounding so good on the live material. I've heard them play watered-down versions of their old material live and it was actually pretty insulting (for lack of a better word) but the live versions presented here sound pretty damn good, proving that they can still play with conviction if they want to. The bonus material in this edition is just plain fun and surprising blends well with the studio album, so I highly recommend shelling out a few extra bucks to get it. It's worth it.

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