Showing posts with label metallica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label metallica. Show all posts

Monday, November 21, 2016

video review: 'hardwired... to self-destruct' by metallica

Oh man... I have no idea how this is ultimately going to be received, but man, I wish I had liked this as much as I liked their 80s material. Eh, it happens, I guess... but moving on from that, we've got Billboard BREAKDOWN and the first round of voting, which starts tonight - stay tuned!

album review: 'hardwired... to self destruct' by metallica

They are a name that is in the public consciousness synonymous with metal. Of the big four in thrash, they are the one that probably leaps to mind the most. The most recognizable, arguably one of the most successful, and one that I've never really talked about in great detail... mostly because the band has not released a lot of quality throughout my entire lifetime.

Yeah, we're talking about Metallica, the second of the big four that I've covered this year. And even though I'm no big fan of thrash metal - which probably didn't help that Megadeth review, I do tend to take a more forgiving picture of Metallica. For one, on a pure compositional and writing level I found them a more consistent and enjoyable group for a longer period of time than Megadeth. And even though I do have some individual issues with their 80s output, I can definitely hold up records like Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, and ...And Justice For All as iconic in the genre, with Ride The Lightning probably being my favourite.

But here's the unfortunate truth of it: those were all in the 80s. I don't have the aversion to The Black Album that some Metallica fans do, but it really was a sign of the records to come. On some level I appreciated Metallica venturing out of thrash for Load and Reload, but they seemed to lose a lot of the interesting virtuoso musicianship and melodic chops that helped their 80s work stand out. And St. Anger was even worse - plagued with production issues, sloppy writing, and no solos, it just hit a really sour note with me. Death Magnetic was a return to form on some level in 2008 - there were still production issues, courtesy of an abuse of compression, which did nothing to highlight the melodies, but it was a Metallica sound I could get behind. But they followed that by working with Lou Reed on Lulu... and really, that album is a video in and of itself, but let me say this: it's not a good record, at all, but especially lyrically it's the sort of fascinating failure that's extremely entertaining to dissect. But the broader point of all of this is that since I was born in 1990, the vast majority of music Metallica has released has been decent at best, and that's dispiriting going into a new record. And really, I had no clue what to expect: Metallica has been all over the map throughout their career, and given they had now put together a double album of material with no songwriting contributions from Kirk Hammett - and I hadn't heard any new singles - I figured this would be my big chance to dig in deep - so what did we get?