So, I’ve given this new track from Metallica almost 24 hours and quite a few listens to settle before I sat down to write this – because my initial reaction to the song was not good at all, and I didn’t want to go with a knee-jerk. I wanted to try to give it a fair hearing and a chance to grow on me. A day later, my reaction is better, but still a little “meh.”
To be honest, there have been times in Metallica’s career that I would have rejoiced to hear a song like “Hardwired.” Had it arrived in 1998, I would have been jumping up and down and celebrating. Since the 1990s meltdown of the band, though, fans have seen a new evolution. Beginning with the rough and raw St. Anger
in 2003 (more thoughts on that to come in my Metal Meltdowns
series) to a really good outing in 2008’s Death Magnetic
, despite its aural challenges.
What I hoped for was a continued evolution on that path. Eight years later, I hoped that they had honed and perfected that sound. I’d hoped that if St. Anger
was the Kill ‘Em All
of this version of the band, then the new album would be the Master of Puppets
. Yes, I realize that expectation was way, way too high, but given the quality of music that other classic thrash bands are putting out there this year, I didn’t think it was beyond the realm of possibility.