ALBUM REVIEW: Metallica – Hardwired… To Self Destruct

Although the thrash metal titan’s 10th album was released at the end of last year, the impact of this double album is still being felt months on. Metallica proved to their doubters once again why they remain relevant after 36 years of shredding…

Metallica from left to right: Rob Trujillo, Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich

To say that the Bay Area four-piece have tested their dedicated fan base in recent times is an understatement. With the exception of last studio album Death Magnetic in 2008 (which saw a dramatic return to form), the band have left little for fans to cheer about. Perplexing projects with Lou Reed as well as the frankly bizarre full-length feature movie ‘Through The Never’ were made priority over the highly anticipated next instalment of Metallica’s back catalogue. This was made even more difficult to bear following the news that guitarist Kirk Hammett had ‘misplaced’ his iPhone that contained 900+ riffs for the new album.

Alas, Hardwired… To Self Destruct is in the world, and aside from the cringey title, Metallica have given birth to some of their strongest material since the mid-90’s. Title track Hardwired kicks the first half of the album into life with the kind of fire and attitude Metallica were remembered for at the beginning. Fast, snarling and pissed off, Hardwired proves the guys can still do heavy and more importantly do it well. The strength of the start carries on to the clearly Iron Maiden inspired ‘Atlas, Rise!’  as well as the groove and bite on the anthemic Moth Into Flame.

“Metallica have given birth to some of their strongest material since the mid-90’s…”

It’s clear Hetfield and co. are more open-minded this time round, bringing in elements from all the stages of their long career. The beautifully harrowing intensity of first disc closer Halo On Fire seems to tip-the-hat to a combination of both Death Magnetic and some of the material on the highest selling album of the last 25 years – Metallica’s self titled “Black Album”.

Whilst the second half of the double album does slow the tempo down with some of the lowest points on the record (most notably the awfully titled ManUNkind and Murder One) there are still some huge-hitters in the form of Confusion and Here Comes Revenge, both easily capable of slotting into the bands live set. Nothing can quite top the exhilarating finale of Spit Out The Bone however, that takes you through seven minutes of an absolute assault on the senses in the best way possible, through pure metal perfection. Metallica have proved once again why they remain kings of the genre.

 

ALBUM PREVIEW: Ho99o9 – United States Of Horror

After the experimental hip hop scene was turned on it’s head by controversial two-piece Death Grips at the start of the decade, it was only a matter of time before the emergence of another outfit willing to push the boundaries of genre…

Ho99o9 frontman theOGM performing live

Enter Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror), a band that blends the worlds of industrial hip hop and punk that results in one of the most intense and chaotic live shows in modern music. Having built a strong cult following through extensive touring and festival slots at Download and Afropunk among others, members theOGM and Eaddy are finally ready to unleash their first full-length record, the highly-anticipated United States Of Horror.

If the singles from their past EP’s and mixtapes are anything to go by, listeners can expect a unique hip hop experience like no other as the two-piece fuse their sound with horror film influences and other artists who take the same approach like White Zombie frontman and horror-rock legend Rob Zombie. What keeps you on your feet is how the groups sound can change so instantaneously, one minute focussing on slow bass-heavy doom hip hop on cuts like Bone Collector, to half-minute rapid skits and aggressive Black Flag type punk with tracks like Kill You.

The bands latest Instagram post promoting their new album

Following their latest single Da Blue Nigga From Hellboy which repeats the lyrics “f*ck your politics and meet the apocalypse”, it is clear Ho99o9 will continue their politically themed agenda on the new record and in particular point the finger at America. Don’t miss out.