The new Metallica doesn't suck

So Metallica dropped two new tunes. ‘Hardwired to Self-Destruct’ and ‘Moth to Flame’.

And they don’t suck.

Heavy riffs. No snare from hell. Catchy tunes.

I am pleasantly surprised.

Though someone really, really needs to take Kirk Hammetts wah and beat him about the head with it while screaming ‘Enough with the wah! Go listen to Ride the Lighting and try to solo like that! Melody, speed and taste ya dumb ass!’.


Just so we’re on the page of the Metallica Suck-onomicon, that’s everything after “And justice for all”, yes?

Well, And Justice For All was where I decided I didn’t need to buy their records anymore. I heard a co-worker listening to it and was about to say “That’s pretty good, but they sound too much like early Metallica.”, when the vocals started up, and I realized it was actually Metallica.

I agree, it’s pretty good, even though I’ve never been a fan of Hammett’s guitar solos in any era.

Thanks slee I will have to check them out. Sounds like the Death Magnetic experience with Rubin continues to have influence. He is good getting artists to strip back to their essence.

I quoted your post, scabby, because I couldn’t agree more. I really feel like Hammett’s leads have been a weak spot. I just don’t like his choices. I have lamented the solo on Enter Sandman on this board as an obvious example - it sounds like a collection of random licks one after the other. And that whammy-ish lick at the climax of the lead - it sounds like a kid taunting “told you so; told you so” - just grates on my ears.

I don’t agree. I’ve been a long time fan (got into them when the black album came out, then worked my way backwards through their discography) and while Load and Reload had a few misfires, they were still pretty solid hard rock albums. The whining was because they “weren’t Metallica anymore.” Whatever; I don’t care about the opinions of people who think a band they discovered in 7th grade “belongs” to them and should never change.

I’ve never liked Metallica even though I’m a metal fan, but there is some merit in their work for me. I liked the thrash albums, I thought the self-titled album was actually really good, and even Load and Reload had some good songs. It’s amusing how bands that try to change with the times only seem to have one change in them, it’s like Metallica jumped on the alternative bandwagon and then didn’t know where else to jump when alternative died and so we just ended up with pure crap.

If Metallica has finally figured out how to just be Metallica, that’s a good thing. And yeah, Hammett really needs to re-learn how to play guitar. He reminds me of Richie Sambora, which is a comparison I’m sure would make him tear his hair out, but it’s true. Both of them produced some pretty good work in the 80s and then just got lazy once guitar soloing became passe and no longer even bother to play the old stuff well, much less create new stuff. For Hammett, wah-wahing, unlike playing superfast arpeggios and scales, never went out of style so it’s like he has no other ideas. And what’s sick about it is that Metallica was the anti-commercial band when they came out, then they just abruptly sold out. Even Bon Jovi has stayed truer to their artistic vision than Metallica.

I don’t get statements like this. a band’s “artistic vision” is whatever it is they’re doing at that point in time. They define it.

Obviously this is subjective, but it seems to me that Bon Jovi came up doing what was commercial. Their first two albums were power rock that was popular in the early 80s, then they changed their sound and ushered in the hair metal era, so they pretty much defined corporate rock in their prime. Metallica, meanwhile, pretty much invented a new style of music and obviously seemed to love what they were doing and didn’t care if it was commercially successful.

Then they switched places. Metallica intentionally shifted to a more commercial, alternative-friendly sound that they didn’t seem at all comfortable with, while Bon Jovi just seemed to say, “Hey, hair metal’s dead and we COULD try to make an album for alternative radio, but hey, we dig country, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and U2, so why not just do that kind of stuff?” The post-80s Bon Jovi seems like a band very comfortable in their own skin musically, while Metallica has seemed to be forced ever since And Justice For All to stay “relevant” rather than just making a good Metallica album.

I hear you, but I get the points about Metallica’s “drift.” They built their following on proggy, multi-section songs. When they made the Black Album with Bob Rock, who had success with Motley Crue, challenged James and Lars to focus on “tightly crafted songs” - e.g., Enter Sandman, which has a more traditional pop-song structure.

It really worked to get them thinking differently as songwriters. Load and Reload are similar explorations. By the time Rick Rubin worked with them on Death Magnetic, there was value in looking at a return to their more complex song structures.

Were they true to their own Vision? Sure. Did they make their mark with a certain type of thrash song, so all of their releases are assessed against their established “brand.” Sure, not surprising.

The Black album I actually think was a major accomplishment. I like complex metal like Dream Theater, but IMO a band that writes complex music should also be able to write a simple song. Dream Theater has “Another Day” and has a pretty commercial, simple ballad on every album they do. Many of the songs on that Black album are classics and deservedly so. Load and Reload, despite some decent cuts, I think will mostly be forgotten. They were just trying to hard to be commercial.

Yeah, I’ve never stopped to think why I didn’t like them, I just always thought they were meh, and had no interest in learning them. But you’re right, it’s like he’s the opposite of Jimmy Page: Page is sloppy, and almost completely lacks good technique and form, but he knows how to build a solo. Hammett just kind of strings phrases together, but has quite fast, precise hands.

The one solo of his that I think works out well is the solo in “One”. If I catch that song on the radio, I’ll listen to it long enough to hear the solo, and then change it.

I agree that Metallica lost their mojo after “The Black Album.” To be fair I liked quite a few songs from “Load” and “Unload”, but they seemed to sleep walk through the song writing being overly swayed by their record label. On the plus side, when Metallica and I departed in different directions on style, I discovered bands I liked way better. It’s unfortunate that the masses might know of “Death Magnetic” but not “This Godless Endeavor”. I’ll give the new songs a listen, but I’m sort of ambivalent about it.

Too funny! As I was typing that post, I was thinking about Page’s Whole Lotta Love solo. Just a perfect, perfect brief solo - a bit of slop, but that is part of its immediacy vs. Hammett’s wankery.

Nevermore! Hate them, but I always respect metal bands for being metal. I felt the same way about Metallica, but ever since 1991 or so everything about them seems to be about money. The Napster thing only confirmed that.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on that point then. LOL

Like the second song they released MUCH better than the first one.

I’ll also agree that Kirk needs to lay off the Wah pedal. It was my least favorite thing about Death Magnetic, and I’m assuming it’ll be my least favorite part about the new album.

Oh well…still excited to hear a new album from my favorite band!

Just so you know, you’re not alone. The Black album was my starting point, and their best album as far as I’m concerned, with Load and Reload basically tied for second and third.

But I think you’re a little harsh about the people who complain. Metallic has changed their sound so dramatically over the years that it’s almost impossible for one person to like their entire discography. “Not Metallica anymore” is a simplistic way of identifying those changes.

In my opinion Metallica have only released one bad album and that is St. Anger. It is just IMO a bad record even if it wasn’t a Metallica record.

IMO, Kill 'Em All is a good album but missing the depth of later work. While it is musically important, as an album judged on its own merits, it’s just okay. Not the strongest debut.

They peak IMO from Ride the Lightning through Metallica.

Load & Reload would’ve made an amazing single album. Problem was it was too much too soon. Change of sound, change of style, cutting their hair, even changing the logo. Way too many changes to do all at once with your first record in five years. The material on each as such isn’t given a fair listen by most without already existing bad taste.

Death Magnetic was a safe return to form.

Hardwired is their best record since 91. If Hardwired had been released in 94 as a sort of transition to Load, I think their career would’ve been much different.

Now there’s faint praise.

Love the first album.

Love the second album.

Really like the third album, but not the production. It’s too clean and too precise.

I lost interest after their third album.