It’s 2016 and Metallica is still relevant.
Don’t believe me?
Just look at the instant reaction on the internet last week Thursday at around 5pm when their first single in 8 years dropped for the world to see and hear. ‘Hardwired’, is the name of the single for their forthcoming album “Hardwire…to Self Destruct” scheduled to drop November 18th.
For the record, that date will become my wife’s worst nightmare. She hates Metallica in the passionate way I love them. Tthe music junkie in me will obsess in the same fashion that I have been over “Hardwired” in the last 72 hours — except 20X more exacerbated when I have a full album of brand new material to dissect and chew on. I initially wanted to write up a rapid reaction to the song in blog form minutes after hearing it. Ultimately, I settled to wait a full week before doing a rapid reaction podcast on it which you can find here.
The verdict? I still love it.
Hardwired is getting the A+ treatment from me for this simple reason. The song sounds authentic. I can carve through bullshit when it comes to music — especially a band like Metallica who I’ve been a die hard fan of for well over 20 years.
‘Hardwired’ doesn’t sound forced like all of St. Anger did. It’s doesn’t sound forced like parts of Death Magnetic (which I do love). ‘Hardwired’ just comes out and for a lack of a better phrase “kicks your f***ing ass”. It did it the same way as when I first heard the first few riffs opening ‘Blackened’ off of the ‘… And Justice For All” LP so many years back.
You can call it recency bias all you want. I’ll live with it. If ‘Hardwired’ is just a taste of what the rest of the new album is going to sound like, it’s going to wake the hard rock music community up in a way the Metallica brethren once did in 1983.
Here is another thing leading up to the release that also has me fascinated and I guarantee no one is actually taking into consideration. “Hardwired…To Self Destruct” will be the first ever Metallica album release that will be introduced in a full fledged social media backdrop. While media platforms like Facebook, MySpace and the birth of Twitter happened when 2008’s Death Magnetic was released, it was still a market where Metallica could still promote their album in their somewhat traditional way to the masses.
Things are different now.
The fact that I heard Metallica’s first single in of all places…. their Facebook was strange in itself. It isn’t strange to a newer artist that’s just recently getting its feet wet within the last 5-7 years cause that kind of marketing is expected.
Metallica has existed for 35 years. They’re already implanted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame. They’re the wiley veterans who’ve been around the block many times over. At this point they do this solely for the fun of it all. Clearly they don’t really “need” the money. Metallica now exists based on singular passion for creating music.
The burning question does remain: How will music fans in 2016 embrace Metallica?
Four guys that are approaching their mid 50’s still creating not just heavy music, but extremely heavy music. This is something that has never been done. Don’t give me Black Sabbath or the Rolling Stones because with all due respect to those bands, they do not play the kind of music at the frenetic pace and speed that Metallica STILL continues to churn out.
If their sold out concert in Minneapolis last weekend is any clue, they should not have any problem adapting to the different world landscape.
Music is a universal language.
One thing I’ve learned is if your material is good enough it will find its way home.
Metallica. Welcome home.