Hardwired … to Self-Destruct
For their 10th studio album, Metallica return to their thrash-metal roots, a sound credited with influencing a generation of headbangers. However technically gifted the American four-piece may have become in the intervening years, though, Hardwired suggests their best work is behind them. This is the sound of a band doing little more than treading the boards; turning up for work but not really adding anything to the brand. Not that this isn’t a well produced and executed album, it’s just that it sits too comfortably alongside Master of Puppets to suggest that 30 years separates the two bodies of work. Metallica are unquestionably an awesome prospect in the flesh, as Hong Kong fans will discover on January 20 – by which time the anthemic Here Comes Revenge and the brutal title track will no doubt have become crowd favourites – but, like the Rolling Stones, they risk becoming just another must-see live band with a great back catalogue, hardwired ... to keep churning out the metal.