Metallica — “Hardwired”

It has been said that the social media revolution has given a voice to every moron on the planet who, up until this point, had no platform from which to spew their uniformed — and often hate-fueled — drivel. Spend a little time scrolling through the comment sections on music-related websites (any website, for that matter), and you will find this statement to be true.

Musicians of all stripes are being carved up like Thanksgiving turkey on a daily basis. Bay area bangers Metallica are a favorite target of internet haters. The band has been verbally sliced and diced for years by so-called fans who seem to thrive on negativity. Click on any article written about Metallica, drop down to the comment section, and you will be stunned by the angry and vile rants.

Since bad-mouthing Metallica has become a sport for many, and the four-piece’s new single, the brain-bashing “Hardwired,” from the the forthcoming album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (Nov. 2016), has brought the internet trolls out in droves. The song is being slammed at every turn for being exactly what the haters have been asking the band to do for years — make a return to their heavy roots.

So what’s the verdict on “Hardwired?” Purists who believe the band’s first four albums – the thrash-heavy Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets and …And Justice For All – are the bench mark to which all Metallica music should be judged, have a lot to be happy about, but so do fans of the band’s more mainstream material. “Hardwired” sounds like it could be an (slightly polished) outtake from the Puppets sessions.

From Lars Ulrich’s machine-gun drum intro, to the razor-blade guitar attack of James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, “Hardwired” does not disappoint. Bassist Robert Trujillo locks the track down with his signature bass lines, while Hetfield ferociously spits out the song’s lyrics as if the very fate of mankind hangs in the balance. The doom-laden number burns with the same fire as classics like “Battery” and “Damage Inc.”

Haters who say Metallica has nothing left in the tank, or that the band lost its edge after the mainstream success of 1991’s Black Album, have no argument this time around. For years, fans have been hounding the guys to go back to their thrashier roots, and that’s exactly what they have done with “Hardwired.” Bashing Metallica (and the new song) might be sporting for some, but true fans are going to love it.