Metallica in the 21st century has been a turbulent journey so far. While most fans, and indeed the band themselves, would rather forget about 2003's 'St. Anger', the metal stalwarts did manage to rekindle some of their old fire on their 2008 release 'Death Magnetic'. And now, eight years on, we get to be treated to another new Metallica album, and this one sees them go right back to their own roots and that of the genre as well.
While 'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct' certainly does the job of being a Metallica album, its main problem is the fact it has nothing special to shout about. Since Metallica first emerged back in the 1980s, the metal genre has evolved and developed into a multifaceted institution of various sub-genres and influential tangents. And while Metallica have tried to experiment in the past, it has been met with resistance from their purist fanbase and goes a long way in understanding why this new release is just so basic in its delivery.
Honestly, this record is such a cliche of metal bands, it could have been made by almost anyone in the genre. It seems to lack a real identity that would make it stand out in an overpopulated market. But if you are just looking for some dumb, fun metal to headbang to, then knock yourself out.