(Metallica Week) 4 Part Album Review: Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (2016 Deluxe Edition Boxset, Album # 3)

This is a bonus disc. There are only 2 songs on here. A re-recorded version of the rare single, Lords Of Summer from a few years ago, and a live version of Hardwired, recorded August 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The record is a beautiful shade of translucent red so I stare at it, and let the light shine through it a bit before I place it on the turntable.

Lord Of Summer – I wasn’t lucky enough to nab this single when it came out on Record Store Day in 2014, so this is a nice way to get this song on vinyl. The version on this album is shortened by a minute, and is re-recorded with better production and sound. The guitar work is ace here. Amazingly fast and precise riffs change pace and tone throughout the song. Roughly 3/4 of the way through the song, it changes pace and the wah influenced guitar tone really lures me in. I am loving the new challenge Kirk is putting on himself. The drumming is pretty great too. This boxset is giving me a new found respect for Lars. It really pains me to say this because of prior acts and performances, but he has turned a new corner at least in terms of his drumming ability. This boxset like no album before pushes the direction of the music into uncharted territory. I love the mix of old school Metallica and experimentation.

Hardwired (Live) – The crowd cheers and off we go. The first thing I am struck with is how this live recording sounds so much like the album version. James’ voice is different but still awesome. The guitar work is brilliant. The bass is not loud enough, but that is the same on many of their recorded songs as well. The drums sound wicked awesome. I remember when the video first appeared in August the Lars haters were speaking about how the drums sounded fake. Well guess what folks. They sound just as good on this live recording. I just said it on the last paragraph, but I will repeat myself. Lars has turned a corner as far as I am concerned. Judging him strictly as a drummer, he sounds pretty damn good to me. Perhaps as good as his early days in the band. This is a really good thing. I hope to see this band when they tour for this album, and if their live stuff sounds as good as this, I’ll be a happy camper.

9.5/10

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