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

This cd was added to the list later. Originally when this special edition was announced in August the added cd was supposed to be outtakes. Riffs and such. I thought ok. Then Metallica changed their minds. They would include a 3 tribute songs previously released, and 9 live songs recorded on Record Store Day (Saturday April 16 2016) at Rasputin Music in Berkeley, California. When the switch was announced I felt a bit slighted about not getting the added riffs, but I feel this extra disc is a better option. Who knows how random the riffs would have been, and what kind of quality. I’d rather hear a full songs than a bunch of riffs. I’m not sure what happened to those riffs, but I’m sure they’ll surface somewhere.

Ronnie Medley Rising – Metallica do great at covers. This one was for the amazing Ronnie James Dio -This Is Your Life 2014 tribute album. The 9 minute song includes snippets of 4 Rainbow songs A Light In The Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer, Kill The King. A Light In The Black is barely featured with the band jamming for 30 seconds but not singing, Tarot Woman is much better. The star for me is the wah influenced guitar work of Kirk. James voice is in fine form here as well. A decent cover of Stargazer showcase James’ vocals. Kill The King is a really good cover. The guitar solo is the star for me, but all of the members are in peak form here.

When A Blind Man Cries – This cover was originally featured on ReMachined..A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head tribute album from 2012. What seemed like a bit of a strange choice for Metallica turned out to be a really great cover. This song was not actually on Machine Head. It was recorded during the Machine Head sessions, but only released as a b side to Never Before. Ritchie Blackmore disliked this song and never played it live, so this is probably the reason it was never on the album. That’s really too bad because it is a really good song. I’m glad Metallica brought it back into the limelight, even though it seems like a very un-Metallica song. Psychedelic and slower paced. James’ vocals are purposely restrained and sort of haunting. That is until 3 minutes in when he screams out his patented yeah-eahh heahhhh and the volume level goes up to 11. Right where the band likes it. This is a really great cover.

Remember Tomorrow – This cover was originally released on Kerrang magazine’s Iron Maiden tribute album Maiden Heaven(issue 1219) in 2008. As expected the guitar work is more Maiden than Metallica. Then highlight for me is the transition between hard, then soft, then rip roaring kick ass hard. The drumming here sounds kind of compressed. Almost as if Lars is planning in a bathroom. The wah influenced guitar work is awesome, and so is the straight ahead riffing. James pulls his weight here as well as Kirk. They need to be on sync to do that dual lead guitar Maiden thing. Too bad the drumming sound is so bad on this one. In fairness, that is the only one on the entire boxset, so Lars is still way ahead.

The final live songs are all very excellent. There are a few very minor glitches that remind us it is live, and for me minor miscues are perfectly fine. I would rather leave them in than have them edited out. I enjoy the banter between James and the crowd, especially when he dedicates Fade To Black to Cliff Burton. He mentions “for Cliff” at the start, and when he yells out “Hey, do you hear us Cliff? Do you hear Us Cliff? Also of note as Fade To Black begins to play a buddy yells out Sanatarium. Oops buddy. Don’t worry. There won’t be many copies of this sold worldwide.

During the start of Jump In The Fire, James mentions all of those that have passed on. He mentions Paul Baloff from Exodus(Kirk’s former band) in particular. At the very end of the concert, Lars gives a shout out to Jon and Marsha Zazula, Ray Burton, Mike Bordin, his dad, Kirk’s mom, and everyone else in attendance. That would have been a sweet show to see.

9.75/10 for this one.

So the totals are

10/10, 9.5/10, 9.5/10, and 9.75/10 for a total for the boxset of 9.6875/10.

I loved this boxset. I still love Metallica no matter how badly they snubbed me and the other fans waiting for a word outside of the Opera House on Tuesday. Oh well, at least I got a t shirt. Cheers boys. I hope you keep releasing albums like this. I’ll still keep buying them.

9 thoughts on “(Metallica Week) 4 Part Album Review: Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (2016 Special Edition Boxset, Album # 4)

  1. J. says:

    That does sound like an exclusive bonus disc… better than the proposed riff origins stuff. In fact, I got some rough demo idea tracks with the recent Black Love set and it was hugely disappointing. Bah.

    Liked by 1 person

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