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Metallica returns to its roots with latest album

With its latest album, "Hardwired … To Self-Destruct," Metallica returns to its original style, reclaiming the throne as the kings of thrash metal.

In the time since its last album, "Death Magnetic," the band also released a feature-length film, "Through the Never," which was a mix of live concert footage and a dark, fictionalized story revolving around the band’s performance.

Metallica’s iconic name and its role in the music industry is recognized throughout pop culture. The band has stuck to the heavy metal genre it is known for, but its albums also have displayed great variation over the years.

Beginning with their first album, "Kill ’Em All," the has band played very fast and sang with screeching lyrics. The songs on that album are suited for a high-speed race or chase in an action movie, or a wild party.

As it moved on, the band incorporated more variety into its music, having slow, sad songs, as well as songs tackling serious subject matter such as "Master of Puppets" (which is about cocaine addiction) and "... And Justice for All," which is about unjust prison sentencing.

The band’s 10th studio album, "Hardwired … To Self-Destruct," was released Nov. 18.

It features heavy, deep guitar riffs on many of the songs, some with slower intros, but the theme of most of the tracks is low, deep and fast.

The album seems to have been designed with the intent to get the heart pumping. Although it is very similar to the band’s earlier albums, there is one prominent difference. The lead singer, James Hetfield, did not return to his high-pitched screaming from the early albums. He maintains his clear, yet gritty voice, that sings audibly yet works with the hard and fast mood of the songs.

"Hardwired … To Self-Destruct" is Metallica’s best album. As somebody who has listened to all of their albums in order and knows all the songs by name, I can say without hesitation that this record is the absolute peak of their musical talent and creativity. It has the guitar riffs of "Ride the Lightning," with the Aggression of "Kill ’Em All" and the voice of "...And Justice for All." It is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in the band or the metal genre.

For music lovers who have never listened to Metallica, this album is a great place to start, because is shows the great range that the band can achieve with its music.

Jack Dudek is a sophomore at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.


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