Hardwired… To Self-Destruct would comfortable fit on a single CD, but Metallica have opted to spread their tenth studio release out over two discs. It is nothing but a conceit, but it is a conceit we can get behind, serving two important aesthetic purposes. Firstly, it is a gentle nod to the nostalgia for releases on vinyl, reminding the audience of the role packaging and art play in informing the experience of the music and secondly, it enforces a degree of pacing on the album that is otherwise lacking. Metallica have returned – although not entirely – to the fast, aggressive style that made them the biggest of the Big Four thrash bands, and over the course of Hardwired… this could easily fatigue the listener – this is where the break midway through the record pays off.
This is an extract from a review originally published on the 29th November 2016. Please visit Renowned For Sound to read the full review.