Metallica’s single Hard Wired is the perfect example of this band hasn’t been interesting for thirty years.
I don’t hate this song. Something to hate would be an improvement. The band play as well as they did in the eighties but their writing has become forgettable.
What made Ride the lightning and Master of puppets truly great album was focus. Every note and beat serves the overall message of the song thus creating a unique piece that is both emotionally and intellectually stimulating. Take For whom the bell tolls for example.
That enormous introduction isn’t just a series of cool riffs and solos. It creates an atmosphere that gives the audience some clues to the songs message long before a single lyric is sung. Likewise the steady plodding beat reinforces the theme of inevitability. This is the clarity of purpose I was talking about in Demystifying art part 2.
The next issue then is what has changed? Honestly I don’t know what happened. The near reflexive answer is the tragic death of Cliff Burton (RIP) but looking through the credits of the first three albums he wrote surprisingly few songs. Maybe he pushed James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich to be better writers or maybe his importance has been exaggerated.
Do you have the same opinion of old and new Metallica? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.