Hardwired… to rise again.

Metallica fans are divided into two main groups.
One group is made of people who heard the “Black album”, snorted and cried “Sellouts!” then vowed never to listen to this band ever!11!!!1!~
The other is made mostly of people who loved the “Black album” and gave the band the chance it so truly deserved.
Then came “Load” and “Reload” which further split the camp into the disappointed and the not so much.
I think that St. Anger really reunited everyone behind the collective WTF and that was that. Hard core fans stayed and others sought (and destroyed) other outlets.
To be perfectly honest, I loved the “Black album”. I think it’s a masterpiece. I even liked “Load” and tolerated “Reload”. I loved “Garage Inc.” (who doesn’t?) and still think “S&M” is genius. Heck, I even bought “St. Anger“.
That was it for me though. It was fairly obvious their heart wasn’t really in it. I wrote it off as an exercise in staying together post-Hetfield-drama.
Then came “Death Magnetic” and I wasn’t impressed. I was beginning to think that Metallica was really done.
When “Hardwired… to self destruct” was announced I was very skeptical. It seemed like one more attempt to stay relevant.
Then I heard “Moth into flame”.
Suddenly, something moved. It was my head, moving down and up. Almost automatically. Like the good ole times. Then I heard “Hardwired”, same result. Then “Atlas, Rise!”. Same. Could… could it be?… Could this actually be a good album after a long while?
I decided to take the plunge and bought the album. I got the “delux” version with the extra CD, cause Metallica live is always awesome, regardless.
The following is written after 3 times of going start to finish.
The first thought that bounced through my head was that there’s a lot of correspondence with past albums. Not repetition, just shout-outs to previous pieces. There’s some “ride the lightning” and “Kill ‘em all”, some “Justice” and “Master”. Some of Kirk’s work is very “Black album” and James dances well between the old ones and the “loads”. A lot of things that simply ring true.
Metallica has always been somewhat unfairly judged. On the one hand they “got it” whenever something didn’t sound original enough, then when they dared to go off-road, they got it for “not being Metallica”… a bit of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
So my first impression is that the men found the golden path between repetition and innovation.
My second impression – or rather confirmation – is that James is one of those really underrated lyricists. This guy wrote some really good lyrics in the day. Really good. And in this album (not on every song, but that’s just fine) he sharpened his pencil again. “Atlas” and “Moth” are but two example of how metal-heads (like Black Sabbath before them) can write some beautiful words, and still rock the hell out of the song.
Is this album “Master” level? No. It’s not going to threaten the top 3 of all times list. It has its ups and downs (though nothing bad).
But this album sounds as honest as they come. I think they found what they were looking for (creatively), for the first time since Jason’s departure, and they sound Metallica enough, with the right sound, the right feel.

This is a true Metallica album, and I hope you buy it. The passion of this band to overcome some real difficulties and keep going was always admirable, and we never know what would be the last new helping we get from the best Metal band of all times (Yes, I said it!).
Rock on!

You sold out!

Hello ladies and gents, welcome back.

In recent weeks I’ve done a bit of reblogging. I shared some nice posts (see references below) I found on WordPress while busying myself with some important everyday life tasks, on top of plotting my next book. Continue reading

Under Cover

Welcome back one and all.
A long time ago, in the greater Atlanta GA area, there was a decent rock station. The Project 96.1 was the only station worth listening to if you’re a rock fan. On that station was a daily show called “Under the covers with Ally“. It was a fun show that – not shockingly – featured cover versions to various songs. I miss that station and that show, so in honor of the fun times, and following the Foo Fighters week-long residency at the Letterman show, I present to you my top ten favorite rock covers. Not a “best ever”. Taste is taste and all that.

Continue reading

Expectations Vs. Performance (Biggest Rock Concerts)

Welcome back everyone, to another “Special”!

I hope you all love music. You may not have the same taste in music as mine, but I know that this is relevant to all concert going folks. What I’m going to do here is a little breakdown of the 10 biggest concerts I attended and focus on my expectations going in versus the general feeling I had on my way back to the car/bus/train. Continue reading

Aspirations

Welcome back all. I hope you enjoyed the last post. It was off topic but fun to write and then to listen to. This post is kind of a slide back to writing, although it will be heavily linked to music, which is my other passion. Continue reading

My Top Ten Air Guitar Classics

OFF TOPIC, but FUN 🙂

I blatantly STOLE this idea from this great post – http://sillzja.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/my-top-tens-air-guitar-classics/ and first of all I’ll send you over there to go through the great list of songs and the videos and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Are you back? Great. Continue reading