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The weakest "Hardwired" single yet... - 70%

BlackMetal213, November 5th, 2016

So, "Atlas, Rise!", in my opinion, is the lesser of the three tracks Metallica have yet released from their upcoming album "Hardwired...to Self-Destruct" due out on 18 November. But does that make it a bad track? No, I don't think so. This is actually fairly decent. So far, we have gotten the title track, "Moth Into Flame", and now "Atlas, Rise!". While the first two songs follow mainly a thrash metal style, what we get here is more reminiscent of the NWOBHM sound that developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This is interesting, because Metallica really hadn't made a song that sounds quite like this, and it definitely pays homage to one of their main influences: Iron Maiden.

The song opens up with a jagged riff that eventually turns into a thrash/speed metal riff similar to something they would have recorded for their "No Life 'Til Leather" demo way back in the day. I think the main issue I have with this song is how inconsistent it tends to sound. It goes from more of a thrash riff into a melodic NWOBHM riff in the chorus, which eventually features harmonizing guitars. This isn't necessarily bad. Although it seems to jump too quickly between these ideas. I will say the solos in this song, as there are two, are definitely better than the simple lead on "Hardwired" and are about on the same level as the one in "Moth Into Flame". There is another NWOBHM section after one of the solos that is absolutely melodic and freaking awesome, and it actually lasts for a decent length of time.

Drumwise, there are none of the thrashy "gallops" that we have seen with the previous two songs. It's pretty much standard, more simple drumming, bearing more resemblance to the "Metallica" album from 1991 than anything. Seeing as Lars has actually used some impressive drumwork on the last two songs, surprisingly enough, this one kind of falls short. But it does fit with the music on this song. I guess that is the only thing that matters.

Really, this song still manages to get me excited for the new album, which may or may not be the band's best release since "...and Justice for All". I was a fan of "Death Magnetic", but this so far is impressing me a bit more. My main issue, aside from the inconsistency of this song, is how the band has released three singles, and they are all only from the first disc. We still have no idea what anything from the second disc will sound like. Seeing as we have an idea of how the first disc will sound like, even if it's a bit diverse, I am really looking forward to hearing a glimpse of the second one, although it likely won't happen before the release of the entire album.