Out today (November 18) -- finally -- is Hardwired...To Self-Destruct, Metallica's 10th studio album and first since 2008's Death Magnetic.
The group did its best to make it worth the wait; It features a dozen mostly long and epic songs spread across two CDs, while a three-CD deluxe edition includes live tracks mostly from a Record Store Day show during April in Berkely. Metallica has also released videos for every song this week.
The group will be playing a club show in London today to celebrate the album's release -- live streaming at 4 p.m. EST on Metallica's web site -- and is planning to tour extensively in 2017 to promote the album.
Metallica did play plenty of live shows during the interim, of course, and frontman James Hetfield tells us that helped inform the group's approach to Hardwired...:
"There's a fine line. There's a lot of bands that I've seen tried to create anthems in the studio that work really good live, and then you get out live and it doesn't work. You can't really think too much; You gotta write music that you like, first of all, and you've got to be clear about that....Obviously playing for 30 years you know what works live. I would say that capturing us with the live feel has always been the challenge, y'know. Every producer we've worked with...have specifically said, 'No one's captured you in the studio with that feel you have live. The intensity of live doesn't get captured in the studio somehow. We've got to try to do that. So that's still one of those never-satisfied dreams that keeps coming up."
Metallica also plays a fan club show on December 17 in Oakland, Calif., and has Asian dates for January along with a four-night stand in Denmark for February and Mexico and Brazil and March. More shows should be announced soon.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.