As a die-hard Metallica fan, this is an exquisite time not only to be a Metallica fan, but to be a music fan, because of the cultural significance Metallica’s return has in music history. Imagine any favorite band or artist of yours releasing back-to-back singles just screaming out nostalgia and filling your heart with joy that they’re making music again. Metallica’s music resonates in so many hearts and souls of passionate fans, who have been positively advocating the iconic band’s return to metal since their last album, “Death Magnetic.”
Their return has been extremely publicized in a plethora of forms—one example being their performance of “Moth Into Flame” which melted the faces of the studio audience at “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.” If Metallica’s previous single, “Hardwired,” showed us that they’re still capable of unleashing dark, fast-paced songs, “Moth Into Flame” sheds more insight on what to expect from their new album, “Hardwired…To Self Destruct.”
The idea that Metallica’s new album was going to be filled with full-on explosive, thrashy tracks has been proven wrong. “Moth Into Flame” bravely takes on a more mid-tempo approach that is still rooted in Metallica’s catalog of music, while also having a melodic chorus that will surely surprise many fans. It is not as fast as “Hardwired,” but still manages to infuse dark lyrics and a soaring guitar solo in under six minutes.
The song starts off with a classic melodic metal double guitar opening accompanied by the trucking sound of Lars Ulrich on the drums, which builds and builds until the powerful galloping riff crashes into the scene. Much of the song is building up to the chorus and the main riff, where the former comes as a surprise considering its beautiful melodic tone mixed with Kirk Hammet’s lead lick and James Hetfield’s heartfelt signature singing. That is not to say that the song is all “mushy choruses,” since it is still gracefully-paced in a metal, hard rock tone.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if this is the song that non-Metallica fans will be drawn to the most because of it’s similarity to Metallica’s most profitable album: “Metallica” or “The Black Album.” The song’s lyrics, however, convey the ideology of pop stars essentially selling their souls to the Hollywood machine and becoming addicted to fame and other vices that come with being in the spotlight.
Hetfield and company seem to be very critical of modern musicians, who allow themselves to become consumed by fame, and express their distaste towards those who seek out unorthodox ways to achieve said fame. Dark lyrics are signature to Metallica’s epically heavy, but friendly, sound that adds complexity to the metal genre. It is a funny sight to see a band as heavy as Metallica bash pop stars into smithereens.
Metallica released yet another grand entry to their log of singles from “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct,” while exploring different paths and valleys through melody and relevant subject matter such as destructive pop stars.