Metallica ‘Moth Into Flame’ Song Review

In the modern day, it has become trendy to hate Metallica regardless of whether you actually listen to them or not. Over the last decade, heck the last 15 years, Metallica have been thrown under the bus in terms of criticism and I find myself a little anti against that. Don’t get me wrong, Metallica have released a lot of clangers in their time and have had some tracks which are literally impossible to sit through, but still I think a lot of the hate is unnecessary. Musically the band can be a little safe, but then they also have the ability to produce powerhouse riffs and some really sweet solo-work. Let’s not forget their genre initially was thrash and thrash is a very closed bracket style. If you’re not tremolo picking over  common time beat every song, then the fans hate you and I feel Metallica have become the whipping boys because of it. So going into this track, I had fairly high expectations, ‘Hardwired’ was decent and I have no disdain for them as a group, so let’s see how they got on…

I’m a touch conflicted on this track. I see lots of reviewers singing it’s praises and a lot of positivity flying around the net because of this track, but I actually didn’t take to it that much. I felt there were a lot of strengths and weaknesses that were obvious during the 6 minute run time. Let’s start with the good stuff. I felt the riffs here were great and actually pretty inventive, certainly not what I was expecting from an aged thrash group. The bass line in parts was tremendous too with some really sweet decorative transitions that sounded great on big speakers. The guitar solo, though thick with wah, was fairly decent too, not quite as good as the ‘Hardwired’ solo but definitely one of the better ones I’ve heard this week. Structurally the song was solid too never over-relying on certain parts and staying much more coherent that other previous efforts. Where the track falls over however, are largely down to Lars and James here. Lars’ drum track was god awful throughout the whole song, never stemming from the stereotypical common time beat and never offering any sweet fills or variations. Now I love James Hetfield, but lyrically the song was very weak and the vocal performance just didn’t sound very natural. Now I can forgive weak metal lyrics because it’s not like thrash is known for philosophical language, but the vocals sounded over-produced and weak. It did sound a little like he was straining and putting on an over-aggressive tone; it’s difficult to explain but it just didn’t sit right with me. So all in all, the track was solid but I don’t see myself listening to it again any time soon.

6/10 – Higher-than-average rating for a track that could of been potentially so much greater.

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