Metallica ‘Atlas, Rise!’ Song Review

This is the third track that has been released ahead of Metallica’s upcoming album and you know what? It’s okay, just okay really. I’m one of the few people who really enjoyed ‘Hardwired’ and yet didn’t really like ‘Moth Into Flame’, weird right? Being a prog fan, it’s in my heart to not like these guys, but I do have a soft spot. Heck I even liked some of their 2000’s stuff; I think they are given a unnecessarily bad time by many others not on their scale. But this track, this track just never got going for me. It has everything I like in a Metallica song, yet it just didn’t click.

Production has to be the problem for me. Usually I love the production on Metallica tracks (apart from St.Anger of course), but here I just felt no oomph or impact; the bass is missing. The guitars have a great tone yes and even the drums sound pretty good in parts, but the bass is so darn quiet that each layer doesn’t mesh at all. My subwoofer couldn’t pick up a single beat or note, that’s bad news in this day and age.Everything sounded competent separately, but when chucked together it just didn’t work, ouch. Even James’ vocals just sounded thin and weak, this song needed so much more impact.

Musicality wise the track is better on paper than it is through speakers. The riffs are of a decent quality (though very over reliant on open strings), they added some fun time signatures in the transitions too, heck they even had two or three guitar solos; it all sounds great right? But nothing jumped out at me, it’s as if they were trying too hard to push all their tropes into one song. By the second solo I felt completely distracted despite the solo actually being pretty decent. I don’t know what it was, but I just couldn’t connect with this track at all. It even had a long and intricate bridge, and not even that cheered me up; it might be from the fallout from earlier tracks I’ve listened to today.

The lyrics of the song are functional but the hook didn’t do it for me at all. Very cheesy, very outdated and it screamed Dad-Rock to me; not my thing personally. James’ delivery, as I’ve mentioned, is a little weak and forgettable; he hasn’t had a great showing yet on this album which is a little sad since I do enjoy his natural tone.

All in all then I’d probably still recommend a listen for this track. Especially Metallica fans, I think you’ll like this one. But for me personally, I just didn’t connect and found myself pretty bored as it dragged on.

5/10 – Not enough for me to pull it into the green zone.

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2 thoughts on “Metallica ‘Atlas, Rise!’ Song Review

  1. I respectfully disagree because I’m a Metallica fan. I liked Hardwired, but not Moth Into Flame. Atlas, Rise! is my favorite new track so far.

    I too like some Prog Rock, but some bands sound like their trying too hard to be complex and as a result they’re very pretentious about it. A good modern Prog band I think is Coheed & Cambria because they don’t shy away from incorporating simple Pop-Punk into their style while at the same time displaying technical ability.

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    1. This is the type of comment we like getting aha! Yeah I agree with you that prog has gotten mighty pretentious and there is too much attention to technique rather than emotion/feel, but personally something didn’t click for me on this track, I’ve seen people love this track and hate Hardwired and vice verse, but all in all I think this is a huge step forward for buying back fans for Metallica, the majority of this new album has sounded pretty darn good in comparison to it’s competition and I’m looking forward to it!

      – The String Buzz Tean

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