I was mainly commenting on the fact the kick drum is back to And Justice mix levels.The Black album changed their sound a ton, I feel like this is the first time they've gone back a little. Although to be honest I don't recall much about Death Magnetic, haven't listened to it since it came out... I didn't think it was bad, just uninspiring.
So, I’ve listened to "Hardwired..." a couple times over the weekend, and a few things spring to mind.
One is that the record isn’t all that great. It’s not horrible, but most of the songs aren’t grabbing me. I like a few songs such as “Atlas, Rise!” and “Spit Out the Bone” but nothing is an instant classic or anything. Perhaps Metallica will now fall into the pattern that 21st century Motorhead records had. Each album had a couple songs that delivered the band as I liked/want them, then the rest was just sorta filler. That’s fine.
Also, I did like the Rainbow/Dio covers, but it would be pretty hard to mess those up. Except, why the medleys? You’re Metallica. If you want to put 3 Rainbow covers or Sabbath covers on your record, who’s going to stop you? Just do it. I wouldn’t complain.
A couple thoughts on performances. Is Lars actually becoming a good drummer? Not just a good “Metallica” drummer? There were a couple songs where I found myself thinking: “Wait, was that a vamp, and a complicated fill?”
I can’t tell if Trujillo is simply a superior bassist to Newstead or if it’s just he’s been given the opportunity to provide input and improve his parts of the songs. I suspect it might be both.
I find it amusing that at one point in the band’s life, James and Lars thought that the band would be better if they didn’t just allow Hammett to go berserk with the pedal and his solos in pretty much every song. I think at one point they totally misread how important Kirk was to why people liked their songs.