KIRK HAMMETT - Portals

April 28, 2022, 2 weeks ago

(Blackened)

Nick Balazs

Rating: 7.5

review riff notes heavy metal metallica kirk hammett

KIRK HAMMETT - Portals

Now here’s a little something off the beaten path. Over 40 years in the music Kirk Hammett has been in the music business and 2022 sees his first ever solo release with Portals. A musical exercise in different sounds and atmospheres, Hammett explores his love of all things horror and Clint Eastwood in this EP release that is quite frankly more musically interesting then what his main band has done on their recent studio efforts. That is not a put down of Metallica in any way – Hardwired was an enjoyable album, but Hammett’s solos have been a point of criticism. Those criticisms will be put to bed as Portals shows a talented guitarist utilizing different effects and inspired sounds to create a diverse EP with much replay value.

Portals plays out like mini-movies, or soundtracks to a theatrical film. Kirk shows an adept ability to string notes together that blend magnificently with the softer and symphonic parts of the songs. There’s almost a ‘70s progressive bent to the tracks as Hammett is freeform and just goes for it as he's clearly having a ton of fun putting this beast together. I want this Kirk on future Metallica releases!

Opener “Maiden And The Monster” is a homage to classic horror stories as the songs breaks down into different passages acting out a plot, going through the different emotions of a the villain chasing after the damsel in distress. “The Jinn” has a definite ‘70s Scorpions vibe to it – especially bringing to mind “Sails Of Charon” – love the main, crushing riff in the middle section.

Inspiration is the main word as Kirk isn’t afraid to be flashy while also keeping his playing to the confines of the song. “High Plains Drifter” is Maiden-ish in parts and the showdown, Western vibe serves as a great backdrop for Kirk to display technical and melodic proficiency – and again it has to be noted this is the Hammett I want on Metallica!

“The Incantation” closes Portals off on a sinister vibe - clearly a Black Sabbath influence here - but the interplay with the symphonic elements is brilliant. Portals comes off as a much pleasant surprise and is a scarily good listen – be sure to check this out!



Featured Audio

ANVIL – “Ghost Shadow” (AFM)

ANVIL – “Ghost Shadow” (AFM)

Featured Video

DIRTY SHIRT – “Dope-A-Min”

DIRTY SHIRT – “Dope-A-Min”

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