Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Readying First-Ever Solo Release; Instrumental ‘Portals’ EP Coming 4/23

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

On April 23, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett will dip his feet into the waters of “solo artist” territory for the very first time with Portals, a new instrumental EP that was officially announced on Tuesday.

The four-song collection will be released via Metallica’s Blackened Recordings and will be available on digital platforms, on CD, and as a Record Store Day Exclusive “ocean blue” vinyl.

More on the EP, per a news release:

True to its title, Portals is a collection of gateways to myriad musical and psychic destinations. Recorded in multiple locales ranging from Los Angeles to Paris to Oahu, Portals is both the result of musical and metaphysical journeys. An invitation to inner worlds accessible only by music and the psyche it fuels.

Said Hammett of this project, with significant context for each track available on the official Metallica site:

“Initially, before I even had the idea for a solo EP, I was inspired by the need to create some sort of soundtrack music to accompany The Kirk Hammett Collection for the first “It’s Alive” exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, 2017. I wanted to conceive music to play on a loop in the background as people walked through the exhibit. I sat down one night with a progression, and before I knew it, all the parts were there for “Maiden and the Monster.”

The initial concept for Portals started with that one song. Following that, I realized I could create different soundtrack moments. These songs are what I call ‘Audio Cinematic;’ I’m creating sounds and pieces of music for the movies playing in my head. Hopefully they’ll create movies in other people’s heads in a similar fashion.”

The song titles:

“Maiden and the Monster”
“The Jinn”
“High Plains Drifter”
“The Incantation”

The latter two tracks were co-written by Edwin Outwater, who also plays keys and, per a news release, “leads the orchestral players from the LA Philharmonic” on the EP. Hammett and Outwater previously collaborated on Metallica’s S&M2 concerts and releases, which paired the thrash metal titans with an orchestra.

Also lending their talents on Portals are drummers Jon Theodore and Abraham Laboriel, bassist Greg Fidelmin, arranger Blake Neely and Bob Rock.

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