Metallica’s Kirk Hammett collaborates with Music Director Edwin Outwater on New Instrumentals

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett has announced he has collaborated on two horror-themed instrumentals with music director Edwin Outwater. The two pieces were originally supposed to be performed next month with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The two new tracks are titled “High Plains Drifter” and “The Incantation,” and mark the second time that Hammett has worked with Outwater, who previously collaborated with Metallica on the orchestral live album Metallica And San Francisco Symphony: S&M². The two musicians also apparently have been working on two other rough tracks that haven’t yet been named.

In an interview with Metallica’s fan club magazine So What!, as pointed out by Blabbermouth, Hammett says that the pieces “feel like the best f*cking things I’ve ever done.” High praise! Even if it does have echoes of the overconfidence of Lars Ulrich saying that Lulu was maybe the best album made not just by Metallica, but any band. But there’s reason to reserve judgment for now. The songs are still in the rough mixing stage and it’ll likely be a while before we get to hear what they sound like, but at least Hammett isn’t trying to undersell them. “They’re not movie soundtracks; they’re like movies,” he says. “They tell a story.” Hammett hasn’t yet said when these compositions are slated to be released—or performed, though that’s likely farther in the future—but at least there’s something potentially epic to look forward to hearing.

Metallica have been broadcasting concerts from throughout their career from quarantine since the beginning of the pandemic in March, and they’ll be doing another live stream on November 14 for their All Within My Hands charity organization. Find more information about the upcoming live stream here.

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Words by Jeff Terich