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Kirk Hammett Makes His Solo Debut With "Portals"

Feb 8, 2022

Did somebody say solo project? You read right! Our very own Kirk Hammett has recorded Portals, a four-song instrumental EP, and will be celebrating Record Store Day with its worldwide release exclusively at your favorite local independent retailer and in the Met Store on Saturday, April 23. Available across digital platforms, on CD, and as an Ocean Blue Vinyl EP (including a download card), you’ll be able to pick up a copy at your friendly local record store that day or place an order on Metallica.com to be delivered to your front door just as soon as the postman can get there.

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.

– Kirk Hammett

True to its title, Portals is a collection of gateways to musical and psychic destinations. Recorded around the world, from Los Angeles to Paris to Oahu, Portals is the result of Kirk’s life’s journeys and an invitation to tap into your own inner world. Heavily influenced by classical music, soundtracks, horror movies, and maybe a little Ennio Morricone, Kirk wanted the EP to span the decades and touch upon all the horror he loves. The idea behind the EP was to have all the songs flow into each other, so he relied on a whole cast of his friends to record the four songs.

Produced by Kirk, Portals is comprised of the songs “Maiden and the Monster” and “The Jinn” on side A, followed by “High Plains Drifter” and “The Incantation” on side B. The latter two were co-written with Edwin Outwater, who you may remember from S&M2. Outwater also contributed keyboards and led the orchestral players from the LA Philharmonic on Portals.

Other familiar names amongst the Portals players include drummers Jon Theodore (Kirk’s fellow Wedding Band member) and Abraham Laboriel, Greg Fidelman on bass, Emmy-winning arranger Blake Neely, and Bob Rock.

Portals will be available to order on the Met Store and the Probity UK Shop on Saturday, April 23.