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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett announces instrumental solo EP

Kirk Hammett
(Image credit: Steve Jennings/WireImage)

Metallica’s effervescent lead guitar player and wah pedal enthusiast Kirk Hammett has announced a debut solo EP titled Portals. The four-track release is out on 23 April and comprises four instrumentals, two of which were written with Edwin Outwater, who first collaborated with Hammett on Metallica’s S&M2 metal-meets-orchestra project.

Other guests include Greg Fidelman on bass, and Queens Of The Stone Age’s Jon Theodore and Abraham Laboriel on drums. Black Album producer Bob Rock also features on the record, alongside the Emmy-winning composer Blake Neely (Greyhound). Outwater plays keys on the record and conducts the LA Philharmonic orchestra’s contributions.

Hammett produced the record, tracking it in various locations that included Los Angeles, Paris and Oahu, in Hawaii. 

Once upon a time, the very idea that a member of Metallica could make a solo record was unthinkable, with the band described by frontman James Hetfield as a fist. But times have changed, and it will be interesting to see what Hammett has come up with. 

No music has been shared as yet, but Hammett promises Portals will have something of a soundtrack quality “This music was created with what I describe as an Audio-Cinematic approach,” he says. “They’re soundtracks to the movies in your mind.”

Portals will be released on 23 April through Metallica's own Blackened Recordings, and is available on digital platforms, CD, and as a special Record Store Day Ocean Blue vinyl release and download code.

The track titles are as follows: 

Side A: Maiden And The Monster, The Jinn

Side B: High Plains Drifter, The Incantation

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.