Surprise! Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has announced that he's releasing his first collection of solo material later this spring. Under his own name, he'll unveil an EP called Portals that consists of four instrumental songs that are inspired by classical music, soundtracks, horror scores and the late composer Ennio Morricone. The whole thing drops on Record Store Day (April 23rd) and will exclusively be available on vinyl at local record shops, with a pre-order option going live that day on Metallica's website.
Of the four compositions, two of them were co-written with Edwin Outwater, the conductor who led the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra for Metallica's S&M2 album, and leads the LA Philharmonic's contributions on Portals. Hammett produced the whole ordeal and recorded it in various studios throughout the world (L.A., Paris, Oahu), and he tapped various bigwig musicians like drummer Jon Theodore (Queens of the Stone Age, Mars Volta) and session legend Abraham Laboriel, as well as previous Metallica collaborators Bob Rock and Greg Fidelman, to join him.
"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," Hammet said, referring to a showcase of his world-class collection of horror movie posters. "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," he continued. "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."
Check out the cover art below.