Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett will release “Portals,” a four-song instrumental EP and will celebrate Record Store Day with its worldwide release exclusively at local independent retailers and in Metallica’s online store on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Available across digital platforms, on CD and as an Ocean Blue Vinyl EP (including a download card), you will be able to pick up a copy at your local record store that day or place an order on Metallica.com.
“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,” Hammett said. “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.”
Hammett recorded “Portals” around the world, from Los Angeles to Paris to Oahu. Heavily influenced by classical music, soundtracks, horror movies and maybe a little Ennio Morricone, he 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 Hammett, “Portals” features 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 (“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.