Toxic Holocaust frontman and renowned audio engineer Joel Grind is a man of many talents, both onstage and off, but who knew he was an actual wizard? At least that's the impression you'd get after listening to his latest creations. No, it's not a new Toxic Holocaust record (and definitely not a new Tiger Junkies joint); instead, Mr. Grind has turned his attention to two of the past year's biggest thrash-adjacent releases: Metallica's Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, and Megadeth's Dystopia. He ruthlessly chopped the former down into a sleek, 24-minute battery, and on the latter, snatched Dave Mustaine's love it-or-hate-it vocals out of the equation entirely by serving up an instrumental version.
Though it racked in favorable reviews and topped a (puzzling) number of Best of 2016 lists, one of the most common complaints about Metallica's new album was that its songs felt bloated, and overlong—self-indulgent at times, and draggy in others. Clearly, Grind agreed. His version—dubbed Hardwired… Grinded Down Re-Edit—trims the original double album down a quarter of its size, cuts four songs altogether, and kills off Papa Het's vocals in at least one track. The end result… is pretty sick. All killer, and definitely no filler.
Listen to Grind's hot-wired version of Metallica's Hardwired… to Self-Destruct below:
And get an earful of his "grinded down" instrumental cut of Megadeth's latest album, Dystopia… sans Dave Mustaine's trademark whine. Relieved of Megadave's often overwhelming presence, the instrumentation finally gets a turn in the spotlight, and the results are impressive. Whether you love Mustaine's voice or wish he'd swallow glass, his guitar work here is pretty hard to sniff at—the solos in particular are pure 80s gold.
Which version do you prefer?
Kim Kelly thinks every album except 'Reign in Blood' should be at least 15 minutes shorter; she's on Twitter.