I wouldn’t call it a life in the sidewalks or sidelines but Kirk Hammett maybe a member of the biggest band of the world right now but living for almost 40 years in the shadows of Ulrich and Hetfield is a kind of a strange way to be a star. But he needed to be creating he needed to feel free to compose his own music. Away from thrash or metal boundaries without to be a prisoner of his own virtuosic solos. This is the first ever side project from a Metallica member and this is definitely big news by its own. Especially when the final result has this tremendous quality. “Portals” sounds like a post-apocalyptic or even a sci-fi western soundtrack. Cinematic, with climax, brilliant parts and full of melody Hammett delivers a close to be a full length rather than an EP, four-song instrumental disc that features incongruous elements from flamenco interludes to oversized riffs and shredding that match together in order to create a mosaic of his personal film inhalations and desires in 27 minutes of excellent music. Recorded over the course of five years in multiple location Portals is a perfect mixture of Load era, Carlos Santana, Thin Lizzy, Ennio Morriconne, Hanz Zimmer, spaghetti westerns, Mastodon, psychedelic, 70’s rock and horror movies in what himself Hammett described as “soundtracks to the movies in your mind,” that started as a background music to Hammett’s art exhibition “It’s Alive” and turned into an Ulrich/Hetfield release via their label Blackened.