Kirk Hammett is not only one of metal’s most prolific electric guitar players, he's also one of the music world’s biggest fans when it comes to all things horror.
It is in that vein, then, that Hammett low-key launches his latest project: a mystery, unannounced online horror story, which the Metallica man is currently soundtracking.
The multi-medium project came out of the blue when the first installment of a short horror story titled I Have to Get Rid of This Guitar dropped on the Kirk Hammett Horror Reddit page, which introduced readers to a character named Abigail Forte.
Forte’s story is as follows: “I recently found a lead that might help in the search for my brother, William 'Wills' Forte. A journal he had written, along with a cassette that was filled with what can only be described as very unusual field recordings.
“Seeing as the nature of these recordings seemed to push towards an evil energy, I sent the tape to a friend to help me understand the music, who in turn sent it to guitarist Kirk Hammett.
“We have decided that while we cannot allow the actual sounds from the cassette to be released, we can share renditions of the music. Kirk Hammett has agreed to quickly transpose the less complex portions of the cassette while keeping the integrity of the original field recordings intact.”
As it turns out, these transposed recordings will be released alongside each part of the story, and will serve as creepy mood-setters and background ambiance to listen to as you make your way through each segment.
The first part of the story, titled Crossroad Magic Blues, has also been posted, along with an appropriately composed, Robert Johnson-inspired lofi acoustic loop.
While there’s nothing too unsettling about Hammett’s breezy fingerstyle musings – save some dissonant tritones and minor chords – it’s important to remember this is just the start of the story, so we expect things to take a more sinister turn in the future.
We also expect Hammett will release some electric action – specifically, we hope, some ESP Nosferatu action – as the story progresses. Indeed, he has many horror-inspired guitars that would be perfect for the job: his original Nosferatu signature, Karloff The Mummy and Dracula models are just three examples.
“We still advise you take precautions before listening to the recordings,” warns Forte’s introduction, “such as burning sage, reciting prayers, drawing protective sigils. What you will hear are some phrases and motifs inspired by the cursed melodies recorded on to this mysterious cassette.”