Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has just announced Portals, a four-track EP that marks his first venture as a solo artist and the first-ever solo project to come from any member of the band as an active member.

"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," said Hammett in a press statement.

"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,'" he continued, singling out the opening song on Portals.

Clueing fans in more about the forthcoming release, Hammett explained, "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."

The tracks were recorded across the globe with Hammett also serving as the EP's producer. He also worked with co-writer Edwin Outwater on "High Plans Drifter" and "The Incantation," the last two tracks on Portals. Outwater was the conductor of the orchestra on Metallica's S&M2 live release and, here, he contributed keyboards and led the orchestral players from the LA Philharmonic.

Other contributors include drummer Jon Theodore of Hammett's The Wedding Band, Abraham Loboriel, Greg Fidelman on bass as well as Emmy-winning arranger Blake Neely and Bob Rock, who produced Metallica's '90s studio albums as well as 2003's St. Anger.

Portals will be released on April 23, which is Record Store Day. View the artwork and track listing for the EP below.

Kirk Hammett, Portals EP Artwork + Track Listing

Kirk Hammett, 'Portals'

01. "Maiden and the Monster"
02. "The Jinn"
03. "High Plains Drifter"
04. "The Incantation"

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