I have sometimes treated this album unfairly by judging it as weak. It's not weak, it's an amazing lesson of music made by electronics. I like it, even though there're some reasons which make me think it's not a masterpiece, and it's worse than 'Implode', 'Tactical Neural Implant' and 'Epitaph'.
The main reason is the monotony in mood. I'll explain: 'Hard Wired' is maybe the most complex electronic album ever made, displaying amazing basslines, awesome use of samples and opressive overabundance of sound. However, there's not a variety of mood, unlike 'Implode', almost every song sounds similar, agressive, there's no time for melancholy or tranquillity: Hard Wired is a frontal attack to our senses, it doesn't let us breathe for a moment; and if that was Leeb's intention at the time, he achieved it perfectly. But i prefer the more melodic albums Leeb is making today. I will explain my opinions on the songs:
Neologic Spasm (8.5/10): the album begins brutally, with a song that sums up all the album. Samples everywhere, complexity, amazing electronics, heavy basslines, the guitar more submerged in the sound than in 'Millenium'. To me sounds as a renewed version of TNI's 'Final Impact'. The chorus is similar.
Paralyzed (8.5/10): Another electronic attack, with extremely distorted voice, good chorus, more obvious guitars at the 2nd part of the song.
Rebirth (8/10): no time to breathe. After a good intro, another agressive song begins, now with more guitars, catchier chorus, it's good but stmes bores me.
Circuitry (8.5/10): the single displays one of the best songs I've ever heard. In fact, I think FLA is one of the bands that has better chorus in the history of music in general. Circuitry is more a rock song, heavily electronic but with heavy guitars; but we find the difference with 'Millenium': here the guitar is just an instrument more, not so in control of the song.
Mortal (8/10): instrumental song: 1st part full of samples, no beat. 2nd part, the beat begins to conform another good instrumental FLA song.
Modus Operandi (8.5/10): strange song. Extremely disquieting voice, Leeb sounds as if he was drowning in water or something, guitarristic chorus, not as danceable as other songs, a change in the album.
Transparent Species (8/10): good electronic intro, it sounds like a quieter twin of 'Neologic Spasm'; it kind of tires me after 2 minutes, I can't help it.
Barcode (9/10): a long techno intro which anticipates a bit the 'Flavour of the weak' style, introduces a very good song, with some guitars, good voice, good chorus, agressive but not too much, excellent.
Condemned (7.5/10): it's a good song, but not my favourite. It's the only song here where the guitars control the song, 'Millenium'-style, catchy structure.
Infra Red Combat (10/10): deserves special attention. A masterpiece of elecronic music. One of the best FLA's songs. The song is divided into 2 parts; the 1st, a 4-minute intro which reminds me a bit of Delerium but more upbeat, industrial electronic landscapes. The 2nd, with very good vocals, a sort of Leeb duet with himslef but interpreting 2 voices, extremely good chorus, more melancholic than the rest of the album, more natural voice.
To sum up, Hard Wired is a very good album, one of the best examples of what can be achieved with electronics in music, but it suffers a slight problem of monotony: the 4 first songs, for example, sound too similar, the mood is always the same. I think it was obvious it was the end of a stage, a very good stage of collaboration between Leeb and Fulber.