Album Review: Metallica – 72 Seasons

Album Review: Metallica - 72 Seasons
Reviewed by Tim Finch

Metallica are a band that need no introduction, they are literally the biggest heavy metal act in the world right now, and have been for many years. Whilst KISS may argue that point, they struggle to sell out arena’s where as Metallica are filling stadiums worldwide. And others would point to the recent Def Leppard/Motley Crue stadium tour as two other contenders, but alas they needed the co-headline bill to draw the same kind of ticket numbers that Metallica can do on their own. That is no disparagement to any of the bands mentioned, just a statement of fact, no one in the heavy music world can touch Metallica right now.

It's been seven long years since the band last released an album, 2016’s ‘Hardwired… To Self Destruct’. It really doesn’t seem that long, but we have had a global pandemic in between that seems to have wiped three years from everyone’s lives. So now the band return with their eleventh studio album ’72 Seasons’.

What hits you first about this album is the striking cover, the bright yellow background atop which sits a burnt out and broken babies crib. Scattered around it are kids toys, a guitar, a knife, empty drinks ands and more, all a shade of burnt out charcoal black. Long ago scientists discovered black on yellow was the best combination to make your image or text stand out, it seems Metallica have stumbled upon this long lost fact and used it to great effect with their album cover.

Album Review: Metallica - 72 Seasons

After the somewhat disaster that was the critically panned ‘St. Anger’ the band have taken their music in a very specific direction. Through ‘Death magnetic’ and ‘Hardwired…’ they developed a tone, a guitar sound that is very distinctive, like nothing anyone else is doing. It’s hard to put into words that sound, but listen to either of the previous albums and it’s a clear direction they are following.

They continue down this path through the opening of ’72 Seasons’ and its title track which kicks things off. That hypnotic chug of the dual guitars of Hammett and Hetfield sucks you in as a listener and keeps hold of you throughout.

Never ones to do things by halves, the opening number is nearly 8 minutes in length, switching from thrashy segments to more melodic segues and back again. Hetfield’s rasping voice front and centre. The entire album sees just one song under the 4 and a half minute mark and the majority over six minutes. They have poured their souls into this work.

‘Screaming Suicide’ mixes their old school thrashy sound with a more rock focused element. At times it’s a modern rock classic at others you’re banging your head like your life depends on it. Whilst ‘Lux Æterna’ – the first single released from this opus – really harks back to their roots, the fast paced riffs hit you from the off giving you flashbacks to your youth and the heady days of the breakthrough sound of ‘Kill ‘em All’.

Throughout this Metallica prove there is life left in this beast yet. It’s a full twenty years since the hiccup that was ‘St. Anger’ and having passed that speed bump with ease, Metallica have gone from strength to strength. ’72 Seasons’ is the next step in the bands continued world domination and we can’t wait to hear how it sounds when the band kick off their two year world tour in Amsterdam in just a couple of weeks.

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