METALLICA – 72 Seasons (Album Review)

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“72 Seasons” is finally here. What does it bring? Well, I think is a another worthy catalog entry for arguably the biggest metal band in the world, a record manages to strikes a balance between their early years and more recent output. It’s an accomplished exercise in encapsulating what Metallica were, and what they are now. Sporting gritty tones, dark and bleak (at times tormented) lyrics that pretty much dance with the exercise of confronting inner demons, squealing and improvised solos with a healthy dose of blues sprinkled throughout, steady bass and a guitar riffage that takes no prisoners,  “72 Seasons” certainly evoke at times the “Kill ‘Em All” era, while the album’s construction feels like a seamless blend of the “Black Album” and “Load.”

Among the album’s highlights – and obviously skipping the 4 singles everyone and their mamma already listened to, a million times – “Chasing Light” stands out with its captivating guitar structures and memorable chorus. Hetfield’s screams harken back to his younger days, lending an air of nostalgia. The second track, “Shadows Follow,” is a definitive showcase of Metallica’s chuggy prowess, featuring an infectious riff and intense energy, arguably one of their most energetic songs in a long time; a great candidate as live set-list staple, reminiscent of both “Ride the Lightning” and the “Black Album.. “Sleepwalk My Life Away” is a delightful groovy number that keeps listeners hooked, and while may be considered the album’s weakest track, it still maintains a strong sludgy vibe and serves as a great underdog entry. With a bass-heavy intro that gives way to a “Load”-era riff, it’s an ear-worm that’s hard to forget.

“Too Far Gone” pays homage to Metallica’s punk influences, creating an emotionally charged listening experience, one that evokes their legendary live oomph. Hetfield’s empathetic vocal performance ensures this track will quickly become another live favorite. Meanwhile, “Room of Mirrors” surprises with its engaging intro and masterful lyrical storytelling. Its harmonies, bass-lines, and quintessential riffs make it one of the strongest cuts on the album. Other noteworthy tracks include “You Must Burn!”—a heavy slow-paced ripper that could fit seamlessly into the “Reload”. However, the album is not perfect. While the mix is pretty much aligned with the way Metallica has sounded since 1991, the overly loud drums, and the annoying cymbals mixed way too up-front are definitely two aspects we can live without. Also, the record could have benefited from the producer having the wisdom to tell these guys that some songs, specially the title track, could have used two minutes shaved off from its final running time.

“72 Seasons” Album Artwork

Metallica concludes “72 Seasons” with an adventurous, captivating, and fully-realized cut that could better be described as a heavier and better fleshed-out version of “The Outlaw Torn”. For some this track, named “Inamorata”, will be a grower, instead of instantly winning everyone over. Acting as some sort of an outlier, not only because it’s the longest-ever recording from Metallica with an 11-minute runtime, but also because it features a middle section with clean guitars, a departure from the fuzzed-out, plugged-in shredding that takes over the rest of  the album; its Black Sabbath infused riffs, muscular guitar tones and bouncy licks – paired with the pounding core of  the rhythm section – drive this behemoth’s twists and turns home, somehow offering a rundown all of Metallica‘s eras into one, emphasizing the sludgier side of the quartet. Adorned by simmering angst and a moving chorus where James sings “Misery, she loves me, but I love her more,” a choice of lyrics that feel like a deliberate reference to their 1991 song “My Friend of Misery”—with its lyrics about misery loving company, “Inamorata” might secure its spot in Metallica’s catalog among non-mainstream favorites like “Orion,”  and “Fixxxer.”

Overall, “72 Seasons” is a compelling and powerful album that places Metallica back at the top of its game. With a diverse array of tracks that cater to every fan’s taste, it’s a bold and successful effort that cements their legacy as thrash legends.

Release Date: April 14th, 2023
Record Label: Blackened Recordings
Genre: Thrash Metal

Musicians:

  • James Hetfield / Lead vocals, guitars
  • Kirk Hammett / Guitars
  • Robert Trujillo / Bass
  • Lars Ulrich / Drums

“72 Seasons” Track-list:

 1. 72 Seasons
 2. Shadows Follow
 3. Screaming Suicide
 4. Sleepwalk My Life Away
 5. You Must Burn!
 6. Lux Æterna
 7. Crown Of Barbed Wire
 8. Chasing Light
 9. If Darkness Had A Son
10. Too Far Gone?
11. Room Of Mirrors
12. Inamorata

Order “72 Seasons” HERE

7.9 Great

"72 Seasons" is a record that manages to strikes a balance between Metallica's early years and their more recent output. With a diverse array of songs that cater to almost every fan’s taste, it’s a bold and successful effort that cements their legacy as thrash legends

  • Songwriting 8
  • Musicianship 8.5
  • Originality 7
  • Production 8
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