Metallica 72 Seasons Album Review

Album Review: Metallica – 72 Seasons

Metallica released 72 Seasons, today, the band’s 11th studio album just a few months shy of the 40th anniversary of their debut album Kill ‘Em All.

The fathers of  heavy metal unloaded four songs off 72 Seasons in recent months giving fans a taste of what to expect on this 12-song nearly movie-long record coming in just under 80 minutes. Just one song under four minutes, just two songs under five minutes and seven songs more than six minutes with the longest closing out the album at 11 minutes. This, a feat, not unbecoming of the band.

Like many successful long-running bands, Metallica refused to fall back on their beginnings by releasing Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets every other year until they burned out or faded to black. Instead, Metallica grafted in their thrash metal roots to their heavy metal genre even if at the expense of losing early fans.

The band’s initial plans after the WorldWide Tour ended in 2019 in support of Self-Destruct, was to enter the studio sooner rather than later. Then the world shut down. Metallica used the coronavirus pandemic, which also canceled tour dates into 2020, to focus on writing like so many other bands. Thus, 72 Seasons arrives more than six years after 2016’s  Hardwired…

The band’s longest running line-up of 20 years – in singer and guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo on bass – pour riff after riff, speedy guitar solos, time signature changes and a mess of drums and cymbals into 72 Seasons, an album that might rise to one of Metallica’s loudest and hardest, and perhaps most profound.

“Recording gave us a purpose in lockdown,” Ulrich said in an interview with Metal Hammer. “It was also a way to feel as though we were communicating with each other and trying to find some light in the dark. Feeling you could turn the energy and despair of those couple of years into something positive.”

Hardly a dreary album nor is it angry, in fact, lots going on in this full metal record that mostly pleases even if various dynamic melodies get interrupted by sometimes accompanying sluggish tempos. 72 Seasons presents a core of vigorous hard rock music while embracing some modern accents and re-introducing a little tone from their past. Rather complex in nature, at times, so don’t expect a quick sit down. Case in point, 72 Seasons opens with the title track which took multiple listens to fully develop upon its release two weeks ago as well as “If Darkness Had a Son” which dropped more than a month ago. Expect a similar experience with “You Must Burn!,” a slower cut but not in the vein of “Sad But True,” the to and fro of “Crown of Barbed Wire” and “Too Far Gone?.” Not so with the already released “Lux Æterna,” and “Screaming Suicide” along with the fresh and quicker takes of “Shadows Follow,” “Sleepwalk My Life Away” which starts out with a bounding bass line eventually sliding into bellowing guitar riffs, and the brisk “Room of Mirrors.” Even “Chasing Light” which stammers a bit before it really gets going unfolds into a killer tune. Finally, stay with “Inamorata.” Like three songs in one, and no doubt longtime fans will recognize the “Orion” like delivery midway through.

72 Seasons puts Metallica in rarefied company by releasing this mostly slick moving, comprehensive record on the tail-end of their 40 year plus career. The bold 72 Seasons contains all that made Metallica a national metal treasure from the fast-paced thrashy “Lux Æterna” to the head-banging chords of “If Darkness Had a Son.”

Metallica tours 72 Seasons beginning April 27 through September 2024 with two dates in each scheduled city featuring different setlists each night similar to their 40th anniversary concerts streamed live worldwide from San Francisco in 2021.

Grade: B+

Metallica 72 Seasons Song 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

8 thoughts on “Album Review: Metallica – 72 Seasons

  1. Ok so…My local record owner messaged me back on Wednesday saying he was getting this in and asked If I wanted one. So to support him I said yes and went and picked it up today. I have not cracked the seal on the vinyl yet but I did stream it on my afternoon walk. Its a friggin great listen. Full of chunky riffs Shadows Fall and Inamorata are killer esp that last tune its like u said some Orion tossed in that gets sludgey sabbath like at times…
    Glad I got this now after I told you last week I will have to think about it….lol

    1. glad you like it. was up till midnight last night listening then got up early to do another walk thru before posting. lol. actually looking forward to another listen!

    2. A- for this!?! Well that’s laughable…
      some of the songs build, only to lose stream and momentum. Ntm, are very repetitive, and overstay their welcome. Very bland Metallica effort. Which is pretty much a continuation of their last album ‘Hardwired’. There’s two types of Metallica fans… the ones who stopped listening after their self titled ‘Black Album’, and the types who will obsess over anything they release. This record falls into the latter category.

  2. I went and listened to it at the world premiere at the theater. I’ll give it a 6,5/10 and that is a good grade keeping in mind that i’d give my favourite albums an 8,5/10. The album is reminiscent of the Black Album and the Load/Reload albums with some thrash riffs thrown in there to remind us of the old days. I have to say i didnt expect me to go back and listen to it again , the guys can still hit it!
    Stuff I liked: -many riffs are heavily inspired by Sabbath, and that is always a good thing
    -the guitar tones and the sound overall is really well produced, it shows how heavy you can sound will remaining in standard tunning
    -lots of groovy riffs, even if they songs drag out more than i’d like them to, they always end up making you head bang
    Stuff i didnt like:- the solos are awful, all of them. Hammet does the exact same pentatonic runs he always does but this time devoid of any meaning and 40% sloppier
    -the sound is over produced, Hetfield’s vocals sound too clean and are missing the signature hetfield grit
    -the drums sound too triggered, i dont think Lars can play all that stuff adequatly
    -the songs are repetitive , i have no problem with a song beeing longer than 6 minutes but not when it’s just verses and choruses repeated 4 times, whats the point of that?
    Overall good album, Megadeth was better.

  3. Metallica has truly shown the music world there talent and resilience thru the time. Whether it was personal or what what was going on in the world around them. Proving “True Metal Gods”!!!!!

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