Does Metallica’s 72 Seasons need another review?
Am I writing one anyway?
You bet your sweet bippy I am.
72 Season is Metallica’s 12th studio album and in my humble opinion one of the best pieces of work yet.
Frontman, James Hetfield has said this about the album,
The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves. The concept that we were told ‘who we are’ by our parents. A possible pigeonholing around what kind of personality we are. I think the most interesting part of this is the continued study of those core beliefs and how it affects our perception of the world today. Much of our adult experience is reenactment or reaction to these childhood experiences. Prisoners of childhood or breaking free of those bondages we carry.
I can’t say I’ve been a fan of Metallica since day one. I was only 8 when Kill ‘Em All was released and it would be another 5 years until I discovered them through their album …And Justice for All. They weren’t as glamorous as the hair metal and glam rock I was listening to but they were heavy, intense, and angry and I could relate to that energy as much as I could relate to all the cheesiness of the hair metal music.Whether you are a seasoned Metallica fan like myself or a newcomer to the world of Metallica like my youngest niece, 72 Seasons has something for both. For me, it’s everything I have loved about Metallica throughout the years – heart pounding drums, heavy guitar riffs, and thundering bass. For the newer ones, it’s probably the unfamiliar to the newbies ‘the signature sound of Metallica‘. And Metallica’s sound is so distinct and succulent, one knows they’re listening to a Metallica song no matter how reconstructed as artists had shown on The Metallica Blacklist album.
After “Lux Æterna” was released as a single, I was quite nervous that 72 Seasons would be less than stellar after hearing the song. Singles are usually the ‘strongest’ songs on the albums or the songs that the label and band think might have the biggest impact on radio, streams, and charts.
While “Lux Æterna” is strong and a sharp Metallica song, it is by far not the best on the album. One of the best, sure. The best, not convinced there at all.
The way Lars Ulrich plays drums is unlike anyone else. His drumming is one of the distinct foundations of Metallica and 72 Seasons showcases that beautifully. Especially the tracks, “Lux Æterna”, “Sleepwalk My Life Away”, “72 Seasons”, “If Darkness Had a Son”, “Shadows Follow” and “Too Far Gone”. There’s a brutality to the way Lars plays that I don’t see or hear in other drummers. He’s fast and aggressive and his drumming never has a high pitch ding. It always sits low and heavy.
But Lars has a partner in crime when it comes to beats and that’s where bassist Robert Trujillo steps in. Robert is hands down one of my favourite bassists of all time. Like Lars, Robert is equally brutal in his playing. He plays the bass as if it’s his drum and 72 Seasons allows fans a deeper understanding of Robert’s skills. This album is only the 3rd Metallica album Robert’s recorded with the band and if one has never seen them live since he joined they may underestimate his powerful musicianship as a bassist. Robert’s talents shine on “Crown of Barbed Wire”, “Shadows Follow”, “Chasing Light”, “You Must Burn,” ”Inamorata”, and “Too Far Gone”.
Last but certainly not least, the guitars of James and Kirk Hammett…good lord, these two have not slowed down one bit. They are still supplying slick riffs, fast riffs, and riffs that reach breakneck speeds. The precision of their instruments are heard throughout all of the songs within 72 Seasons but shine on “72 Seasons”, “Lux Æterna”, “If Darkness Had a Son”, and “Room of Mirrors”.
With 72 Seasons being an entry point for some young music lovers and an instant classic for us oldies, 72 Seasons might be some of Metallica’s best work yet. The band sounds as fresh as when they started. The only difference is that they have learned throughout the years how to polish and shine their work while still maintaining that thrash metal energy.
MUST LISTEN TRACKS: “72 Seasons”, “Lux Æterna”, “Room of Mirrors”, “Inamorata”
FAVOURITE TRACKS: “Sleepwalk My Life Away”, “You Must Burn”, “Too Far Gone”
Watch all the videos for 72 Seasons