February 27, 2024

The Metal Den

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ROCKET REVIEW: METALLICA – “72 Seasons” (CD)

After already placing themselves on the Mount Rushmore of heavy metal bands with their first handful of albums, the mighty METALLICA has only in short glimpses been able to recapture the early greatness of their groundbreaking eighties thrash metal sound with the past several studio efforts, in my opinion. We all know what a giant step backwards Load (1996) and Reload (1997) were, plus St. Anger (2003) and the broken snare drum sound. That being said, I certainly have heard a much heavier version of this band with a leaning back to the old school on Death Magnetic (2008) and Hardwired… to Self-Destruct (2016). In 2023, the legendary group returns with the epic 72 Seasons album, which is the second release via their own label Blackened Recordings. The LP is packed to the brim with 12 well-paced tracks, clocking in at just over 77 minutes. Producer Greg Fidelman returns from “Hardwired” duty and the sound that he gets these guys is the best of the best when it comes to production.

The first bright spot of the album for me was the fact that guitarist Kirk Hammett co-wrote four songs after having not contributed any writing to Hardwired… to Self-Destruct due to accidentally losing his cell phone containing riff ideas at Copenhagen Airport in 2014, believe it or not. So, for being such an important part of the band’s incredible legacy, Hammett finally contributing four new songs is a big deal and makes the album better out the gate than the last one. The album kicks off with the masterful title track “72 Seasons” that is classic sounding Hammett, followed by the really powerful “Shadows Follow” and next up, the at times predictable “Screaming Suicide” still keeps the adrenaline pumping for sure. Every cut so far has a fast tempo, and the main thing for me is that there are no slow ballads, which is another big time plus when I am rating a metal album. “Sleepwalk My Life Away” and “You Must Burn!” are killer tracks, and do not slow down this crushing collection of ass kickers. “Lux Æterna” is probably my least favorite song on the album, but I must admit it keeps growing on me each time I listen to it.

Besides helping write the awesome title track, Hammett also co-wrote the next stellar songs “Crown of Barbed Wire”, “Chasing Light” and “If Darkness Had a Son”. Each of these solid rockers does not let off on the gas pedal. Next is “Too Far Gone?”, which does not disappoint in the slightest and features the record’s best guitar solo. The album concludes with the slamming “Room of Mirrors” and the positively brilliant “Inamorata”. My only complaint is the album comes to an end. I was ready for more, so that is a good sign. I look forward to hearing what the independent Metallica does moving forward. They are definitely going in the right direction again musically.

ROCKET REVIEW:

METALLICA – “72 Seasons” (CD)

(Blackened Recordings/2023)

72 Seasons

Shadows Follow

Screaming Suicide

Sleepwalk My Life Away

You Must Burn!

Lux Æterna

Crown of Barbed Wire

Chasing Light

If Darkness Had a Son

Too Far Gone?

Room of Mirrors

Inamorata

Metallica.com