The thrash titans are back! Metallica’s newest album, 72 Seasons is a thrasher’s masterpiece!
Metallica is 11 albums in, and the riffs keep getting better and better. Sensational, is the word that comes to mind, so let’s dive into this killer album from a band who needs no introduction.
The title track where the guitar sets up one of the best Metallica openings ever! The lyrics are reminiscent of 80’s Metallica songs with hints of nostalgia sprinkled throughout.
The song delves into the crucial formative years of our lives when the die is cast to determine who we become as adults. Highlighting how childhood traumas or negative experiences shape our adult selves. The lyrics use powerful imagery to convey the detrimental impact of past experiences on our present, particularly those who have been affected by violence.
The opening lyrics: “feeding on the wrath of man shot down traumatic time haunted by the past” are heartfelt. Regarding the lyricism, Hetfield says, “the overall message of the song is that since being born from age 1 to age 18 we will experience ‘72 seasons’ in that timeframe”.
Drummer, Lars Ulrich makes a statement with his precise pounding that lets you know you are about to hear one of the best drummers of all time let it rip. The drumming from Ulrich, combined with the guitar from Kirk Hammett are total face smashers.
Lead singer, James Hetfield seems not only happy to be back in the studio, but his voice is stronger and louder than it has ever been. Could this be a result of a 6-year-long break?
“72 Seasons” is a killer song to get the album started. Brace yourself for this 7-minute destroyer!
“72 Seasons” leads into “Shadows Follow”, another headbanger of a song and a personal favorite from the newly released album with some of my favorite lyrics.
This one is fast paced, all gas and no breaks! Robert Trujillo is a killer on bass.
Again, the lyrics are so beautifully relatable, “Hanging by a thread and my mind is code red, seething breathing nightmares grow on, I run, still my shadows follow”.
This is a track that feels old school while being fresh and new at the same time.
The chorus brings out a deep passion within me. My mind may not be red, but it sure is yellow, the same color as the b¡tchen album cover.
Metallica fans old and new, “Shadows Follow” will be one of your favorites!
This is another fantastic one and will be a huge fan favorite in no time.
“Screaming Suicide” showcases the stellar work from the legendary band. With this song, Metallica brings awareness to suicide which is something not openly discussed. Previously, Metallica has dealt with this topic in its 1984 hit single, “Fade to Black” and again in the 1991 hit, “Sad but True”. A brave topic for a fearless group.
Hetfield and his bandmates Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo wrote the reflective and heartfelt song to reference the ubiquity of suicidal thoughts. “The intention is to communicate about the darkness we feel inside,” Hetfield shared. “It’s ridiculous to think we should deny that we have these thoughts. At one point or another, I believe most people have thought about it. To face it is to speak the unspoken.”
Lyrically, listeners are introduced to Hetfield and his intrusive thoughts. As more details are added to the dark thoughts, Hetfield loses the ability to recognize his own mind’s lies. Depression sets in. As the song carries on, the internal dialogue begins to suggest suicide as an escape. However, Hetfield is blind to the fact that this will result in him dying in sadness and his loved ones traumatized.
Not only that, but Hetfield uses this song to talk about suicide being a taboo word and how the topic is frowned upon.
“Don’t ever speak my name / Remember you’re to blame / Keep me inside / Keep me inside / My name is suicide”.
Hetfield ends the final chorus with “screaming suicide” rather than “my name is suicide.” Then on the outro, his suicidal thoughts begin to disappear after he opens up to somebody.
The story telling within this masterpiece is something everyone should absorb.
“Sleepwalk My Life Away”
This song is gnarly, it has an 80’s vibe that I feel is missing from a lot of modern-day metal bands. The beautiful guitar tones on make this song what it is.
No lyrics to share here, I don’t want to spoil the fun. This is one you’ll want to hear without any biases.
“You Must Burn!”
“You Must Burn!” takes aim at the controversial phenomenon of cancel culture. Over chugging instrumentals, the song draws attention to the dangers of mob mentality and the perils of judgment without due process. Drawing allusions to historical events such as the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition, Hetfield highlights the tragic consequences of overreaction and mindless condemnation.
“You Must Burn!” has backing vocals from guitarist Robert Trujillo, marking the first time he has sung on a Metallica record. The decision to involve Trujillo in this way speaks to the band’s growing confidence and willingness to experiment with new sounds and ideas.
I love the opening line because it’s so tasty! “You Must Burn” is like that sweet milk chocolate from a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, not too sweet but just the right amount of sweetness with a little bit of crunch.
The band dropped the music video to this hit a few days ago. Give it a listen and you’ll have it unapologetically stuck in your head for days.
This was the first song released to fans in anticipation of 72 Seasons. The song name is latin for “eternal light” and plays a role in Catholic requiem mass. This pairs perfectly with the songs theme of humanity’s shared need for salvation.
“Lux Æterna” is fast, heavy and empowering. Metallica fans will devour the sound of a classic Metallica song.
“Crown Of Barbed Wire”
The riff here, I can’t help but love and you will too. “Crown of Barbed Wire” is very guitar heavy. I love it, when I think of Metallica, this is what I picture in my mind! This song has a bit of “Ride the Lightning” and you might hear some of 2008’s “Death Magnetic” creeping in.
This one is on the thrashy side of things. Get ready for a “Master of Puppets” vibe with a sprinkle of 2016’s “Hardwired”. What I love about “Chasing Light” is that Metallica throws it back to the sounds of its entire discography. A Metallica love letter to thrashers everywhere.
“If Darkness Had A Son”
Here I am! This song signals that Metallica still thrashes as hard as ever, an impressive feat considering the group has been performing for 40 years. This song is sheer perfection and probably why it was released as a single.
“Too Far Gone”
This one should come with a warning label: WILL CAUSE STIFF NECK! Listeners will immediately start head banging upon hearing it. I know I did.
“Room Of Mirrors”
Like “Too Far Gone,” this one rages from start to finish. “Room of Mirrors” is 5 minutes of pure heaviness. Get ready you are in for a treat!
The epic “Inamorata” was born from a jam session between 2016-19 and clocks in at over 11 minutes, making it the longest song Metallica has ever recorded.
The term “inamorata” refers to a woman with whom someone is in love or has an intense romantic infatuation. The word is derived from the Italian language, where “inamorata” is the feminine form of “inamorato,” meaning “lover” or “admirer.” For Hetfield, that female lover in the song is Misery.
Despite the song length, music lovers are still left craving more.
The 72 Seasons album is a 10/10. Every single song from the 72 Seasons album is enjoyable. This album marks the first time since the release of …And Justice For All in 1988 that the band has failed to lay claim to the top of the American charts. However, it reached number one in the UK and personally, I found it to be some of Metallica’s best work.
After six years we are finally given those familiar stellar guitar riffs, killer basslines, hammering drumming and effortless vocals that have had us following Metallica from the very beginning. Everything about this album makes me proud to be a Metallica fan.
Want to see the Metallic in action? Catch them on tour with Ice Nine Kills, Five Finger Death Punch, and Pantera. Tour dates available below.
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.