-METALLICA put “72 Seasons” together during the pandemic.
-Covers madness, addiction, suicide, misery and life in general.
-Production is the best I’ve heard from them since maybe the Black Album
Unpacking a METALLICA album is kind of like putting together something from Ikea, it’s like “ok, where do I start?”. Unlike that cabinet, “72 Seasons” doesn’t come with directions, but if you’re like me you don’t use them anyway.
I will say this strait off, it’s their best work since the “Black” album. It’s too early, in my opinion, to compare it to “Master Of Puppets”, but I will say it’s in their Top 5 and perhaps even higher, only time will tell that.
It was recorded during the dark times of the pandemic, and most of the album is pretty dark, or at least very introspective from James Hetfield, who has been through a divorce and repeated issues with alcohol. Ironically the lead single ‘Lux Æterna’ was a more positive song that harkens back to their early roots of the NWOBHM.
I think the reason METALLICA has always been to insanely popular is because their aren’t afraid to expose their own weaknesses and open up a vein. They’re relatable and talk about issues we all go through. Songs like “If Darkness Had A Son”, “Too Far Gone” and “Shadows Fallow” are a few examples that cut to the bone if you’ve ever dealt with issues of addiction or any sort. Having said that, the band has always written songs that fit a wide variety of issues. You could be a Religious, an Atheist or anything in between to find relatability in the songs.
Musically they sort of pick up where they left off on “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct”. I’ve heard people calling this a return to their Thrash roots and I honestly don’t hear that as much as some people claim. It’s closer to the “Black” album that “Ride The Lighting” for sure.
I think they sound a tight as they ever have and considering these guys aren’t exactly young men anymore, it’s quite impressive the level of heaviness and aggression they can still produce. The title track is evident of that, over seven and a half minutes of intensity and time changes that would be exhausting to most teenagers!
The production is superb, I doubt there will be much controversy there. Greg Fidelman was at the helm, he also produced “Hardwired…”. METALLICA is not the heaviest and fastest band in the world anymore, nor should they be. But METALLICA is still HEAVY in the same way Black Sabbath was heavy. You don’t need to over-compress the crap and scream every note to be heavy, in fact, that’s just noise, everything on “72 Seasons” is carefully calculated and produced.
There’s 12 songs on the album, which could have been whittled to ten perhaps, but for hardcore fans, you’re going to be happy with the amount of quality music you get. I’ve always been a “fan” but havn’t considered myself “hardcore” so I can get to the point where I need loose a little interest. For the most part I was sitting back, enjoying the music and thanking them for their dedication to putting out great heavy music, the world needs them right now!