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Album: Metallica - 72 Seasons | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Metallica - 72 Seasons

Album: Metallica - 72 Seasons

As classic metallers' phase of old meets new, their 11th album continues to deliver

'In this phase of old meets new, Metallica continue to deliver'

This year marks 40 years since the release of Metallica’s debut Kill ‘Em All and their heralding of a new era in metal. With countless worldwide, headlining tours, hundreds of millions albums sold – it’s understandable if some may wonder what keeps them going in this late stage of their careers.

But for the band’s iconic vocalist and guitarist, James Hetfield, the years since 2016’s …Hardwired to Self-destruct have been challenging. Hetfield re-entered rehab and divorced his wife of 25 years. As a result the 11th album 72 Seasons is marked by a restless introspection.

In Hetfield’s own words this album carries a newfound perspective reflecting on the group's journey to this point of their careers and lives. Though not a concept album as such, that theme of unpacking as an adult the experiences our younger selves lived through in those first 18 years – 72 seasons – is the burden carried by the band through these songs.

Peer beneath the veneer of the expected frenetic drums from Lars Ulrich and duelling guitars from Hetfield and Kirk Hammet, and this is some of Metallica’s most poignant work for in a while. “Too Far Gone?” may bounce with a punk groove while Hetfield ponders “Am I too far gone to save? Help me make it through the day” ponders over some stuttering guitar chugs. Or “You Must Burn!”, which evokes “Sad But True” off 1991’s The Black Album with a swaggering riff brimming with bravado, before giving away into a ghostly bridge unlike just about anything the group have recorded before.

This exorcising of the scars and tribulations done as younger, naïve versions of themselves culminates in the closing “Inamorata”. Both a dramatic finale, and behemoth track at 11 minutes, it’s by far the group's longest ever track but never tires or bores, as Hetfield’s agony sounds authentic, and the track seamlessly steers through different jams and riffs.

In all, 72 Seasons follows the trajectory launched by their last album: blending dashes of their thrash early days with the mainstream rock polish they acquired from 1991 onwards, but is on the whole deeper and meaningful. In this phase of old meets new, Metallica continue to deliver.

Blending dashes of their thrash early days with the mainstream rock polish they acquired from 1991 onwards, on the whole it's deeper and meaningful

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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