Less of a review and more of a report for this one. It's Metallica after all, and Metallica have earned the right to have this earworm consumed at the pace it naturally unfolds. Yes, we spent quite a bit of time with the previously released singles Lux Æterna, Screaming Suicide, If Darkness Had a Son, and 72 Seasons. This report will be updated over the next week as this monster is digested.
April 14, 2023
Today is the day. The kings have returned. The mighty Metallica machine have finally launched a new album - 72 Seasons - upon the world. After the first two tracks unfold, it became immediately apparent that this beast would be impossible to form an opinion on after a single listen. There's just too much here, and too much to hear.
Unlike most music critics and album reviewers who are overly concerned with lyrical content, themes, production value, album covers, pre-launch interviews, band drama and more - at Riff Company we care about the power of the riff, and James Hetfield & co. usually deliver. Not that we don't care about the other elements, because they do matter in the overall package of music, but Metallica...like us...live and die by the riff.
Did they bring it? Yes they did. Papa Het and Mr. Hammett certainly torch the strings on this album. There are A LOT of memorable riffs. Maybe too many. Maybe too much of everything. We don't know, it's just so much to take in.
April 17, 2023
A few more listens in at this point. There's still so much to process. A few irritating solos here and there and a couple of eye rolls with predictable lyrics, but this album is getting it done. So much more positive than negative.
Thus far, the title track 72 Seasons and Shadows Follow are the rippers, You Must Burn! is a sludgy jam and Inamorata is still Metallica's longest song...but we don't know if it is quite on par with The Outlaw Torn as other reviewers have alluded.
More to come...
April 20, 2023
OK. This is a good album. In a way, there is always some familiarity with Metallica albums - barring offshoots like St. Anger. You kind of know what's coming. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. They always find a way to thrill, and 72 Seasons is a solid record. It obviously differs in many ways from the trifecta of Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and ...And Justice For All, but so does every heavy metal band and album in existence.
The new album doesn't have any of those, "must-skip-to" songs like, say, Spit Out the Bone from Hardwired...to Self-Destruct. It's a quality collection of ripping Metallica songs, and ripe with call-backs from every era of the band.
As previously mentioned though...there is a lot here to unpack - even after dozens of listens.
(Probably still) more to come...
May 14, 2023
This article was originally called "One Week With 72 Seasons" and it's had to be updated. We keep coming back to this record. As mentioned above, this album will never be as beloved as the classics, nor will it ever be as maligned as "Mid-Stage Metallica" (Load, ReLoad and St. Anger). It's safe to say that 72 Seasons fits right onto the shelf next to, say Death Magnetic, some of the best collections of work that Metallica has put out. Does it offer anything bigger, better, louder, softer, harder or faster than any of their other work? No. It does not. Does it warrant repeat listens, and fit neatly within the description of "the masters at work?" It does, and we feel like it will continue to give. A lot here, and a lot to hear.