Review: Metallica - 72 Seasons

Album Title
72 Seasons
Released On
Blackened Recordings

Is there a more polarizing metal band than Metallica? They released albums that forever changed the landscape of music and continue to do so to this day. In the mid-90s, they completely changed styles and went more hard rock on Load and Reload. Since then, they can’t even lift a finger without it being critiqued. You have those that think they should keep re-writing Master of Puppets and those that think the band can do no wrong whatsoever, both can be wrong.

It's 2023 and the band is back with their 11th studio album in a long 40+ year career. This arrives around 7 years after their last outing in Hardwired. Naturally, the buzz got going on it and the hype is real. Seemingly every single hard rock radio station in the country turned into a 3-day celebration of its release, how many bands can demand such attention? Not a single one. They're arguably the biggest rock band ever. 

72 Seasons continues in a similar fashion that they started with on Death Magnetic. It’s an amalgamation of all eras of the band with an emphasis on early metal and thrash roots in the foreground. Each single they released for the new album got me more hyped on it and it’s safe to say it pretty much lived up to the hype.

Since the mid-aughts, Metallica has kind of settled into this older version of themselves where they’re definitely still rooted in metal, have their hard rock influences shining through, and give us flourishes of their thrash peaks. This new album seems to be the fine-tuned version of it, but it still could be refined.

The shining moments on the album come from the honesty of James’ lyrics. The pain is real on it. Explaining the album title, James states: “72 seasons. The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves. The concept that we were told 'who we are' by our parents. Possible pigeonholing around what kind of personality we are.” This is something we’ve seen the band struggle with for some time and it’s on full display here lyrically.

If you’re expecting an album to rival their first four releases, please don’t bother with this because nobody wants to hear you complain about them being “sellouts” and how they haven’t had a good album in decades. You surely won’t be pleased. That said, this album is not without room for improvement. The album clocks in over 77 minutes. That’s about my biggest gripe with it. I feel many songs could have been more impactive if they were trimmed down. 15-20 minutes could have been removed from 72 Seasons and made it a more powerful release. That said, it’s still quite a good album. There are some incredible riffs on it that have been stuck in my head.

The only other gripe I can come up with is the sound of the hi-hat. They’re wide open and high in the mix. It can be distracting at times. Other than that, the production is incredible in my opinion. Beefy guitars, great bass sound, strong drums, and it’s not fighting a loudness war.

The band is entering their 60s in age. If you want to bad mouth them, think of other 60+-year-olds you know, are they writing badass music or are they saying things that make you think “ok boomer”? Over 40 years strong, with many peaks and valleys, Metallica has absolutely nothing to prove to anyone, but here they are, gifting the world with another album. 

Gotten Out By

Rick has been writing off and on for a couple sites for years now. He is glad to give his opinion of music via Getting It Out. Born and raised in Lancaster, PA, he is not Amish, he is still vegan and still straight edge. He is a loving father and husband. Rick also used to play guitar and growl like an idiot in death metal band Defleshuary.

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