Metallica’s Still Got it!



Metallica fans can listen to “72 Seasons” on Youtube or Spotify.

DEREK DUDEK ‘25, Staff Writer

Whether you’re a metal-head who enjoys throwing chairs and punishing your neck muscles with relentless head-banging, or you’re…you know, not that, I’m sure you’ve heard of Metallica. Metallica, arguably the most influential and successful metal band of all time, recently released their brand new album, 72 Seasons. The minds behind Stranger Things’ hit “Master of Puppets” have dropped twelve fresh songs for a grand total of eighty minutes. While this album does not contain any 80s-level caliber songs that Eddie Munson will shred on guitar in the Upside Down, the band offers some exciting material for anybody seeking quality heavy music.

Last year, a few days after Thanksgiving, Metallica fans received an early Christmas present as the band suddenly dropped a single “Lux Aeterna”, announcing both their new album and a massive worldwide tour. A blazing, punch-you-in-the-face type of song, “Lux Aeterna” quickly stirred up excitement for the upcoming album. Guitarist Kirk Hammett steals the spotlight with a catchy riff and an impressive solo, while singer James Hetfield flaunts his impressive vocal range.

Over the next few months, the metal legends continued to tease their next album with three more singles: “Screaming Suicide”, “If Darkness Had a Son”, and “72 Seasons”. The song lengths and quality increased with each, as the 7:40 minute eponymous track is full of rage with some breathtaking guitar-playing.

Prior to the album’s release, fans were cautiously optimistic that the new music would sound like “good” Metallica. For context, the band was a phenomenon in the 80s, garnering worldwide fame in 1991 with their award-winning The Black Album, which includes the iconic “Enter Sandman”. Unfortunately, fame seemed to cause a dip in quality over the next decade, leaving many die-hard fans disappointed. However, 2008’s Death Magnetic and 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct were strong records, a return to form for the band. This year’s 72 seasons keeps the streak in-tact as their best-sounding album since the olden days of the 80s.

Metallica’s members are all about sixty years old, which means they’re soon-to-be senior citizens. For many, that means a life of golf and mid-conversation naps. Hetfield, Hammett, Lars Ulrich (drummer), and Robert Trujillo (bassist) chose a slightly different route: Bursting out an absolute rager of a metal album. In a wonderful return to glory, both old and new fans can enjoy each musician’s immense talent throughout each track. “Shadows Follow” stands out as a well-rounded song: the heavy drums and bass under a captivating guitar riff, followed by anger-infused vocals with dark lyrics, culminates in an effectively powerful chorus. And for those with a low attention span, the song should be appealing with its short length of 6:11 minutes. Oh, that…that’s not considered short? Give it a listen and let me know if it was worth your time.

The fourth song on the album is “Sleepwalk My Life Away” (if you watch the video, I recommend skipping the first 20 seconds of dramatic wind sounds), serving as the album’s cleanup hitter with intense power (that was a reference for baseball fans). Trujillo kicks it off with a heavy bassline before the guitar enters with a crescendoing melody played by none other than Hetfield (yes…he’s the singer too). The track is groovy and keeps the album rolling.

However, the dozen songs average nearly seven minutes each, and some tunes, therefore, feel a bit dragged out. Also, Metallica’s current sound naturally lacks the rawness of their early days, but the album truly is a masterpiece (…of puppets, if you will), especially compared to most heavy music that has been produced in the past 30 years.

From top to bottom, anybody can simply press play and rock out to an all-time great band, metal fan or not. And just a friendly warning: This album may cause severe musical whiplash due to uncontrollable headbanging.