Metallica is one of those bands that every metal fan in the world is familiar with and either loves them or hates them. Because of this I feel that before I delve into my thoughts on “72 Seasons” it is probably best to know my background with the band. I admit that I was a late bloomer in Metallica’s career and in metal in general. My first metal album was in fact the controversial “Black Album”. That aside I have come a long way since then. Although I do enjoy some of the songs on the “Black Album” and the other albums that followed (except St. Anger), they rarely get airplay from me and if I do find myself listening to Metallica it’s usually something from one of their first four albums.
That being said, I did enjoy a few songs on the band’s 2008 release, Death Magnetic and I think one song on their follow-up “Hardwired to Self-Destruct”. Overall though Metallica is one of those bands where I constantly have high hopes that they’ll release something great again, but am more frequently disappointed.
As far as “72 Seasons” is concerned, I gave the album a fair listen and with all of my history aside, I found the album to be mediocre at best. Two songs stood out to me as the better songs on the album. “Screaming Suicide” and “Lux Æterna” kept me more interested as the two faster songs on the album. The title track, also named “72 Seasons” wasn’t bad either, but overall I found the majority of the album to be slow. “Sleepwalk My Life Away” did just that, it made me want to fall asleep. Maybe I’ve just been exposed to too much faster, heavier stuff in recent years, but for a band that is so widely known in metal, I’d expect to hear some faster drumming (maybe even with some double bass) and more technical guitar work. I could compare them to the remaining bands that started off around the same time in the 80’s Thrash Metal scene and state that although Metallica is the only one that slowed down their music, they’re also the only one that sells out arenas and stadiums on their own (at least in the US). But that just points to them being more Hard Rock than Metal.
I’m sure that I’ll get some hate for this review as there are millions of “Metallica” fans out there that would eat this album up as they have done with all of the bands releases from the preceding years. To me though similarly to their preceding release it kind of seems like each song rolls into the next and sounds like one really long song. Though I don’t write like this lightly. I would love to see “Metallica” release an album that would really drive it home, I just don’t really have my hopes up for them in that aspect anymore. I did still buy tickets for their show (in a year and a half?!?!?!) But, similarly to when the band opted out of doing “The Big Four” tour in the United States, it’s things like that, that make me question how much the band actually cares about their fans) I guess I’m just hoping that one of the two nights features some of their older, heavier material. I guess we’ll see is all I can say there.
So on to recommendations. If you’re a die hard fan that loves the music that the band has released in recent years (and don’t worry, I still wouldn’t include St. Anger in that count) then you’ll probably enjoy this album. However, if you’re the kind of person that is looking for the early days when “Metallica” still played Thrash Metal, do yourself a favor and skip this album and go check out Overkill’s new release that came out on the same day.