Metallica Fridays (no.32): Processing what i have just heard…

Friday, April 14, 2023.

This is the day many have been waiting for- the official release of the new album, 72 Seasons. jesse and i attended a global audiovisual event, held in 80 or so countries. While i am still processing the album i can say this- the album, to me, is the work (on the self and with each other) done since St. Anger. St. Anger depicted the immediacy of the struggle; 72 Seasons is a much more mature, vulnerable reading of said struggle. Sonically, it’s filled with wonder and beauty. It’s got more harmonics than any other Metallica album i’ve heard. Lyrically it’s emotionally devastating. There was so much i identified with, as i closed my eyes and just took in the music.

Interestingly, i think i may have been the only one there to sing, dance, bop around and headbang. These songs were too great NOT to.

Now that i have finally heard the album in full, listening to the songs on their own just seems a bit empty. i feel like the songs are realized in a fuller way as a whole. St. Anger (one of my favorite albums of all time) is vulnerable in a pummeling way (channeling the immediacy of a mental health struggle (as well as an acknowledgement of struggles with addiction); while the mental health struggles and internal conversations are still there; 72 Seasons is vulnerable in a more pensive, mature way. There are definitely songs i teared up at while taking them in for the first time at the event, but something tells me i’m going to cry hard, similar to how i did so for the title track.

…And the title track is where we are for this week’s post. i am tired right now (and still processing), but i did want to make this quick post. The band definitely looked to their primary influences (as well as their own albums) for inspiration, but nothing sounds derivative or uninspiring. Metallica have nothing to prove at this stage of their lives, but they continue to find ways to connect.

It’s very rare to think that an album in someone’s latter half of their catalog is among the best of what they’re done. i can say for certain that 72 Seasons is just that.

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