METALLICA     “72 Seasons”

By Iron Sheik

I feel I am in the outer realms of METALLICA fandom as I fell off with the “Black Album” but have listened to everything since. I even tried to like “St. Anger” and “LuLu”, but that will never happen. “Load” and “Reload” have become oOK in my book as I have listened to them again lately. They have stood the test of time. I have really liked every release post “St. Anger” with “Death Magnetic” my favorite. So as a fan in 2023 I was not sure what to expect other than more “Hardwired” type material. Well, happy 40th Birthday , “Kill 'Em All”, and this will segue for me into my review of the new album “72 Seasons”.

“72 Seasons” is an album of introspection. It is lyrically something I can really relate to. Being in twelve step recovery myself I understand on a deeper level what is being said and sung on this album than a non recovering person might. I struggle with all the issues shared on this album. I felt like I had just listened to James do a speaker meeting laying his soul bare with the intensity and passion that comes from living through and triumphing over these struggles expressed within. As well as sharing my story with the demons that were laid bare in the just over an hour of music are the demons not lived for today.

It sometimes rocks with the intensity like “Kill 'Em All” does. Even at moments sounding like “Hit The Lights” or “Creeping Death”. There are “Lightning” and “Puppets” style musical passages that had me hearing songs in the fashion of “The Thing That Should Not Be” or “Creeping Death”. Even at times reminiscent of the more refined stomp of ...”And Justice For All”. As well as lyrical passages that put me in mind of songs like “The Struggle Within” and “My Friend Of Misery” from the “Black Album”.

 For me “Screaming Suicide” and “Inamorata” really hit home as I have dealt with those issues even after 32 years of continuous clean time. The question of "is the war over" with the misery is answered with just for today. Furthermore, hope (“Lux Aeterna”), questions of morality (“Too Far Gone”), and salvation (“If Darkness Had A Son”) are all explored on this album to a degree of openness and determination of finding clarity.

By the closing of the eleven minute “Inamorata”, misery had hopefully become no longer that friend, especially when the questions become like a longing ala “Victim Of Changes” by JUDAS PRIEST. Struggles within are lessened when shared. One hour and seventeen minutes, and I feel a spiritual high has been achieved: musically, lyrically , and personally. It is well worth the time to listen, question, and enjoy the kickass music within. “72 Seasons” is on par to becoming one of my favorite METALLICA albums alongside my high regard for their 80s output. It rips, it shreds, it speaks, it questions, it hopefully will connect with those who struggle this way too, and it gets one to speak the unspeakable name, suicide (addiction as well).