Metallica's 11th studio album, 72 Seasons, will be available April 14, 2023 via the band's own Blackened Recordings. Produced by Greg Fidelman with Hetfield & Ulrich, and clocking in at over 77 minutes, the 12-track 72 Seasons is Metallica's first full length collection of new material since 2016's Hardwired... To Self-Destruct. 72 Seasons is heralded by first single "Lux Æterna, " a short, sharp blast that distills 40 years of Metallica into three and a half minutes.
After over 6 years Metallica has returned with their 11th studio album 72 Seasons. The album has received generally positive reviews with a score of 77 on Metacritic and debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200, selling 146,000 copies in the first week.
The branding surrounding the album is noticeably yellow. In color theory, yellow is associated with happiness, optimism, enlightenment, and creativity. While these are generally positive aspects, yellow also has association with cowardice, betrayal, egoism, and madness. It is also one of the main colors used to represent Suicide prevention awareness.
Along with the yellow branding are powerful images of charred, black, and destroyed items of youth. Front and center on the album's cover is a child's crib, surrounded by toys and other objects that relate to activities of youth.
The title track and fourth single from the album, "72 Seasons" is about the first 72 seasons (18 Years) of life. How you evolve and grow and mature during that time and start to develop your own ideas and identity after. Lyrically the song touches on these topics as well as how anger and past trauma can make it hard to find common ground with others and consequences of anger as it can change and consume you.
These themes of mental struggles continue throughout the album. "Shadows Follow" speaks on continued mental struggles through life. "Screaming Suicide," the second single from the album, tackles the continued battle with suicidal thoughts. "Sleepwalk My Life Away" describes what its like to live your life with some level of depression, feeling like you aren't actually alive and awake.
The tracks "You Must Burn" and "Crown of Barbed Wire" speak on more societal issues. "You Must Burn" alludes to the current state of cancel culture, comparing it to a witch hunt, fueled by anger and creating division among people. "Crown of Barbed Wire" is about a ruling authority who hold on to their power with a tight grip as their empire deteriorates around them.
Not everything is bleak, as the first single from the album "Lux Æterna" (Latin for Eternal Light) is about the joy and excitement of live music, and the sense of comradery and generational peace that associates with a mass of people all enjoying an experience together. Lux Æterna displayed a dig back into their music roots, with a New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound from influences like Motorhead, and Diamond Head. The Song reached number 1 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart for 11 consecutive weeks.
Musically 72 Seasons is pure concentrated Metallica. It shows them embracing their New Wave of British Heavy Metal influences, while also distilling the best of modern Metallica with an attitude reminiscent of the Black Album as well as the Groove influences from their Load and Reload era. Notably, the production of the album also takes notes from their early releases with layered vocals with a little reverb in them.
- 72 Seasons
- Shadows Follow
- Screaming Suicide
- Sleepwalk My Life Away
- You Must Burn!
- Lux Æterna
- Crown of Barbed Wire
- Chasing Light
- If Darkness Had a Son
- Too Far Gone?
- Room of Mirrors