METALLICA Announces '72 Seasons' Album, Shares 'Lux Æterna' Music VideoNovember 28, 2022
METALLICA has confirmed the title and release date of its forthcoming 12th studio album: "72 Seasons" will be available April 14, 2023 via the band's own Blackened Recordings. Produced by Greg Fidelman with METALLICA's James Hetfield and Lars 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". The album will be released in formats including 2LP 140g black vinyl and limited-edition variants, CD and digital.
"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. "Lux Æterna" is available now to stream and download, and as an instant-grat track with all pre-orders of "72 Seasons". The "Lux Æterna" video, directed by Tim Saccenti, can be seen below.
Says METALLICA about the clip: "We recently traveled to Los Angeles to capture our performance using some crazy cutting-edge technology."
Speaking on the concept of the album title, Hetfield says: "72 seasons. The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves. The concept that we were told 'who we are' by our parents. A possible pigeonholing around what kind of personality we are. I think the most interesting part of this is the continued study of those core beliefs and how it affects our perception of the world today. Much of our adult experience is reenactment or reaction to these childhood experiences. Prisoners of childhood or breaking free of those bondages we carry."
The complete track listing for "72 Seasons" is:
01. 72 Seasons
02. Shadows Follow
03. Screaming Suicide
04. Sleepwalk My Life Away
05. You Must Burn!
06. Lux Æterna
07. Crown Of Barbed Wire
08. Chasing Light
09. If Darkness Had A Son
10. Too Far Gone?
11. Room Of Mirrors
Says METALLICA: "The album package was once again conceived and art directed by our good friend, acclaimed designer David Turner and his team. David, who won a Grammy for his work on 'Death Magnetic', is the man behind the look and feel of all of our recent releases, including 'Through The Never', 'S&M2', and 'Hardwired'."
This past August, METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, whose recently released "Portals" EP marked his first-ever foray as a solo artist, was asked in an interview with Goldmine magazine why he and his bandmates take so long between records. (In 40 years, METALLICA has released 10 albums.) he responded: "Yeah, you know, it's not getting any quicker, too. It's just like, we have a way of working. We have a process that unfortunately takes a long time. It's just the way we work, the way it is, the way it works as a band. And I've grown to accept that.
"You know, putting out 'Portals' is great for me because it kind of frees me up from that schedule," Kirk explained. "I can come up with a few tracks, record them and put them out, and I can do it on a completely different time schedule from the band. And that's great because it doesn't seem to get in the way of the band's schedule because, like I say, we move at our own pace."
Hammett also touched upon his songwriting approach in METALLICA, saying: "When I go in and create METALLICA stuff, I give it my full creative energies. The way I look at it is, all the notes are already there. You just have to find them. I'm serious. They're already there. You just gotta friggin' find them. And so there's that but also a reliance on spontaneity, on real in-the-moment creation. I think that's where I'm most effective. It's like, any time I sit down to try and compose something that should be spontaneous, it ends up sounding composed. There's nothing wrong with that, but I think catching yourself in a spontaneous moment is just much more exciting and much more honest. That might not make me sound like Eddie Van Halen, but that's beside the point. I really feel like I'm playing for the song when I play that way."
Two years ago, Hammett told Metal Hammer magazine that there was "a lot of material" written for a follow-up to 2016's "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" album, which marked METALLICA's first full-length collection of new music in eight years. "I know I have tons, because I totally overcompensated," he said. "You know, last time around, it was a real shock to my system losing all those musical ideas. [Editor's note: Kirk lost a phone with more than 300 pieces of music on it during the creative process for 'Hardwired…'] So, I was very determined to try and make up for lost time. I also felt that, creatively, I have so much more to offer this time around."
Bassist Robert Trujillo added that the songwriting process for the next album could be a decidedly more collective effort compared to "Hardwired…", which was largely composed by guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich.
"I'm not gonna speak on behalf of the other guys, but to me, it feels like this could be a very collaborative [writing process]," Robert said. "And for me personally, I love that. I love that we are in that head space to be more collaborative, and I think that's very exciting for where we're at now, the journey we're about to take, the fact that those doors are opening like that."
"It's taking a couple of months, literally, for me to go through all [my ideas]," added Kirk, who is is not credited on any of the songs on "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct". "I've got a wealth of material, and so, at any given point when we all decide, 'Okay, let's start formulating a schedule to start writing songs and recording it.' I'm ready. I'm there, from day one."
"Kirk has so many ideas," continued Trujillo. "It's funny because sometimes it's literally him in the kitchen and he's cooking, and at the same time he's playing you a riff, or you're sitting on the toilet and he's playing you some ideas. But when we started to understand that [the lockdown] was gonna happen, it was like, 'Hey, let's be creative', you know? Let's just get on it. A lot of times, when there's a band that's been around as long as METALLICA has, you find that one of the biggest problems is, 'Man I can't come up with a riff, I can't come up with any good lyrics, it's just harder to write songs', but that just doesn't seem to be the problem with us. Not taking anything away from any other bands, but sometimes our worst riff might be another band's A-list riff."
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release.
Hetfield told Metal XS in 2016 that "Kirk's riffs weren't there" when it was time to write the music for the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" record. He later seemed to dismiss Kirk's missing-iPhone excuse, telling the WRIF radio station: "That's what he claims. I'm sure he did [lose the phone], but it doesn't make sense that he wouldn't have [the music] on his computer, either. But, whatever… Yeah, Kirk had some riffs that he… I guess submitted — ['submit' is] not a very nice word to be used if you're in a band. But you know, we all submit our tapes, and we sit there and we listen to them and we pick the best stuff. There was not much stuff from Kirk. Whether his phone was lost, or whatever…"
In a separate interview with U.K. radio station Planet Rock, Hetfield said that Kirk "was not present in the studio" while METALLICA was working on "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct". "He was dealing with life," James said. "He had a lot of life things going on for himself, which he'll choose to talk about if he wants. But, you know, [it was] Lars and I steering the ship as usual, going through the riffs, creating the songs. And I got to do a lot of guitar stuff that I was missing around 'Death Magnetic' and 'St. Anger' — some of the harmony guitar things, harmony vocals… You know, a little more layering, like the 'Black' album."
Photo credit: Tim Saccenti
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