Back in November, Metallica announced 72 Seasons, their 11th studio album and the long-awaited follow-up to their 2016 LP, Hardwired… To Self Destruct.
With the announcement came the release of the LP's thrashin' lead single, Lux Æterna, a tune that was followed up in January by the wah-laden scorcher, Screaming Suicide.
Now, the thrash titans have premiered 72 Seasons' third single, the classically Metallica If Darkness Had a Son. You can check out the song's music video below.
With a martial groove from drummer Lars Ulrich, mammoth low-end work by Robert Trujillo on bass guitar, an ominous, thundering riff and a lightning-like, expressive solo – colored, naturally, in its opening bars, with some tasty wah pedal work – from Kirk Hammett, If Darkness Had a Son shows the metal A-listers leaning into their strengths, to great effect.
As a whole, 72 Seasons was envisioned as a reflection on how the first 18 years of a person's life play a huge role in shaping who they become.
“72 seasons. The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves,” frontman James Hetfield wrote of the album's theme last November. “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.”
That theme even carries through to the album's artwork, which prominently features the charred remains of a late-’80s Fernandes LE-1 Strat copy, a likely homage to the Fernandes FST-135 (nicknamed ‘Edna’) that Hammett used early in Metallica's career.
Produced by Greg Fidelman – who also manned the boards for Hardwired... to Self-Destruct – 72 Seasons is set for an April 14 release via the band’s own Blackened Recordings.
To preorder the album, visit Metallica's website.