It’s a great feeling to be in a movie theater to “see”/listen to Metallica’s new album one day before its official release. At the same time, knowing that in cinemas all over the world the same thing is happening. Tough shit, folks…only Metallica can pull this off in the broader hard n’ heavy sound for well documented reasons. Obviously we’re not going to do a review of the album here either. You can’t review any album with a single listen let alone when it’s a 77-minute album from Metallica, right? Here we are to convey the experience of the world premiere of “72 Seasons” (even if the record stores were in a hurry to push back the official release date by one day).
We were at the Village Cinemas in downtown Athens along with several Metal(lica) fans. The cinema wasn’t full but that’s of little importance. The screening started with a funny little video of Metallica sitting on the couch and previewing what we were going to see for the next 90 minutes or so. Then they played a short clip about the upcoming tour and the unique experience of seeing back to back 2 Metallica shows in the same city with different set lists. Say what you want about Metallica but both they and their management always find ways to do innovative things. They may not always be successful but so what?
The time had come for “72 Seasons”. There was a video for every song…of course, half of the songs didn’t have proper video clips and some of them really made you wonder what you were watching (especially “Chasing Light” where you thought you were watching a draft of an 80’s arcade game). Details. Overall I really enjoyed the sound of the new album which gives you the feeling of a very well-crafted end result with Metallica often “embracing” the “Load” era and of course the more familiar sound forms of “Hardwired…”. Personally I preferred the mid-tempo moments and the 11-minute epic “Inamorata” that closes the album the most. But as we said, we will analyze all this in the detailed presentation of the album. Before each song Hetfield/Ulrich/Hammett/Trujillo -more or less- explained the musical and lyrical content of each song (especially Lars was as always delightful while James was imposing and spot on in his comments). At the end Metallica had a surprise for us by saying that towards the end of August, 2 concerts from Texas will be shown in cinemas all over the world. So, our…Metal Rendez-Vous (any Krokus fan out there?) is renewed for the summer, hoping that they will be played in Greece as well.
To sum up, I would say that one of the two highlights of the night were the three kids who kept headbanging leaving hope for the future. Awesome, guys! The other highlight was that – judging by the reactions – people liked the album. That’s good because we need good records from the heavyweights of the genre. I guess that now that you are reading these lines you have already listened to “72 Seasons” and are slowly forming an opinion. We are doing the same. The premiere in the Village was unique, since in Greece we almost never get a chance to live such experiences. Full Speed or Nothing!