Track Review: Metallica ‘Lords of the Summer’

In anticipation of their Glastonbury headline, metal titans (that’s such a music-journalist phrase) Metallica have released another demo version of a song they released last year as a demo (‘garage’) version, which was previously leaked from their live shows.

Anyway, it’s probably the best song they’ve put out in a while. But, having this track in isolation and relatively low-key production (and no fucking stupid overdone mastering) allows us to listen and analyse to elements of the band quite closely. Things to take away from this song:

  • James Hetfield can still write a good riff, but he reverts back to hard rock too easily
  • The chorus is good, though? And some great riffing, generally. It’s a fun number. Hope remains. And their set at Glastonbury may be the first thing of Glastonbury I’ll ever watch.
  • The genius’ of song structure (see the entire of … And Justice For All) reached for, but not grasped.
  • They don’t know how to edit themselves (what’s the silly bit at 4.48 about? Just cut it out and go into the solo!). There’s far too much guff on it. It’s a 4-5, 6 minute song. Tops.
  • Kirk Hammet has forgot how to structure solos, but still makes nice sounds here and there.
  • These Lars Ulrich is a hard rock drummer trying to play heavy metal.
  • They’re trying to move back to thrash, then, but much of their heart seems to be in hard rock. Which is fine, if you want hard rock, but most Metallica fans want thrash, really.

Also, the chorus does make me want to listen to Lord of the Dance:

I DANCED ON THE FRIDAY WHEN THE SKY TURNED BLACK

IT’S HARD TO DANCE WITH THE DEVIL ON YOUR BACK

Write heavier lyrics than that, Hetfield!

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