Written by Anthony Toto and Lucas Jones
The biggest metal band of all-time drops two new tracks, you bet your sweet ass we’re giving them their own column. (Hence why this is our “Singles (After) Party”).
Pop-Break unleashed it’s resident metal head Anthony Toto and Lucas Jones from our affiliated podcast News Over Brews on the new ‘Tallica tracks. Let’s see if they hold up as new classics or tracks we need to binge and purge from our souls.
Anthony Toto: Anytime James Hetfield plugs into an amplifier, there is an opportunity for amazing riffs to pour away from the fretboard. In my ears, few sounds in music are equally as powerful or enthralling as Metallica riffs played at excessive speeds! Let’s not forget, “The Lords of Summer” came out of the early jam sessions for the next album. The track sounds like the culmination of their first six albums with a mix of elements from Kill ‘Em All all the way through Load. If this is an early indication of what’s ahead, sign me up!
Lucas Jones: “Lords of Summer” is a solid track, and if it is an indication of where the Metallica machine is heading, it’s a good sign for Metallica fans everywhere. The song intro is bland, but will definitely serve as a crowd chant when played live. Diving in deeper, the riffs are classic Metallica; fast, heavy, and precise. There is a huge …And Justice for All vibe, which transitions into a good old fashioned thrash fest for the bulk of the song. While it carries older vibes, “Lords of Summer” is a new sound for Metallica. It’s heavy at times, groovy at others, but most importantly all the parts fit together, which was a complaint from their 2009 album Death Magnetic. Overall, I’m digging this new Metallica, and I’m hoping that this is a good indication of what the new album will sound like.
Lucas Jones: Now, “Ronnie Rising Medley”, is a different monster all together. Covering Dio is no easy task, but Metallica has once again nailed it. The medley is comprised of four Dio tracks, “Light in the Black”, “Tarot Woman”, “Stargazer”, and “Kill the King.” James Hetfield’s voice has recovered since his accident while recording Garage Inc., and that is on display here. He takes Dio’s booming vocal style, and brings it down into the throaty, heavy style that Hetfield is known for. Metallica infuses a new energy into the songs, speeding them up and giving them a heavier edge. The medley is about nine and a half minutes long, of which every single second will be spent head banging. This is a track which I sincerely hope will make it into their live shows. Yes, these are covers. But Metallica brings energy, and a heavy edge that can’t be replicated by any other band, and the end result is a heavy metal tribute, rather than cover, of Ronnie James Dio.
Anthony Toto: Talk about the greatest combination metal excellence, few bands deliver covers with the “hammer of justice” like Metallica. If anyone looks into Metallica’s history, Rainbow played an integral role in Lars Ulrich’s foray into metal.
Just like the “Mercyful Fate Medley,” Metallica never peaks during this powerhouse performance. The band’s passion for Rainbow raises the bar with each track. When James shouts “Kill The King,” the galloping riffs bring out the same goosebumps I felt when I first heard “Seek and Destroy” in 1999. I’d rank “Kill The King” alone as one of the band’s best recordings.
Seriously, the band sounds as energized as ever. Kirk Hammett’s guitar playing is phenomenal as his arpeggios and duel harmonies showcase some of his best guitar work in years. The production itself captures the nuances of Metallica’s identity so I’m hoping the next album sounds just as good as this track!