We’ll keep this one short and sweet. Earlier this week, Metallica played a new song “The Lords of Summer,” for the first time in Colombia. The song, which will presumably be on their next album, was released in demo form by the band later that week. We’ve had some time to digest it. Thoughts?
Bram: I think it’s pretty good. It’d be hard for Metallica to release anything truly groundbreaking at this point in time – try too hard to recapture the “first four albums” lightning in a bottle, and they’d be accused to trying too hard. Do anything on the more commercial side, they’d be accused of Load/Reload status. Do something experimental, and well, we know how that turned out. I think the band’s found themselves in a Death Magnetic state of mind. That was a nice compromise between the Justice era and what the band’s capable of 25 years after the fact. It’s good, relatively heavy, and long. They’re not selling out, but it’s not really breaking any new ground. If I had to rate it, I’d give it a 6.5/10. I’m glad they’re still making music, and I’m glad it’s not radio-ready ’90s stuff, but I want to be totally wowed by it. I hope they get a better producer this time.
Zach: I dig the new song a lot. Good riffs, and definitely has a …And Justice For All vibe to it. The only reason why I don’t love it is because it’s not exactly a memorable song. Kind of forgettable after a while. I’d be a bit more concerned, though, if this was the final product. However, Metallica are known to test out new material onstage that either gets totally rearranged or altered before they record, or gets scratched completely from the drawing board. They did that in 2006 during numerous festival appearances overseas before hitting the studio for Death Magnetic. The fact that they released a demo version of this song so fast makes me even more sure that this is hardly the final version of the song that’ll make it onto the album (and more so a little teaser to hold fans over). And for that purpose, “The Lord Of Summer” is perfectly fine.
Kodi: It’s passable. It’s better than Lulu, though that’s not a difficult feat. Lars’ drumming really does just get more mundane as he gets older, but the song is perfectly fine – that said, it sounds an awful lot like a leftover from Death Magnetic. But with that said, there was a song that the band started demoing leading into Death Magnetic – what the hell was its name? I remember it being a mouthful, oh yeah, “Death is Not the End” – that sounded like a slightly more coherent St. Anger, where they were stretching out but not redrawing the boundaries yet. I ultimately think we won’t know what the new record sounds like until they sit down and bang it out, and while Metallica has a way of making a glorious mess these days, it’s never one that I’d want to pass up on hearing.