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Keith J. Grant

I think the key problem with recent Metallica is there’s no variety anymore. No dynamics.

The songs themselves are generally solid. I’m happy when they show up in my shuffle. But every single song now hits hard and heavy. I can’t often bring myself to listen to their recent albums in one sitting, from start to finish.

Yes, Metallica defined thrash metal in the 80s, but Ride the Lightning was paired with For Whom the Bell Tolls and Fade to Black. Creeping Death was paired with Call of Ktulu. Even the heaviest and fastest tracks on Master of Puppets had extreme dynamics in the same song. Battery had a freaking Spanish guitar intro — and it wasn’t the only Spanish guitar on the album.

Orion, One, To Live is to Die, The Unforgiven, Nothing Else Matters. Some of Metallica’s best and most revered songs are their slowest and most contemplative. And these hit even harder wedged in between blistering fast or hard and heavy tracks.

There just isn’t enough of that in the mix in their latest albums. There are a few precious tastes of it, like the quiet interlude in Halo on Fire. 72 Seasons finishes with Inamorata, by after 11 fast, hard, heavy tracks, I’ve usually turned off the album before I get to it.

I feel like the band is trying so hard to prove they can still bring the fire that defined thrash metal, they’ve forgotten that Metallica was always bigger than one genre.

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