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Lords of not very much at all - 15%

The Reluctant Asshole, June 25th, 2014

Alright… so there’s something new from the Metallica camp. Yup, grumbles and sighs abound – the ageing bastards are still trying to come up with something decent since the release of …And Justice For All. They’ve had their moments here and there since then, and I’m not one of those people who absolutely abhor their self-titled album – I just find it really quite boring. And boring is pretty much the word to describe this single release, Lords of Summer.

What’s on offer here is a single track that’s over eight minutes long – and boy is it a long eight minutes. Gone are the days of Metallica keeping lengthy songs interesting with constantly changing riffs and some light-heavy shades offering some slight variation. This is about as one-dimensional as it gets. Trying to return to their thrash roots for a while now, Metallica has miserably failed to even compete with the weaker lot of the recent old school thrash revival bands. There are probably a thousand bedroom thrash bands writing better songs than this slab of plodding sick.

From what I understand, a live version was made public a few months ago, and this is now the band’s 'studio' representation of the song... it's supposed to be more of a demo, but these guys are hardly recording on a 4-track Fostex. Metallica has supposedly been trying to produce their recordings in a rawer, stripped-down fashion recently and all those years of ruining their hearing playing live have paid off – they can no longer hear the difference between ‘raw’ and shit. The production is completely flat and sounds as if it hasn’t even been mastered; it’s completely sterile. At least Lars’ drums sound okay for a change and Hetfield’s vocals aren’t quite as pathetic as you’d expect at this point, though providing a chuckle here and there, and there’s one decent riff that pops up later in the song… but that’s it: those are the only selling points of this release.

What’s the point of this single, then? Today, having access to resources like YouTube, etc. where you can hear the live versions of songs like these, this single is about as pointless and depressing as a Lars Ulrich drum solo – it simply serves as an indication of a band having regressed to the point of barely being able to play with any intent or creativity (or in Kirk Hammet’s case, simply being able to play). It may not be as bad as Lulu, an album upon which I take a figurative shit, but avoid this piece of crap like an Aids-infected junkie’s heroin needle. ‘Lords of Summer’, by its utter mediocrity, is one of the most offensive things I’ve heard this year.