72 Seasons is the upcoming eleventh studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica. It is set for release on April 14, 2023, by their own label Blackened Recordings. 72 Seasons was produced by Greg Fidelman, who produced the band's previous studio album, Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (2016), and will be the band's second studio album to be released through Blackened.
In an interview with Australian magazine The Music's official podcast in March 2019, bassist Robert Trujillo said that Metallica had begun jamming on new material for its next studio album. "I'm excited about the next record because I believe it will also be a culmination of the two records and another journey. There's no shortage of original ideas, that's the beauty of being in this band." He estimated that the album would be released "a lot sooner than the previous two did... this time around I think we'll be able to jump on it a lot quicker and jump in the studio and start working. We've all vowed to get this one going sooner than later."
In an interview with Australian magazine Mixdown the following month, guitarist Kirk Hammett said that the band had tentative plans to enter the studio after the conclusion of its WorldWired Tour in support of Hardwired... to Self-Destruct. He stated, "We're in our third year since Hardwired. Maybe we can get a bit more focus and go into the studio a bit sooner." Having not contributed any writing to Hardwired... to Self-Destruct after accidentally losing his phone containing riff ideas at Copenhagen Airport in 2014, Hammett said regarding his ideas for the new album, "I have a ton of material. I've over-compensated, so I'm ready to go anytime."
In April 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, drummer Lars Ulrich said in an interview with Marc Benioff that Metallica could work on its next studio album while in quarantine. Trujillo told The Vinyl Guide in June that the band was "excited about cultivating new ideas" for its new album. "We communicate every week, which is really great, so we have our connection intact what we've started doing is basically just really concentrating on our home studios and being creative from our homes and navigating through ideas and building on new ideas. And that's where we're at right now". He also said that the band was working towards eventually entering a studio to record the album. In November, Ulrich said in an interview with Phoebe Bridgers for Rolling Stone that the band was "three, four weeks into some pretty serious writing" and claimed the following month that the new album would be the band's best yet, saying "It's the heaviest thing, the coolest but all kidding aside, if it wasn't because we thought that the best record was still ahead of us, then why keep doing it?" He followed up in January 2021 by saying that progress on the album had been "glacial", while vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield said in May that "It’s either touring or writing, so COVID chose for us but, yeah, a bunch of songs. We wrote quite a few songs".
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