Yesterday (Nov. 28), Metallica surprised everyone by announcing the new album 72 Seasons and world tour, as well as debuting the new single "Lux Aeterna." Now that fans have had time to digest the track, some have begun to complain about the kick drum sound as Lars Ulrich is once again the focus of criticism.
It's simply part of the territory when you're one of the biggest bands in the world and naturally there will be dissenting opinions when millions of people are weighing in. But Ulrich has faced by far the most scrutiny over the years, both for his playing style and his recorded drum sounds on studio albums.
Most infamously is the snare drum sound on Metallica's 2003 record St. Anger, but even the production on his drums on 1988's prog/tech-addled thrash masterpiece ...And Justice For All have been called into question. Earlier this year, mixer Steve Thompson, who worked with the band on the latter album, said the drums sounded "like ass."
Then there was the whole issue with the overall production of 2008's Death Magnetic, which found fans griping about audio "clipping."
It's also worth noting that for as much criticism Metallica have faced over album production, they've also been lauded for the timeless sounds of 1986's genre-defining Master of Puppets and 1991's self-titled effort, also known as The Black Album.
Given this history, why would new Metallica music in 2022 be any different?
"Lux Aeterna," (learn more about the title's meaning here) was met with overwhelmingly favorable reactions as fans and rockers both offered their thoughts on the first new Metallica song since 2016. Still, some were not fans of how Ulrich's kick drums sound.
Folk punk artist Frank Turner called this out on Twitter and posted, "New Metallica song is pretty damn good. What's up with the kick drum sound tho [sic]? High end ring to it, like 16k [frequency] or something," musing, "They got the snare sounding good now tho [sic]."
Some responded to Turner's tweet and agreed, while elsewhere fans called the kick drum sound "samply," "horrible, "glassy," "clicky" and, on par with Thompson's Justice comments, like "ass." Another simply elected to post a vomiting emoji in regard to the bass drum production while someone else pondered how the band has so much money "yet the production is so-so."
See what else fans had to say directly below.
Look for 72 Seasons, the first Metallica album since 2016's Hardwired... To Self-Destruct, to arrive on April 14 and pre-order the album here.