“It’s fairly representative of where our creative headspace is at right now,” says Lars Ulrich.
The metal legends debuted the new song — the epic, eight-minute “The Lords of Summer” — at their concert in Bogotá, Colombia Sunday night. It’s the band’s first original music since 2012’s Beyond Magnetic EP, and those tracks were outtakes from the band’s 2008 LP Death Magnetic. Metallica are on the first leg of a tour they’ve dubbed “Metallica by Request,” which takes them to South America, Europe and Canada and finds fans voting on all but one of the songs on the set list from their 140-or-so-track oeuvre. (“The Lords of Summer” being the sole holdout.)
The song’s chorus includes the line, “The Lords of Summer have returned,” but Metallica may as well be talking about themselves, considering the song falls in line with the sort of lengthy thrashers that have served as the group’s meat and potatoes since the mid-Eighties. It opens with a plodding riff that gives way to chunky, faster thrashing, and before long, frontman James Hetfield is singing about fire and shaking grounds and all the sorts of apocalyptic things Metallica are known for.