2023 is going to be epic for Metallica and their fans.
With the promise of a new album and a huge accompanying tour—not to mention the 40th anniversary of Kill ‘Em All—there is no question that it is going to be an unforgettable year.
But with all that is on the horizon, we figured it would do us well to pause for a moment and take a look back on 2022, which was a pretty amazing year for the band in its own right. So before you pop the champagne and usher in the new year, check out the list below as we reflect on seven amazing Metallica moments from the past year.
The Debut of “Lux Æterna” and the Announcement of 72 Seasons
Forget about every other news item of 2022. On Monday, Nov. 28, Metallica shocked the world with the news of their next studio album, 72 Seasons, a massive, two-year worldwide tour and their brand-new song, “Lux Æterna.” As if that wasn’t cool enough, a couple of weeks later, Metallica released a “behind the scenes” look at the making of the “Lux Æterna” music video and then on Dec. 16, they debuted the song live for the first time at their Helping Hands benefit show in Los Angeles. Metallica have been saying “Full speed or nothing” for 40 years and they continue to live up to that mantra every single day.
James Hetfield Showcases Heavy Metal Vulnerability
In the middle of their show at Estádio do Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on May 12, James Hetfield admitted to the crowd of 60,000 fans, “I’ve gotta tell you I wasn’t feeling very good before I came out here. (I was) feeling a little bit insecure, like I’m an old guy, can’t play anymore, all this bullshit that I tell myself in my head.” He told the crowd that he brought this up to his bandmates and they all gave him a hug, showing their confidence in him. After Hetfield wrapped up the moment, his brothers came to him for another group hug. For many of Metallica’s remaining shows in 2022, Hetfield continued to embody similar vulnerability, most of the time right before the bridge of “Fade to Black,” as captured in the video below, taken during their headlining performance at Boston Calling.
“Bleeding Me” Found Its Way Onto the Stage For the First Time in 13 Years
On June 15, Metallica headlined the heavy metal festival known as COPENHELL for the first time in their career. Commemorating the event, they pulled out a few surprises during their show, including moving “Enter Sandman” from the finale to the third song in the setlist, playing “Dirty Window” for just the 34th time ever—and the first time in Denmark—and most shockingly, adding “Bleeding Me” to their setlist. Yes, Metallica played “Bleeding Me” at both of their 30th and 40th anniversary celebrations, but this was the first time in 13 years that the Load track was included on a tour setlist. Other highlights of the night included “Trapped Under Ice” and the encore opener, “Damage, Inc.”
Stranger Things…Enough Said
When “Master of Puppets” was featured in the epic finale of the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, most longtime ‘Tallica fans didn’t think much of it. But the placement of the song in Stranger Things opened the band up to an entirely new world of metalheads. In July, the song had 41.9 million on-demand streams in the U.S. alone and it sat on top of the Hot Hard Rock Songs chart for six weeks straight. Metallica capitalized on the viral sensation by releasing a lyric video for the song, too. Even more awesome than that, though, is the fact that Metallica hung out with actor Joseph Quinn—the guitar-slinging, “Master of Puppets”-loving Eddie Munson in Stranger Things—at Lollapalooza in Chicago, as you can see in the video below.
Metallica Celebrate the Legacy of the Zazula Family With Epic Show
Metallica might be the biggest band in the world, but they’ll never forget where they came from. If you don’t believe us, just look at what they put together at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla., on Nov. 6. Celebrating Jonny and Marsha Zazula—the band’s first managers and the co-founders of Megaforce Records, the label that released Kill ‘Em All and Ride the Lightning—Metallica performed an unforgettable tribute, playing nothing but songs from their first two records as well as a couple of cover songs that they played in their early days. As if that wasn’t cool enough, the show featured several videos honoring the Zazulas and Metallica even brought out Jonny and Marsha’s daughters to the stage to pay the ultimate respect to the Zazula legacy.
Blackened American Whiskey Releases Two New Blends and Cigars
Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey celebrated a lot of amazing things this year, namely the release of their first-ever rye whiskey, the aptly-titled Rye the Lightning, and the second blend in their Masters of Whiskey Series (featured in the video below). As if that wasn’t enough, James Hetfield partnered with Blackened’s Master Distiller Rob Dietrich and Drew Estate for the release of the band’s official M81 cigars.
Metallica and Pro-Ject Release Badass Turntable
While you’re sipping a glass of Blackened and puffing on an M81, what better way to listen to Metallica than on the most badass turntable around? Never slowing down, Metallica released a killer turntable with Pro-Ject this year and it looks as good as it sounds. The band even auctioned off a prototype of the table in December to benefit their All Within My Hands foundation; not only did the winner get the turntable, but they also received a copy of every single Metallica record on vinyl.
Metallica: A Photo Timeline of Their Remarkable Career
A photo timeline of Metallica’s career.
11 Amazing Metallica Concert Posters From 2022
Even before Metallica announced plans for their 12th studio album, 72 Seasons, 2022 was shaping up to be one of the most memorable years in the band’s career.As Metallica have done for decades, each live experience in ’22 wasn’t just about the music, but also about the unforgettable show posters tied to each concert. While we prepare ourselves for Metallica’s huge M72 tour in 2023 and 2024, let’s take a moment to look back at some of our favorite Metallica concert posters from 2022.