Some Aren’t Happy About Metallica’s New Song ’If Darkness had a Son,’ Especially Kirk Hammett’s Solo

The surprise release of a new song and a surprise new album announcement by Metallica back in November 2022. Apart from the single “Lux Æterna” and the news of album “72 Seasons” coming out on April 14, 2023, thrash metal legends also revealed that they’ll be out on the road this year with some shows featuring the current incarnation of Pantera as support.

After “Lux Æterna” also came “Screaming Suicide” and the band has also launched their third single, titled “If Darkness Had a Son,” on March 1. You can check out the video for this song in the embedded player below.

Metallica: If Darkness Had a Son (Official Music Video)

But despite the overall positive reactions to the song, some online metal music critics, YouTubers, and influencers aren’t exactly happy with “If Darkness Had a Son.” Among other things, the guitar solo was even referred to as “lazy.”

Now, before you start screaming at the device that you’re reading this from, bear in mind that we’re looking at qualified musicians and great guitar players with a substantial online following. Additionally, it seems that their followers share their feelings about Metallica’s new song.

One of them was Michael Kupris known for his channel Become the Knight who was especially disappointed by Kirk Hammett’s lead parts. In a reaction video, Michael came to the solo and after only hearing a few seconds of it, he simply said:

“Kill me. Please, fucking end me now. Just repeating a lazy boring lifeless double stop with too much wah and then literally shitting notes in a phrase contour that is so fucking boring.”

“This is the sound of giving up but still wanting to be paid. This is the sound of ‘quiet quitting’ at work where you show up and make money but you do absolutely as little work as possible.”

He also added:

“I don’t care if this album is about the first 18 years of life and you’re trying to channel that with this solo — this ain’t fucking it, guys.”

Nonetheless, after bashing Krik for running out of ideas, during his analysis of the entire song, Michael had some constructive criticism to offer:

“If you’re trying to make a mood piece where you get your audience enveloped in a meditative or trance-like state, you gotta focus on timbres, transience, and dynamics, because that’s what sells things like this. This is so modern-metal-compressed that I don’t think it would accentuate that sound or style very well.”

I'm done with Metallica (If Darkness had a Son reaction)

Another one to address the song was also YouTuber Trey Xavier. Although a bit more careful with choosing appropriate words for the occasion, Trey was still pretty disappointed with “If Darkness Had a Son.” He offered:

“Every single chorus sounds exactly identical. There’s no growth throughout the song. There’s no second guitar part during the chorus, there aren’t any harmonies aside from it being doubled an octave down… It feels like procedurally generated.”

Trey also compared the whole thing to the repetitiveness of pop music. However, in his opinion, the repetitiveness isn’t necessarily bad in Metallica’s new song, it’s just that it feels entirely like they copy-pasted these parts without any additions to it. He continued:

“One of the prime complaints that I hear from metalheads about pop music is how repetitive it is. But every pop song that I’ve ever listened to is not even close to as repetitive as this. In pop, repetition is done in such a way that they’re adding things [with every repetition]…

The End of Kirk Hammett?

“In this song, stuff repeats verbatim, and that, to me, is the worst kind of repetition. It’s repetition with no purpose.”

Going back to the song’s intro, Trey admits that it felt good at first, only to be disappointed with the lack of a “drop,” or pretty much anything that would make a difference. He said:

“I think they did a killer job in the beginning – ramping up the tension, getting me excited [for] the song, and then they just kind of blew the drop.”

During the video, he also reflected on how most bands wouldn’t be allowed to get away with such a lazy approach. He added:

“Anyone who’s a musician needs to know that you can’t get away with this kind of shit if you’re not Metallica… You can get away with this unless, no matter what you do, people will listen to what you’re putting out.”

The Gong Reacts to METALLICA - If Darkness Had A Son Reaction

Another guitar YouTuber to share a somewhat similar opinion was Scott of the Shred channel. As he said, Kirk’s solo just isn’t working well with James Hetfield’s rhythm guitar parts and the song lacked focus. He also added:

“Overall, the arrangement is a bit sluggish. They needed to make the intro shorter – they came back to it before the second verse, and that was way too much. [The song] could use a bit more dynamic range in terms of key changes.”

Metallica vs Megadeth War | If Darkness Had A Son

Late last year, Metallica shared some of the inside info about the new album and then-new song “Lux Æterna.” In one of these videos, James reflected on the song’s background, explaining:

“‘Lux Æterna’ is an upbeat, kind of fast and joyous song, I would say — really indicative of New Wave of British [Heavy] Metal stuff, so kind of a harkening-back-to-’80s kind of riff. It’s just fun and makes me move. It was fun making the video, fun recording a song that comes out really easy, that was a real easy song to write and to perform, like I said, very much like the early ’80s for us.”

As for the album, he said:

“’72 Seasons’ came out of a book I was reading about childhood, basically, and sorting out childhood as an adult. And 72 seasons is basically the first 18 years of your life. How do you evolve and grow and mature and develop your own ideas and identity of self after those first 72 seasons?”

Metallica: Lux Æterna (Official Music Video)

“Some things are more difficult than others — you know, some things you can’t unsee and they’re with you for the rest of your life, and other things you’re able to rewind the tape and make a new tape in your life. So that’s the real interesting part for me, is how you’re able to address those situations as an adult and mature.”

“There’s been a lot of darkness in my life and in our career and things that have happened with us, but always having a sense of hope, always having the light that is in that darkness… Without darkness, there is no light, and being able to focus a little more on the light in life instead of all of the… How it used to be and how horrible it is…”

“There’s a lot of good things going on in life — focusing on that instead, and it helps to balance out my life. And there’s no one meaning to it — everyone has some sense of hope or light in their life, and, obviously, music is mine. And the song specifically talks about gathering of people at a concert and [being] able to see the joy and the life and the love that comes out of music and the family and the kinship in that, and just a sense of uplifting.”

Photo: Raph_PH (Metallica – The O2 – Sunday 22nd October 2017 MetallicaO2221017-94 (37897469751))

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.