The Year in Music 2023: Metallica thrashes, Ozzy retires & the debut of Metalchella

Metal headlines in 2023 were dominated by the return of Metallica and the touring retirement of Ozzy Osbourne.

At the end of 2022, Metallica announced the release of 72 Seasons, their first album since 2016’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. To support the album, the “Enter Sandman” outfit planned the M72 World Tour, during which they’d play two shows with completely unique set lists in each city.

72 Seasons arrived in April and included the singles “Lux Æterna,” “Too Far Gone?” and the title track, all of which hit #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart. Each song off the album got its own video and was accompanied by American Sign Language interpretations.

Metallica also promoted the arrival of 72 Seasons with a weeklong residency on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The M72 tour kicked off in Europe shortly thereafter before coming to the U.S. in August. Openers on the trek included the reformed PanteraFive Finger Death PunchMammoth WVHIce Nine KillsArchitects and Volbeat. Along the way, Metallica broke numerous attendance records and found themselves at the center of an adorable viral story, when a dog sneaked out of their house and ended up at an M72 show in Los Angeles.

While Metallica was tearing up the road, Ozzy Osbourne was stuck at home. The Prince of Darkness, who last played a full concert in 2018, continued to deal with a number of health issues, including undergoing numerous surgeries after suffering a fall in 2019. After postponing previously scheduled tour dates multiple times, Ozzy announced in February that he was retiring from the road.

In subsequent interviews, though, Ozzy shared that he hoped to still play one-off shows in the future. That seemed to come to fruition with the announcement of Power Trip, a new festival from the producers of Coachella and a metal-themed sequel to 2016’s stacked Desert Trip.

The initial Power Trip lineup included Ozzy and Metallica, as well as AC/DC playing their first show with vocalist Brian Johnson since 2016, Guns N’ RosesIron Maiden and Tool. However, Ozzy soon dropped off the bill, citing his health, and was replaced by Judas Priest.

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