The idea of wizened old warhorse Lou Reed teaming up with the king rats of apocalyptic metal makes perfect sense. These veterans have a lot more in common than a predilection for wearing shades and leather: there is also their basic misanthropy, their tiresome recalcitrance, and the sense of dread at the heart of their respective music.
Lulu is an adaptation of the tale of a femme fatale written by the German expressionist playwright Frank Wedekind and over its 89-minute length it provides ample opportunity for Reed to revisit his old fascinations with submission, death, weird sex, and toxic relationships. For Metallica it’s chance to, well, play a load of sludgy riffs, hit things very hard and strive for a profundity that has long deserted them.
On The View, essentially Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, Reed’s poisonous lyrics and James Hetfield’s gnarled angel of doom act really are hilarious and when laughing Lou seethes about his “lexicon of hate” on Frustration you’ll be doubling up in mirth. The deeply moving Junior Dad and Iced Honey almost make the whole endeavour worthwhile but without realising it, Metallica and Reed may have made the comedy album of the year.