Here are James Hetfield's lyrics for Lux Æterna, Metallica's surprise new single

Metallica, 2022
(Image credit: Tim Saccenti)

Metallica might be the biggest, most-closely-scrutinised metal band in the world, but they're still capable of springing a surprise on the watching world, as they proved this afternoon with the no-warnings-given release of a new single, Lux Æterna, the first taste of their forthcoming 12th album, 72 Seasons

We've already offered a first analysis of the indecently exciting single, the first new music from the San Francisco quartet since the release of 2016's Hardwired… To Self Destruct.

But as we know you're going to be listening to it over and tonight, as we are, we thought we might present the lyrics for the new song, so you can focus on pulling off your finest James Hetfield-circa-Kill 'Em All vocal impression. For with the line "Full speed or nothing" echoing a lyric from Motorbreath, this is the sound of Metallica coming back full circle, 41 years on from their formation.

And we're here for it.

Read the lyrics below

Lux Æterna

"Anticipation
In domination
A sea of hearts beat as one, unified
Magnification
All generations
Approaching thunder awaiting the light
Full speed or nothing
Full speed or nothing

Lux Æterna
Lux Æterna

Exhilaration
Frenzied sensation
Kindred alliance connected inside
Commiseration
Sonic salvation
Cast out the demons that strangle your life

Full speed or nothing
Full speed or nothing

Lux Æterna
Lux Æterna

Lux Æterna

Emancipation
Kill isolation
Never alone for the feelings alike
Amplification
Lightning the nation
Never alive more
Than right here tonight

Full speed or nothing
Full speed or nothing

Lux Æterna
Lux Æterna

Light it"

Produced by Greg Fidelman with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, and clocking in at over 77 minutes, 72 Seasons will be released on April 14, 2023.

On the concept behind the album title, James Hetfield says: “72 seasons. The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves. The concept that we were told ‘who we are’ by our parents. A possible pigeonholing around what kind of personality we are.

“I think the most interesting part of this is the continued study of those core beliefs and how it affects our perception of the world today. Much of our adult experience is reenactment or reaction to these childhood experiences. Prisoners of childhood or breaking free of those bondages we carry.”

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.