On Monday morning (Nov. 28), Metallica surprised the world by announcing their new album, 72 Seasons, alongside the release of the first single, "Lux Aeterna," It's an old school ripper, and here are five things we love about the new track.

The record, the band's first since 2016's Hardwired... To Self-Destruct, is set for a 2023 release on April 14, meaning Metallica will indeed make good on their long-held promise not to make fans wait eight years for a new album, as was the case with the previous effort. A seven-year gap is cutting it a bit close, but with a song this good, expressing any sort of complaint about the wait time has instantly been rendered futile.

The 12-track album will span a total of 77 minutes, giving each song an average length of over six-and-a-half-minutes. "Lux Aeterna," however, bests that mean time by three minutes, bringing back the classic thrash sound fans worldwide have been aching for. Still, there's a lot we don't know about the forthcoming album, and it's certain there will be some lengthy compositions here, but we'll analyze those as they come.

For now, let's dive into "Lux Aeterna!"

5 Things We Love About Metallica's New Song "Lux Aeterna"

1. It’s short and thrashy!

Listen, we love Longtallica and all those epics just as much as anyone, but when it comes to the first dose of new material in six years, it’s quick-strike thrash like this that we all want most. We, of course, being any Metallica fan who simply wants some old school type song.

“Lux Aeterna” would sound right at home on the band’s genre-defining debut album, Kill ‘Em All, and not just because of its raw thrash vibe. Lyrically, it’s a thematic sibling to “Whiplash” and “Motorbreath,” focused on community building and bonding.

2. The lyrics “lightning the nation” is a fun nod to Diamond Head

It’s not enough that this 72 Seasons single sort of sounds like a Diamond Head song, but the band even references the NWOBHM group’s first record, Lightning to the Nations with the lyric “Lightning the nation.”

Admittedly, we don’t really know what that’s supposed to mean, but it sounds cool as hell and totally metal, so nothing else matters, does it?

Happy Face Records
Happy Face Records

3. Hetfield’s voice is seriously gritty

We know you probably think this is overstating the obvious since Papa Het’s voice has always possessed a gritty charm. It’s his calling card, no doubt, but the human voice naturally changes with age. For example, Alice Cooper uses a lot of grit as well and it’s a style that seems to get better through the years and such is the case here with Hetfield.

And, damn, how about the way he holds out that high note on the chorus? It’s up there, sung with a little bit of distortion that has Metallica sounding like they’re kids again, primed for 40 years of global dominance.

James Hetfield
Stephen J. Cohen, Getty Images

4. Lars remains the king of snare drum fills

There is a fine art to simplicity and Lars Ulrich understands this fully. Yeah, he’s the guy constantly pushing Metallica to explore new songwriting avenues, playing around with labyrinthine song structures and whatnot, but he always knows when to rein it in.

When it comes to the drums, “Lux Aeterna” is largely defined by two things — double kick drum accelerations and those unmistakable snare fills. Those fills scream pure rock ‘n’ roll and so does a lot of this song, calling back to the era where the lines between rock and metal were blurred.

Jeff Yeager/Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images
Jeff Yeager/Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images

5. The title translates from Latin to “Eternal Light,” meaning ‘Tallica aren’t going anywhere!

In 2017, Metallica revealed that they’d be scaling back their touring schedule, aiming to max out at around 50 shows a year due to the physical demands of the music, particularly on Hetfield. Naturally, fans began to wonder how much Metallica had left in the tank and if retirement would soon be on the table.

“Lux Aeterna” seems to affirm the answer to those questions, indicating that this band doesn’t intend to go away any time soon. And let’s imagine they did finally hang it up — the music lives on forever… or, eternally!

And that's our assessment of this latest Metallica track! See what fans are saying here and view all of the band's 2023 and 2024 world tour dates at this location.

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