Barely out of their most recent world tour, which lasted for over a year, legendary metal band Metallica just dropped a surprise single and music video, along with the announcement of a new album and an ambitious tour for 2023.
“Lux Æterna” is the first single off 72 Seasons, the band’s upcoming 11th studio album. Set to release in early 2023, it is their second release through their own Blackened Records — following 2016’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. It is also produced by the same team as their previous release, including founding members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich as well as Greg Fidelman, who also worked with the band on 2020’s S&M2.
Despite not being officially categorized as a concept album, 72 Seasons does follow a theme that inspired its title. “72 seasons. The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves,” explains frontman James Hetfield on the band’s website. “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.”
Our first peek at the album is the high-energy first single “Lux Æterna,” named after a Latin expression that means “eternal light,” a song that sounds a bit like a callback to Metallica’s earlier work while sounding new at the same time — in the best possible way. Particularly, people have been reminded of the band’s debut album, 1983’s Kill ‘Em All. Considering the recent revival of classic songs like “Master of Puppets,” which was featured on the latest season of Stranger Things, the concept and song fit perfectly with the moment.
72 Seasons is set to release worldwide on April 14, 2023. Clocking in at 77 minutes, the album features 12 new tracks:
- “72 Seasons”
- “Shadows Follow”
- “Screaming Suicide”
- “Sleepwalk My Life Away”
- “You Must Burn!”
- “Lux Æterna”
- “Crown of Barbed Wire”
- “Chasing Light”
- “If Darkness Had a Son”
- “Too Far Gone?”
- “Room of Mirrors”
To support the album, Metallica is going on tour again from April 2023 all the way to 2024. And what is more unique about this upcoming world tour is the fact that each show will be a two-part event: two nights (either in a row or close to that), two entirely different sets, and four different opening acts (two per night).
The concert experience had been teased earlier in November, with the announcement of Metallica as a headliner for Download Festival’s 20th Anniversary edition, but not as part of a larger project for the band.
So far, Metallica is taking the “M72 World Tour” to selected cities in 11 countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Poland, and Spain.