Metallica share scorching, wah-laden new single, Screaming Suicide

(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for P+ and MTV)

Metallica have shared Screaming Suicide – the second single from their upcoming studio album, 72 Seasons, which is due April 14.

Late last year, the heavy metal heroes surprise-announced their 12th studio outing with the release of its thrashing first single, Lux Æterna, which was championed by some tasty dual guitar action from James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett.

And, to continue this fine six-string form, the two electric guitar heavyweights deliver the goods once again, locking fretboards for some swampy double-stop-heavy riffs and pounding powerchord punctuation marks.

It’s also an absolute wah pedal feast, with Hammett harnessing the power of his favorite pedal on one more than one occasion to conjure up interlude licks and an especially melodic, pentatonic-heavy guitar solo.

According to Hetfield, the track itself “addresses the taboo word of suicide”, and highlights the importance of speaking out about “the darkness we feel inside” to the backdrop of relentless riffs.

Screaming Suicide addresses the taboo word of suicide,” he commented. “The intention is to communicate about the darkness we feel inside. It's ridiculous to think we should deny that we have these thoughts. 

“At one point or another I believe most people have thought about it,” he added. “To face it is to speak the unspoken. If it's a human experience, we should be able to talk about it. You are not alone.”

Stylistically speaking, Screaming Suicide sounds like a natural extension of Lux Æterna, with the overall sonic direction of 72 Season becoming all the more clear.

Likewise, from a narrative perspective, the album concerns itself with the idea that our lives are fixed by the age of 18 – a theme that is reflected in the album artwork.

72 seasons. The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves,” wrote Hetfield. “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,” he went on. “Much of our adult experience is reenactment or reaction to these childhood experiences. Prisoners of childhood or breaking free of those bondages we carry.”

Metallica 2023 new album 72 Seasons

(Image credit: Tim Saccenti)

As for that album artwork we mentioned, it features the charred remains of an electric guitar – a model that, after some extensive sleuthing, we deemed to be a late-’80s Fernandes LE-1 Strat copy, which would add a whole new layer of meaning to 72 Seasons’ artwork.

In other guitar-related Metallica news, the band recently unveiled a one-of-a-kind ‘Flying M guitar’ inspired by Hetfield’s Gibson Flying V signature guitar, which will be raffled off for charity.

72 Seasons is available to preorder now from Metallica’s official website.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.