"If it's a human experience, we should be able to talk about it," singer James Hetfield said. "You are not alone."
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Metallica are raising their voices — and the volume on their speakers — in the fight against suicide. 

On Thursday, the heavy-metal legends released their rollicking new single, "Screaming Suicide," from their forthcoming album, 72 Seasons. Lead singer James Hetfield explained in a statement that the track aims to address the "taboo word of suicide" and how it affects everyone. 

"The intention is to communicate about the darkness we feel inside," Hetfield wrote. "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."

The frontman continued, "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."

The track's lyrics expand on Hetfield's sentiment, telling the story of someone who is born "craving dopamine" only to be slowly seduced by their darkest fears and insecurities into feeling like they are "living a mistake" and are "more dead than alive." 

"Don't ever speak my name / Remember you're to blame," Hetfield snarls. "Keep me inside / My name is suicide."

James Hetfield of Metallica performs onstage as Metallica Presents: The Helping Hands Concert (Paramount+) at Microsoft Theater on December 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Metallica singer James Hetfield
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

Rather than dwelling in the darkness, Hetfield — alongside bandmates Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo, and Kirk Hammett — shines a beacon of hope in the song's following verses, telling listeners, "You are good enough." 

"And now you speak my name / You've given back the blame," Hetfield sings. "Now that I'm exposed inside / Shined a light on cyanide / I'm no longer needed here / Now you've faced your biggest fear."

Metallica have never shied away from tackling difficult subject matter in their 42-year career. The lyrics to their 1984 track "Fade to Black" also detail the isolating experience of struggling with thoughts of suicide with lines like, "Life, it seems, will fade away / Drifting further, every day." Hetfield gave a poignant speech about suicide prevention before playing that song during the band's concert in Pittsburgh last August. 

"This here song ["Fade to Black"], it's about something we're not supposed to talk about. We're not supposed to talk about suicide, right? 'Cause it's scary. It's really scary," he said. "Everyone here's been touched by it one way or another. We all struggle. We all know what darkness is. And if you are feeling like you need to take your own life, please do not. Please wait. Please talk to somebody. Somebody loves you always. There is someone who will listen. And I love you! No matter what. No matter what you've done, you're not alone."

Metallica's new album, 72 Seasons, drops April 14. Watch the video for "Screaming Suicide" above. 

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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