Metallica, Lux Aeterna: the lyrics & their meaning

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On November 28, 2022, Metallica released a new song, Lux Æterna (or “Lux Aeterna,” as fans are typing in the Western alphabet). It’s their first song since 2016, and it anticipates their new album, 72 Seasons, set for release on April 14, 2023. Fans have wondered about the song’s meaning, starting from its title, since the verses are pretty cryptic. There have been some interpretation attempts, but they have not been beneficial. In this article, we will analyze the lyrics carefully and provide the most plausible explanation of the meaning. You’ll also find the complete lyrics at the end.

You can find the official video of Lux Æterna below.

Metallica: Lux Æterna (Official Music Video)

Lux Aeterna: the lyrics & their meaning

In Latin language, Lux Aeterna means “eternal light.” As Latin is the language of religious chants, and “Lux Æterna” is mentioned in some Catholic chants, some magazines have guessed that the song could be honoring the dead. 2022 is the year when Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula died, and he’s a significant personality for Metallica as he helped to publish their first albums, so someone made the connection between this death and the song’s title and assumed the song was dedicated to him. But if we analyze the lyrics more carefully, they are trying to tell a different story. Let’s uncover it together.

Anticipation
In domination
A sea of hearts beat as one, unified
Magnification
All generations
Approaching thunder awaiting the light

These lines describe a population that gathers together, many hearts that beat as one, trying to achieve a common result. These specific lines could represent the grief for a death that shocked everybody, but this explanation wouldn’t match the following verses. Let’s continue.

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

This time the unified community is described as an “alliance,” and the goal seems to be salvation “to cast out the demons that strangle your life.” This opens the way for a much more existential meaning of the lyrics. The new generations are facing challenging times and are called to unify their energies with a strong commitment, to win against the demons that are changing our world. The last verse supports this interpretation:

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

Lux Aeterna lyrics now mention the nation and the need to lightning. We understand now that we live in a world of darkness, and we need to be compact, and act as a unified mass, to bring light into our existence. If we all move together, aware that we all want the same thing, we can shed an eternal light in our future and defeat the void through our energy and commitment.

Full speed or nothing
Full speed or nothing

Lux Æterna
Lux Æterna, yeah!
Lux Æterna

The eternal light Metallica refers to doesn’t belong to the afterlife: it represents the urge to defeat the darkness in the world we are living in now. To do so, we need to act as a unified “sea of hearts,” aware that the world belongs to us and we need to fight together for it. With all our forces together, playing for the common goal, the light we’ll bring onto this world will be eternal. Therefore, the lyrics in Lux Aeterna are trying to send a positive message, full of meaning: we can still fight together to save our future from the demons that threaten it. We must go full speed. Or nothing.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete lyrics

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, yeah!

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, yeah!
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, yeah!

Light it