Screaming Suicide

Album: 72 Seasons (2023)
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Songfacts®:

  • Here, Metallica frontman James Hetfield addresses suicide. In the first verse he discusses how negative thoughts result in low self-esteem.

    Then my voice appears
    Teaching you of fears
    Are you good enough?


    The interior voice adds more details, blackening his mind. Hetfield doesn't recognize they're all lies and succumbs to a harrowing depression where he's ready to give up.

    In the second verse, the internal voice suggests a way of escaping the all-consuming darkness.

    Then a voice appears
    Whisper in your ears
    "You are good enough"
    Throwing down a rope
    A lifeline of hope


    Thinking about committing suicide gives Hetfield hope. It is a temptation, but what this devil on the shoulder doesn't tell him is he'll die in sadness and leave his loved ones traumatized.
  • During, the chorus, Hetfield talks about suicide being a taboo word and how the topic is frowned upon.

    Don't ever speak my name
    Remember you're to blame
    Keep me inside
    Keep me inside
    My name is suicide


    Hetfield ends the final chorus with "screaming suicide" rather than "my name is suicide." Then on the outro, his suicidal thoughts begin to disappear after he opens up to somebody.
  • Hetfield and his bandmates Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo wrote the reflective and heartfelt song to reference the ubiquity of suicidal thoughts. "The intention is to communicate about the darkness we feel inside," Hetfield shared. "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. To face it is to speak the unspoken."

    "If it's a human experience, we should be able to talk about it," he added. "You are not alone."
  • Metallica previously dealt with the topic of suicidal thoughts on 1984's "Fade To Black." That song explores being in the depths of despair and wishing to be dead.

    Hetfield also sung from the perspective of thoughts on "Sad But True." The 1991 track is a monologue where his mind justifies his darker side taking control.
  • Metallica released "Screaming Suicide" as the second single from 72 Seasons. Greg Fidelman produced the album with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Fidelman also co-produced their collaborative album with Lou Reed, 2011's Lulu and 2016's Hardwired... to Self-Destruct.
  • Tim Saccenti directed the video after impressing the band with his work on their previous clip for "Lux Aeterna."

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