Metallica XX: What’s Metallica counting down to?

ABC/Randy HolmesMetallica has launched a mysterious countdown clock that's set to hit zero at noon this Thursday, October 10.

The metal legends first shared a link to the countdown Sunday at the website Being that XX is the Roman numeral for 20, fans are speculating that whatever is about to happen will concern the 20th anniversary of Metallica's 1999 orchestra-accompanied live album S&M, which officially hits the two-decade mark on November 23.

Whether or not the countdown is indeed related to S&M's 20th anniversary, Metallica has already been celebrating that milestone pretty hard. In September, they played two similarly orchestra-accompanied shows at San Francisco's new Chase Center, which were recorded for a concert film premiering in theaters worldwide this Wednesday, October 9.

To find out the countdown clock's ultimate purpose, tune into Thursday at noon.

Meanwhile, Metallica announced on September 27 that they're postponing their upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand due to frontman James Hetfield returning to rehab to treat his ongoing addiction issues. The band's next scheduled show is a charity concert on March 28 in San Francisco to benefit their All Within My Hands foundation.

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