Metallica has launched a mysterious countdown clock at Metallicaxx.com that is scheduled to hit zero on Thursday (October 10th) at 12:00 p.m. PT. Although no official information has been made available, initial speculation suggested that the band is preparing to announce some kind of release related to the 20th anniversary of the original “S&M” concerts, which saw the band joining forces with the San Francisco Symphony at the Berkeley Community Theater in 1999.

However, fans looking at the code of the countdown site noted that a portion hidden from public view had some sort of connection to festival promoter Danny Wimmer Presents. Wimmer stages some of North America’s biggest rock festivals, including Sonic TempleLouder Than Life and Aftershock, leading some fans to wonder if Metallica has some kind of live event in the works. The Wimmer portion of the site was pulled down shortly after its discovery.

Metallica launched its own short-lived Orion Music + More festival several years back and drummer Lars Ulrich told us it was the band’s attempt to recreate a European-style happening: [“We played Bonnaroo in Tennessee, and that was like the first time we did something that had that kind of European flavor in America, and we thought that maybe that kind of vibe could actually work in America, and maybe that we could carve out our own little niche and try to see if we could get something off the ground.”] SOUNDCUE (:16 OC: . . . off the ground.)

To mark the 20th anniversary of Metallica’s first performance with the symphony, which resulted in the live S&M album and video, the band re-teamed with the San Francisco Symphony in early September for two shows for the grand opening of Chase Center, the new home of the Golden State Warriors.

A film of last month’s concerts, called S&M², will arrive in theaters worldwide on Wednesday (October 9th).