The Meaning of Metallica
Ride the Lyrics
by William Irwin
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Pub Date 19 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2022
Join Professor Irwin as he traces the lyrical development of the “thinking man’s” metal band and uses the themes in Metallica’s work to illuminate topics such as truth, identify, questions of life and death, the mind-body problem, justice, and more . . .
More than 40 years since their formation, and 125 million albums later, Metallica is as relevant as ever. Much has been written about the band, but The Meaning of Metallica is the first book to focus exclusively on their lyrics.
Their mighty guitar riffs and pounding drums are legendary, but Metallica’s words match the intensity of their tunes. Lead singer James Hetfield writes rock poetry dealing with death, war, addiction, alienation, corruption, freedom, religion, and other weighty topics. Painting a rainbow of emotions with a deft palette, subtle but not obscure, Hetfield’s lyrics deserve careful attention. A master of narrative, Metallica makes listeners care about a vast array of characters, from a vengeful God, to a suicidal teenager, to a man in mid-life crisis.
The Meaning of Metallica is like a riveting conversation with a close friend. A thematic tour de force that traces Hetfield’s lyrical development across the decades, this companion examines everything from deep cuts like “Confusion” to megahits like “Enter Sandman.” Sure to spark debate and discussion, The Meaning of Metallica provides a close reading of lyrics dense with details and rich with allusions.