I never really thought it would happen, but it did. I’ve got a new favorite Metallica song.
The old favorite has been “One” for the better part of fifteen (wow) years. Love the riffs, love the solos, love the lyrics, dig the video, and dig the book the song is based on. “One” has been my road song, my rage song, my writing song for as long as I can remember. Indeed, the entire AJFA album is worthy of a long blog, as far as I’m concerned (one I’m not going to write right now): “Harvester of Sorrow,” “Dyers Eve,” “Frayed Ends of Sanity,” “To Live Is To Die”–all of these are oft-played songs on my iPod. But “One” has always been the top pick–raw aggression, heights and depths of emotion and angst, and oh, the shredding!
But this is about the new song–my new favorite Metallica song is off of Death Magnetic: “All Nightmare Long.”
Very briefly–and without extolling the merits of the entire album, because the baby will wake up from her nap before I’m done–I think that this song does a pretty good job of encapsulating all of the things that have drawn me to Metallica over the years. It’s got the aggression and nearly-chaotic feel of earliest Metallica, the epic length and layered riffing of the Puppets–Justice era, the Lovecraft-inspired mytho-metaphorical lyrics of Lightning, the solid metal crunch of Black and beyond, and the frenetic pace characteristic of St. Anger (I liked this album. Deal with it.) and Kill ’em All. It’s even got a pretty cool video. (Soviet Zombies? WTF!?!) But most of all, it SHREDS. Check out the two solos on that song–the first one has a very post-Black album feel, highly repetitive and very late Hammett. But that second solo takes me screaming straight back to “One”–straight back to one of (in my opinion) THE greatest metal solos in Kirk’s career. This song pounds it hard, and doesn’t let up (for nearly eight minutes).
Hopefully, it’ll be on the Guitar Hero: Metallica game that’s recently been announced. (And hopefully it’ll be available on PS2, so I don’t have to drop a few hundred to run out and get it.)