Metallica is a unique band in terms of relevance, impact, and sheer excellence (although heavily in favor) throughout their discography. The top 10 best Metallica songs are all flurry of smash songs filled out by deeper cuts and fan favorites that have shown their worth over time.
The Bay Area behemoths, on the other hand, have easily created double that number of solid gold masterpieces with enough intricacy, creativity, and raw strength to be labeled solid gold classics.
They are one of the biggest and most commercially metal bands of all time. So all hail Metallica and let’s get down with the list of top 10 best Metallica songs you must listen to.
10. “Seek and Destroy”
This live favorite — Metallica’s thunderous, beach ball-laden curtain dropper for so long – has lost some of its initial edges and punch in the perspective of diehard fans due to its sheer popularity.
It combines the picture of thrash’s Four Horsemen prowling the American West Coast’s alleyways and dive bars, taking on all comers, with the kind of savagely deliberate, military-inflected vocabulary that would become a career-long stock in trade.
9. “Harvester Of Sorrow”
The album’s debut song, “…And Justice For All,” is a striking encapsulation of the album’s daring and ambition. The story of a typical family guy who one day cracks and goes out on a bloodthirsty murdering rampage was based on an extremely massive riff that bridged the level of Master Of Puppets’ Leper Messiah and the Black Album’s Sad But True.
Metallica’s best album-opening (and still one of the best in metal) sets the tone for Master Of Puppets with a perfect sense of tension, escalation, and – finally – pure runaway velocity.
Battery was a fine-tuned statement of purpose from a band eager to make its serrated sound a global hit, evoking Ride The Lightning’s excellent Fight Fire With Fire in its medieval-tinged acoustic start before crashing headlong into a masterpiece in lean, tight thrash metal.
7. “The Unforgiven”
Metallica had been wearing their wild western influences on their sleeves for years, with Ennio Morricone’s famous soundtrack The Ecstasy Of Gold from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly serving as their go-to opening tape.
Those rich inspirations didn’t begin to fully pour through on record until the Black Album’s artistic breakthrough.
6. “Welcome Home”
Master Of Puppets, released in 1986, saw the band striving to extend and improve on the formulas set by Ride The Lightning, released in 1984. That development had some stunning consequences, given that they’re both among the best metal recordings of all time.
Welcome Home (Sanitarium) finds them striving (but failing) to beat the slower-paced atmospherics and ominous tone created on Fade To Black. This is one of the best Metallica songs ever.
5. “Fade To Black”
Ride The Lightning’s fourth track provided early evidence of the dynamic that would see Metallica quickly outpace its contemporaries. That oversimplification, derided by a bone-headed hardline at the time as an unwanted ‘ballad,’ misses the point.
This is Metallica’s first slow song, with a steely acoustic guitar that harkens back to giants like Led Zeppelin, but its examination of the futility of melancholy and stifling suicidal impulses was a far cry from the throwaway sap sold by hair metallers at the time.
Whiplash was the purest incarnation of thrash metal in the early 1980s if Kill ‘Em All was the crucial release in the popularisation of the genre. Exodus (who probably pipped Metallica to the post in inventing the subgenre) was thrown the gauntlet with this, which saw them playing with the pedal to the metal over four minutes of music that feels like it’s ready to go off the rails.
3. “Creeping Death”
Metallica was watching the Charlton Heston film The Ten Commandments in the early 1980s when the Angel of Death murders the Egyptians’ first-born son.
The band was taken by the phrase from the movie and immediately composed this thrash masterpiece for their sophomore album, Ride the Lightning. The song is narrated from the perspective of the Angel of Death and has several references to Exodus.
2. “Nothing Else Matters”
Nothing Else Matters was a piece of music that, understandably, upset a huge section of the Metallica audience when it was first released. An open-hearted love song was written by James to his fiancée, the singer first believed it would be too much for Metallica, but Lars and Bob Rock convinced him into it being included as the Black Album’s commercial crown gem.
It was a crucial milestone in the band’s growth, and it single-handedly brought millions of fans into the Metallica Family. It was a wonderfully constructed, lighters-aloft song that builds into a thunderous guitar solo.
1. “Master of Puppets”
Many of the tracks on Master of Puppets deal with the loss of control in some way. The dramatic title tune tackles the subject of addiction. Since 1986, the song has been performed live at virtually every Metallica show, amassing over 1,400 performances.
So, this was the list of the 10 best Metallica songs.