The Meaning of Metallica
Ride the Lyrics
A serious look at the lyrics of metal's biggest band, disentangling double meanings, explaining stories, uncovering sources, and illuminating themes such as hope, despair, rage, resilience, power, liberty, justice, love, death, and insanity.
More than 40 years since their formation, and 125 million album sales 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.
About this Author
William Irwin is a philosophy professor, literary critic, and heavy metal scholar who teaches at King's College in Pennsylvania. The books in his pop culture series, including Metallica and Philosophy, Seinfeld and Philosophy, The Simpsons and Philosophy, and The Matrix and Philosophy (a New York Times bestseller) have sold over one million copies.
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