Amid pain and disillusionment, the band wants to overcome life’s hectic pace (“Frantic”), value loners (“Invisible Kid”), try to improve a relationship marred by layers of hurt (“Purify”) and avoid piously judging the world (“Dirty Window”). At one point, “Shoot Me Again” finds the singer resisting the urge to retaliate against someone who wronged him (“I’ll stand on my own with a bullet in my back/I bit my tongue/Trying not to shoot back”).
The disc is stickered for numerous f-words. On the title track, lead singer James Hetfield uses them liberally as he struggles with anger. Fans get planted behind the eyes of a killer on “All Within My Hands.”He’s a control freak who—either literally or figuratively—is choking the life out of a lover (“I will only let you breathe/My air that you receive/Then we’ll see if I let you love me/Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill”). With a sense of dark resignation, “Some Kind of Monster” describes mankind as its own source of eternal torment and a “pain that never leaves.” Confused, the artist spews obscenities, yearning to rid himself of “The Unnamed Feeling” by “hat[ing] it all away.”
Since the 1980s, Metallica has sold more than 85 million albums worldwide. And they’re still miserable. The band invests in moments of thoughtful social commentary, yet succumbs to obscenities and despair.