Seek & Destroy

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"Seek & Destroy"
Song by Metallica
from the album Kill 'Em All
RecordedMay 10–27, 1983 at Music America Studios, Rochester, New York
Genre Thrash metal
Label Megaforce

"Seek & Destroy" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica and ninth track from their debut studio album, Kill 'Em All . It was also featured on the demo No Life 'til Leather . [1] It was the first song the band recorded in a studio. "Seek & Destroy" has been frequently performed at the group's concerts since its live debut in 1982 and had been Metallica's closing song from the Madly in Anger with the World Tour to the Metallica By Request Tour. It is the second-most performed song in the band's history, having been played 1,491 times as of November 2017, ahead of "Creeping Death" (1,461), but behind only "Master of Puppets" (1,561). [2] [3] [4] [5]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

<i>Kill Em All</i> 1983 studio album by Metallica

Kill 'Em All is the debut studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 25, 1983, by the independent record label Megaforce Records. Kill 'Em All is regarded as a groundbreaking album for thrash metal because of its precise musicianship, which fuses new wave of British heavy metal riffs with hardcore punk tempos. The album's musical approach and lyrics were markedly different from rock's mainstream of the early 1980s and inspired a number of bands who followed in similar manner. The album did not enter the Billboard 200 until 1986, when it peaked at number 155, following Metallica's commercial success with its third studio album Master of Puppets; the 1988 Elektra reissue peaked at number 120. Kill 'Em All was critically praised at the time of its release and in retrospect, and was placed on a few publications' best album lists. It was certified 3× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999 for shipping three million copies in the United States. The album generated two singles, "Whiplash" and "Jump in the Fire".


During the 2004 documentary film about Metallica, Some Kind of Monster , the song is used when footage of the band down the years is shown highlighting the progression in the group's appearance and sound over time. In AOL Radio's list of the 10 Best Metallica Songs, "Seek & Destroy" was ranked at number 4, [6] and Allmusic's Steve Huey chose the song as an AMG Track Pick from Kill 'Em All. [7]

<i>Some Kind of Monster</i> (film) 2004 film by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Some Kind of Monster is a 2004 American documentary film featuring the American thrash metal band Metallica. It shares its name with the song "Some Kind of Monster" from Metallica's 2003 album St. Anger. The film shows many studio rehearsals and fragments of concert footage. It won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature. The DVD release was handled by Paramount Home Entertainment. Metallica re-released the film, including a bonus documentary, in 2014 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

AOL Radio powered by Slacker was an online radio service available in the United States only. It had over 200 free internet radio stations.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel.

Writing and inspiration

The song is about feeling the urge to kill, but not literally doing it. During the Kill 'Em All for One Tour, Hetfield would jokingly say that it was about hunting. It is said to be heavily influenced by the Diamond Head song "Dead Reckoning". The first three mini-solos are derived from the song "Princess of the Night" by Saxon. Metallica added the final solo. Since the song's debut on Kill 'Em All, Hammett has apologized for the unusual pitch of the string bend which occurs at 3:47 to 3:48, during the solo. It is, in fact, a mistake or "bum note". [8] [9]

Diamond Head (band) British metal band

Diamond Head are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976 in Stourbridge, England. The band is recognised as one of the leading members of the new wave of British heavy metal movement and is acknowledged by thrash metal bands such as Metallica and Megadeth as an important early influence.

Saxon (band) British heavy metal band

Saxon are an English heavy metal band formed in 1977, in Barnsley. As one of the leaders of the new wave of British heavy metal, they had eight UK Top 40 albums in the 1980s including four UK Top 10 albums and two Top 5 albums. The band also had numerous singles in the UK Singles Chart and chart success all over Europe and Japan, as well as success in the United States. During the 1980s, Saxon established themselves as one of Europe's greatest metal acts. The band tour regularly and have sold more than 23 million albums worldwide. They are considered one of the classic metal acts, and have influenced a number of bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Mötley Crüe, Pantera, Running Wild, Dream Theater, Dokken, Skid Row, Sodom, Celtic Frost, Bathory and King Diamond.

Live performance

The song has become a fan favorite and has been played at virtually every Metallica concert since the band's inception. It is usually played as a closing number for its live performances since the Madly in Anger with the World tour, with Hetfield often asking the audience to sing along with him; he shouts "Searching," and they shout "Seek and destroy!" During the Wherever We May Roam Tour, "Seek & Destroy" was played with Jason Newsted singing vocals; however, at the end of the song, the band would commence in a jam for nearly 7 minutes until Hetfield took the microphone and continually had the audience sing the lines "Seek and destroy!". [11] He also went to the edge of the barriers holding off the crowd and got them to sing the lines individually. The song length went from an average of 7 minutes to an average of 16 to 20 minutes for the elongated concert version of the Black Album tour.

Wherever We May Roam was a concert tour by the American thrash metal band Metallica in support of their self titled 5th album Metallica. It began in autumn of 1991. The North American legs ran through summer 1992, followed by the Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour, the Wherever We May Roam European leg, and finally the Nowhere Else to Roam tour of smaller markets in North America, Mexico, Asia, Australia, South America, Europe and Israel, ending in the summer of 1993.

Jason Newsted American musician

Jason Curtis Newsted is an American metal musician, known for being the third bass guitarist with the band Metallica from October 1986 until his sudden departure in January 2001.

<i>Metallica</i> (album) 1991 studio album by Metallica

Metallica is the self-titled fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica. Released on August 12, 1991 by Elektra Records, it received widespread critical acclaim and became the band's best-selling album. Metallica produced five singles that are considered to be among the band's best-known songs, which include "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam", and "Sad but True". A sixth song, "Don't Tread on Me", was also issued to rock radio shortly after the album's release, but the song did not receive a commercial single release. The album marked a change in the band's sound from the thrash metal style of the previous four albums to a slower and heavier one rooted in heavy metal. Metallica promoted the album with a series of tours. In 2003, the album was ranked number 255 on Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time.

During the Shit Hits the Sheds Tour in 1994, the song would be introduced as a new song that Newsted wrote and would include an extended jam, that would include one of the main riffs of "The Outlaw Torn". From 2004 to 2015, it became a regular closing song at the end of the band's set. From 1983 to 1994, the song was played in E standard tuning. From 1995-2000 and for one show in 2013, it was played in E flat tuning. It was played in D standard tuning from 2000 to 2015. Starting again in 2015, it was played in E flat tuning. When played live, Hetfield (in the past also Newsted) often changes the beginning lyrics "in the city tonight" by replacing "the city" with the name of the town in which they are performing. [12]

The Shit Hits The Sheds was a concert tour by the American heavy metal band Metallica, which took place in 1994. The band played in 51 shows in North America, including a performance at Woodstock '94, which had an attendance of over 300,000 people.

In music, standard tuning refers to the typical tuning of a string instrument. This notion is contrary to that of scordatura, i.e. an alternate tuning designated to modify either the timbre or technical capabilities of the desired instrument.

Since 2004, bassist Robert Trujillo has done a spinning technique with his bass guitar after the guitar solo of the song before the last verse.

Notably, Seek & Destroy was the last song ever played at Nürburgring before the location of the Rock am Ring festival was moved elsewhere.

A performance of the song with Burton on bass in 1985, is available on the DVD Cliff 'Em All . [13] Newer live versions can also be found in the Live Shit: Binge & Purge box set [14] (with Newsted singing the lead vocals on the Mexico City CDs and the San Diego DVD) and the Cunning Stunts DVD [15] when played in the Kill/Ride Medley.

Use in sports

The song was also the theme song of former WCW and TNA wrestler Sting and former AAA wrestler Cibernético. In Sting's case, the song was a live recording from Woodstock '99 which would be included on the 1999 compilation WCW Mayhem: The Music .

Since 1991, the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League have used Seek & Destroy as their entrance theme, as many of the band members are Sharks fans. [16]

The Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers and the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League also use the song as their entrance theme during home games.[ citation needed ]

As of 2010, it is being used as the home theme song for the Australian rugby league team, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. In attempt to end his batting slump, White Sox baseman Gordon Beckham began using "Seek & Destroy" as his introduction theme in May 2010, replacing The Outfield's "Your Love". [17] Zoic Studios created a television commercial for NASCAR that features "Seek & Destroy." It aired in May 2010. [18]


Live covers



  1. "Metallica - No Life 'til Leather". Encyclopaedia Metallum.
  2. "Song Statistics". Metallica. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  3. Ratliff, Ben (August 31, 2008). "Some Kind of Refined Monster". The New York Times . Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  4. Pastorek, Whitney (June 14, 2008). "Bonnaroo 08: My Morning Friday". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  5. McKenna, Dave (January 17, 2009). "Metallica, Still Putting the Pedal to the Metal". The Washington Post . Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  6. Raymond, Serena (June 2009). "10 Best Metallica Songs". AOL Radio . Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  7. Huey, Steve. "Metallica - Kill 'Em All". AllMusic . Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  8. Jeff Kitts (October 1991), "Through the Past Darkly", Guitar World , p. 83
  9. "Song Info - Seek & Destroy". Encyclopedia Metallica. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  10. Putterford, Mark (2000). Metallica: In Their Own Words. Omnibus Press. ISBN   0-7119-8440-9.
  11. "Song Info - Seek & Destroy". Encyclopedia Metallica. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  12. See for example: Metallica (1993), "Seek & Destroy", Live Shit: Binge & Purge , Scanning the scenes [in] Mexico City tonight...
  13. Metallica (1986), "Seek And Destroy", Cliff 'Em All
  14. Metallica (1993), "Seek & Destroy", Live Shit: Binge & Purge
  15. Metallica (1998), "Seek & Destroy", Cunning Stunts
  17. Gonzales, Mark (May 20, 2010). "Slumping Beckham changes his tune". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  18. DeMott, Rick (June 6, 2010). "Zoic Studios Returns To NASCAR With Variables". Animation World Network . Retrieved 2010-05-14.
  19. "Контрол – Леле Како!". Discogs (in Bulgarian).
  20. 1 2 "Metallica covers (James Hetfield)". AllMusic . Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 "Metallica covers". AllMusic . Retrieved 2010-03-27.