All Nightmare Long by Metallica Lyrics Meaning – The Unyielding Pursuit of Haunting Terrors


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Metallica's All Nightmare Long at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

(One, two…)

Luck runs out

Crawl from the wreckage one more time
Horrific memory twists the mind
Dark, rutted (rugged?), cold and hard to turn
Path of destruction, feel it burn

Still life
Incarnation
Still life
Infamy

Hallucination
Heresy
Still you run
What’s to come?
What’s to be?

‘Cause we’ll hunt you down without mercy
Hunt you down all nightmare long
Feel us breathe upon your face
Feel our shift, every move we trace

Hunt you down without mercy
Hunt you down all nightmare long, yeah
Luck runs…
And you crawl out again
But your luck runs out

(One, two…)

Luck runs out

The light that is not light is here
To flush you out with your own fear
You hide, you hide
But will be found
Release your grip without a sound

Still life
Immolation
Still life
Infamy

Hallucination
Heresy
Still you run
What’s to come?
What’s to be?

‘Cause we’ll hunt you down without mercy
Hunt you down all nightmare long
Feel us breathe upon your face
Feel our shift, every move we trace

Hunt you down without mercy
Hunt you down all nightmare long, yeah
Luck runs…
And you crawl out again
But your luck runs out

Then you crawl back in
Into your obsession
Never to return
This is your confession

Hunt you down without mercy
Hunt you down all nightmare long
Feel us breathe upon your face
Feel our shift, every move we trace

Hunt you down without mercy
Hunt you down all nightmare long, yeah
Luck runs…
And you crawl out again
But your luck runs out

Full Lyrics

Rife with harrowing imagery and a relentless pursuit, Metallica’s ‘All Nightmare Long’ is a gripping journey into the depth of dread and reprisal. Born from the band’s ninth studio album, ‘Death Magnetic,’ this track delves into the psyche, exploring themes of fear, inevitability, and the inescapability of one’s past actions.

The song’s menacing lyrics resonate with the weight of prophecy and the chilling warmth of revenge. Throbbing with the ferocious guitar riffs and pounding drums that the band is known for, ‘All Nightmare Long’ is not just a song but an auditory assault that drags you through an unending nightmare, begging the question: what is the true meaning behind this chilling song?

The Inexorable Dance of Destruction

At its core, ‘All Nightmare Long’ conveys a powerful sense of destruction, both physical and psychological. The lyrics tell the story of someone or something emerging from wreckage and disasters, symbolizing the cyclical nature of trauma. Phrases like ‘Crawl from the wreckage one more time’ and ‘Path of destruction, feel it burn’ evoke images of an unstoppable force emerging from chaos, epitomizing the band’s ability to capture the resilience born of desperation and the fear that follows.

This relentless ride is accented by the characteristic Metallica sound—fast, heavy, and unapologetic—mirroring the song’s narrative pace. The aggressive tone adds to the portrayal of a dystopian journey that can’t help but pull the listener along for the ride.

Chasing Shadows: The Unrelenting Pursuit

The haunting refrain, ‘Hunt you down without mercy, Hunt you down all nightmare long,’ is much more than just a catchy hook. It is an embodiment of relentless pursuit, a promise that escape is impossible. Metallica frames this hunt as one without mercy, hinting at the dogged shadow of guilt or perhaps a predator stalking its prey, making the song an anthem of aggression and pursuit.

There is also an element of the existential chase, the internal battle against one’s own demons that are just as merciless and persistent as any external adversary. This dual interpretation opens the door to deeper reflections on the nature of our own personal nightmares and the things we can never truly outrun.

Into the Abyss: Exploring the Song’s Hidden Meaning

Frequent mentions of ‘Luck runs out’ serve as a spine-chilling reminder that fortune is fickle, and eventually, all must face the consequences of their actions. It’s as though ‘All Nightmare Long’ functions as a modern-day memento mori, a reminder of the inevitability of judgement. The repeated phrase embodies a karmic countdown, encapsulating the idea that consequences are catching up and that fate, once kind, has turned predatory.

Death and immortality, themes Metallica often taps into, play a prominent role here. Words like ‘Still life, incarnation, still life, infamy’ suggest a perverse rebirth or afterlife where notoriety is inescapable, adding a layer of depth suggesting that perhaps the nightmare is also one of eternal return or notoriety that transcends death.

Memorable Lines: The Echoes of Fear and Obsession

One cannot pry away the ambience of dread that ‘The light that is not light is here to flush you out with your own fear’ creates. It is a line that starkly highlights the song’s psychological drama, where paradoxical light reveals the deepest shadows within. The inception of fear is often self-induced, and Metallica masterfully articulates this internal horror show where one’s own fear is the enemy.

Further on, the lines ‘Then you crawl back in, into your obsession’ twist the knife deeper, examining how we are often lured back by the very things that destroy us. The concept of an obsession that dictates actions and seals fates speaks to the human condition, to the compelling and often destructive patterns Metallica so expertly weaves into their musical narratives.

The Looming Threat of Inescapable Retribution

Amidst the layers of the song is the inevitable sense of retribution. The hounds of justice, the unsparing consequences—’All Nightmare Long’ might well be the soundtrack to judgement day, a wrathful angel’s hymn, serving relentless recompense. Repetition is key, the repetitiveness of the hunt not only emphasizes the never-ending nature of the chase but also the inescapable grip of the consequences that await.

Metallica’s songwriting is a comprehensive mural of the human experience, painted with the darkest shades of fear and punishment. Through ‘All Nightmare Long’, the band compels its audience to confront the eternal chase and our place within it, making it a profound piece of art that goes beyond mere melody and becomes a reflection on the inexorability of our nightmares.

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