Metallica’s “Frantic” Lyrics Meaning

On Metallica’s “Frantic”, the narrator has a very-pessimistic outlook on life.  This is due to the fact that he is dealing with an addiction, particularly one to alcohol which had a stronghold on him in the past. Now it is not abundantly clear if he is still using this drug in the present. But what is apparent is that just thinking about his past actions in relation to it is causing him a considerable degree of turmoil and regret. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Metallica's Frantic at

And despite these overwhelmingly-negative recollections, even in the here and now he cannot say with complete confidence that if he could go back and do it all again things would be different. So we can presume that his inability to completely overcome his addiction is further contributing to his depression. Or rather let’s say that the narrator is convinced that his interactions with alcohol, even those which have already transpired, if left unchecked will ultimately lead to his untimely demise.


And speaking of death, the title of this track, as it is utilized in the chorus, apparently is meant to allude to the idea of it only being a matter of time before the singer’s actions indeed lead to his passing. And the “search” he mentions in the chorus reads as if he is looking for something that will conclusively alleviate him from this condition. Indeed it is not only the acknowledgement that he may die which is worrying him but also constantly living with the “endless stream of fear” of the worst actually coming to pass.

Lyrics of “Frantic” are Autobiographical

And we know that this song is actually based on harrowing addiction issues that James Hetfield was going through at the time. In fact he was actually in rehab concurrently while the album it is featured on, “St. Anger”, was being recorded. And based on the sentiments expressed in the lyrics, we also know that he dealt with a considerable degree of remorse concerning his addiction. And he also seems to have understood that it could have in fact taken his life. 

Moreover at the end of the day, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to presume that coming out with a song like this was a form of therapy for the singer. And how? Because even though it’s not chronicled within the track itself, at the end of the day, Hetfield was able to beat the addiction.

Lyrics of "Frantic"
The music video to this song was helmed by Wayne Isham.

Release Date of “Frantic”

This is the opening track from Metallica’s album “St. Anger”. It was released with the album on 5 June 2003. And later Elektra Records and Vertigo Records also issued it as the second official single from that project.

Performance on the Charts

“Frantic” peaked at number 16 on the UK Singles Chart and charted in over 15 countries overall. This included making an appearance on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks in the US.

Writing Credits

Four writers are officially credited with composing this tune. They are as follows:

  • K. Hammett
  • J. Hefield
  • L. Ulrich
  • B. Rock

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