Of Wolf & Man by Metallica Lyrics Meaning – Unleashing the Primal Within

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


Off through the new day’s mist I run
Off from the new day’s mist I have come
I hunt therefore I am
Harvest the land
Taking of the fallen lamb

Off through the new day’s mist I run
Off from the new day’s mist I have come
We shift pulsing with the earth
Company we keep
Roaming the land while you sleep

Shape shift, nose to the wind
Shape shift, feeling I’ve been
Move swift, all senses clean
Earth’s gift, back to the meaning (back to the meaning) of life

Bright is the moon, high in starlight
Chill is the air, cold as steel tonight
We shift, call of the wild
Fear in your eyes, it’s later than you realized

Shape shift, nose to the wind
Shape shift, feeling I’ve been
Move swift, all senses clean
Earth’s gift back to the meaning (back to the meaning) of life

I feel I change
Back to a better day
(Shape shift) hair stands on the back of my neck
(Shape shift) in wildness is the preservation of the world
So seek the wolf and not the man

Shape shift, nose to the wind
Shape shift, feeling I’ve been
Move swift, all senses clean
Earth’s gift
Back to the meaning (back to the meaning) of wolf and man, yeah

Full Lyrics

In the furrows of modern metal, few songs manage to capture the raw essence of primitive instincts quite like Metallica’s ‘Of Wolf & Man.’ From its pulsating riffs to its fierce lyrics, the track is more than just a sonorous call to the wild—it’s a profound exploration of humanity’s intrinsic connection to nature.

Anchoring the landmark album ‘The Black Album,’ this song serves as a conduit between the visceral forces within us and the civilized veneer we exhibit. What follows is a journey through the untamed heart of ‘Of Wolf & Man,’ a song that claws at the doors of perception and invites us to run with the wolves.

The Wild Calling: Instinctual Escapism in Music

At first glance, ‘Of Wolf & Man’ might be mistaken for just another heavy metal anthem. But beneath the surface roar, Metallica weaves a tapestry that resonates with our primal desire to break free from societal boundaries. The music itself is a stampede—the guitars gallop, the drums hammer with heart-pounding intensity, sending the listener bounding through the psychic forest that the song conjures.

The genius lies not simply in the sound, but in the careful crafting of escapism. For those briefly submerged in its sonic depths, the song becomes a conduit through which they can release their inner beast, surrender to their baser instincts, and reconnect with a more authentic self.

Of Predator and Prey: The Dichotomy of Human Nature

The lyrics ‘I hunt therefore I am’ are not mere words, but a philosophy. ‘Of Wolf & Man’ is a mirror showing us the dual nature of our existence—simultaneously predator and social creature. The wolf, a symbol of autonomy, power, and freedom manifests as the perfect metaphor for the part of us untamed by civilization.

Metallica delves deep, reminding us that beneath the complex layers of our constructed identities, there lies a simpler, more direct understanding of life. For Metallica, that understanding is painted with the broad strokes of our predatory legacy, where taking ‘of the fallen lamb’ is not cruelty, but survival—a fundamental truth of our existence.

Back to the Meaning: A Quest for Existential Truth

‘Earth’s gift, back to the meaning (back to the meaning) of life’—with these words, Metallica suggests a reconnection with the earth as a pathway to uncover life’s purpose. There is an implication that true meaning has been obscured by the modern world, but can be rediscovered in the elemental, the natural, and, ultimately, within ourselves.

It’s a theme of existentialism set to the strum of electric guitars, questioning what it really means to be alive. The song’s hidden meaning is not shrouded in obscurity but laid bare—that in wildness, not only is preservation of the world found, but also a compass directing us toward existential authenticity.

The Preservation of the Self: Unraveling Life’s Lyrics

‘In wildness is the preservation of the world’—borrowed from Henry David Thoreau, this line immortalized within ‘Of Wolf & Man’ holds the key to the song’s hidden depth. It speaks to the significance of maintaining our connection with the natural world as a means of preserving not just the environment but also our own spirits.

Metallica emphasizes the importance of the wild in maintaining our identity and ensuring we do not lose ourselves to artificiality. They call us to seek ‘the wolf and not the man,’ urging an embrace of our unpolished essence over the refined facades we’ve cultivated.

Running with the Legends: The Undying Impact of ‘Of Wolf & Man’

One cannot talk about ‘Of Wolf & Man’ without acknowledging its indelible mark on the Metallica legacy and metal music as a whole. It’s a song that continues to be celebrated for its raw power and its ability to transcend time, capturing fundamental human truths that resonate regardless of era.

Memorable lines like ‘Shape shift, nose to the wind’ or ‘Move swift, all senses clean’ urge the listener to be present, reactive, and in tune with their environment. In these lyrics is the essence of transformation—not just physical but spiritual—a call to the audience to metamorphose and emerge more attuned to the primordial call

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