The Thing That Should Not Be by Metallica Lyrics Meaning – Unveiling the Darkness Within


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Metallica's The Thing That Should Not Be at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Messenger of fear in sight
Dark deception kills the light

Hybrid children watch the sea
Pray for father, roaming free

Fearless wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Great old one
Forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal
In madness you dwell

Crawling chaos, underground
Cult has summoned, twisted sound

Out from ruins once possessed
Fallen city, living death

Fearless wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Timeless sleep
Has been upset
He awakens
Hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal
In madness you dwell
In madness you dwell

Not dead which eternal lie
Stranger eons death may die

Drain you of your sanity
Face the thing that should not be

Fearless wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Great old one
Forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal
In madness you dwell

Full Lyrics

At the crest of Metallica’s monumental wave in the world of heavy metal, a deep dive into their discography reveals more than just aggressive riffs and pounding percussion. Within the bounds of their 1986 release ‘Master of Puppets,’ lurks a track steeped in cryptic lore and psychological horror. ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ echoes with a haunting resonance, a siren’s call to those willing to decipher its enigmatic verses.

This analysis delves into the arcane narrative of the song, grounding it not just in the mythos that inspired its birth, but also in the universal themes of fear, insanity, and the unknown. The echo of Metallica’s strings rouses more than headbanging—it stirs a primal understanding of the terrors that squirm beneath the veneer of the world as we know it.

Dredging Up Dread: A Deep Dive into Lovecraftian Influence

To grasp the quivering heart of ‘The Thing That Should Not Be,’ one must wade through the incantatory waters of H.P. Lovecraft’s literary universe. The track’s eldritch essence is a blatant homage to the author’s pantheon of cosmic entities and the existential dread they epitomize. This is not just a metal anthem but a gateway to the leviathans lurking beneath the sea of collective subconscious.

The ‘great old one’ and the ‘forbidden site’ are directly lifted from Lovecraft’s mythic Cthulhu, a monstrous entity waiting in the depths. The song’s narrative bends reality, suggesting an awakening of something ancient, powerful, and inherently frightening—a force that disrupts the fragile sanity of mankind.

Shadow Over Sanity: The Descent into Madness

Metallica does not merely tickle the edges of horror; ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ plunges listeners into the jaws of insanity. The repetition of ‘In madness you dwell’ is not only a chant-like mantra but an acknowledgment of the thin line between reality and psychosis. The track captures the unsettling notion of sanity being stripped away, layer by painful layer.

The lyrical journey of the song mirrors the internal struggle of an individual grappling with the realization of their own fragility. It’s Metallica singing the siren song of lunacy, inviting us to look into the abyss and ponder whether we too could be consumed by the darkness that dwells within.

Rising from the Abyss: The Ominous Power of Immortality

While much of ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ deals with the horror of the unknown, there’s a recurrent theme of immortality that permeates its verses. ‘Not dead which eternal lie’ evokes a sense of timelessness and the terror of an existence beyond death. The ‘immortal’ being is woven into the very fabric of horror and stands as a daunting figure of inexorable power.

The song stitches together immortal terror with the tapestry of human understanding, juxtaposing our mortal ephemera with the behemoth of perpetual existence. As this ancient entity ‘rises,’ so too does the listener’s realization of their own mortality and the overpowering dread of an unfathomable life that defies death.

An Eerie Echo in Metal History: The Song’s Memorable Lines

The stark imagery and bone-chilling narrative of ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ are rife with lines that have etched themselves into the annals of metal lore. ‘Messenger of fear in sight / Dark deception kills the light’ casts a shadow over the mind, a clear allusion to the harbinger of doom found in folkloric tales.

Yet it’s the chilling command to ‘Face the thing that should not be’ that burns the loudest, asserting itself as both a challenge and a resignation to confront the abysmal truth that we all, in some form, harbor monsters within or face them in the world outside.

Unveiling the Hidden Meaning: A Metaphor for Our Times?

‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ transcends Lovecraftian homage to hold a mirror to society’s contemporary fears. Whether as an allegory for political deceit, societal collapse, or environmental degradation, the lyrics resonate with an unsettling relevance to present-day anxieties.

As the ‘cult has summoned, twisted sound,’ it is as if Metallica presaged the cacophony of misinformation and conspiracy that bedevils the modern world. ‘Crawling chaos, underground’ intimates a deep-seated unease that is as much about political undercurrents as it is about ancient gods. This song, though decades old, continues to thrash at the heartstrings of a world that increasingly feels like it is facing something that, perhaps, should not be.

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