Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “The Thing That Should Not Be” — Metallica (1986)

blgshadinnsmouth2“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”
— H.P. Lovecraft

What… you thought another October would arrive without Hokeyblog’s annual Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs coming into the forefront?

Forsooth! Fooey! and Fiddlesticks!

Welcome back to our yearly celebration of all things Creepy-Crawly, darkly frosty, and chillingly spooktopic. Halloween approaches and in my recalcitrant man-child sort of way, I greet the oncoming darkness with all the gusto and aplomb of the same 11 year old kid who used to watch Universal Monster flicks, devour sci-fi, fantasy, and kaiju like it was going out of style, and sneak peeks at as many slasher movies as I could  manage.

But H. P. Lovecraft — now there was an author I had heard entirely too much about, but never really got into until I was around college age. Tales of elder beings, ancient races and civilizations, human/monster hybrids, screaming madness, dimensional portals, visions from beyond, predestined apocalyptic futures… all wrapped up in a spooky early-1990s veneer. This was good stuff, often great stuff, and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Apparently neither legendary metal band Metallica, whose landmark 1986 album Master of Puppets solidified their position as the reigning masters of thrash at a time when cheese metal, hair ballads, and wimp rock was all the hard-rock rage on MTV. The stalwart album track The Thing That Should Not Be is their take on Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, in which a New England coastal town harbors a dark secret filled with underwater ruins, ancient beings waiting underneath the sea for his children to return, uncontrollable madness, dark secrets, and a longstanding tradition of human/alien hybrids populating the town residents.

(Apropos of something but remember The Innsmouth Rowing Club? There you go…)

The subject matter is creepy enough but the song is extraordinary. You want your creepy Halloween metal served dark and dripping with a large side of ominous and inescapable dread? Here you’ll find it served in abundance…

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…

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