Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Creeping Death” — Metallica (1984)

I! Rule the midnight air
The destroyer
Born! I shall soon be there
Deadly mass
I! Creep the steps and floor
Final darkness
Blood! Lambs blood painted door
I shall pass…

Look, it’s not like I’m about to start up Buttkickin’ Passover Songs, so unless Shakira does a rip-roarin’ cover of Dayenu or something, I’ll pass.

But speaking of passing, let’s talk a bit about Metallica‘s Creeping Death, one of the boss tracks from their 1984 album Ride The Lightning.

When I’m throwing together my list of Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs, I have a bunch of what I call “back pocket bands”. If I’m ever in a funk for choosing the next song, I know I can always dive right into the ouvres of bands like Metallica, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Ghost, Dio, and of course Black Sabbath. It’s like shooting barrels with other, slightly larger barrels. Easy peasy.

I think this is the fourth time I’ve dipped into the Metallica well, and Creeping Death might seem like a super obvious choice, and it is — it was the album’s only single and is a staple of all their live shows. But it’s such a badass piece of metal majesty, you can’t really argue against it either.

Messrs. Burton, Hammett, Hetfield and Ulrich took inspiration from the book of Exodus and wrote a zesty little number about the God’s final plague on the Egyptians, the Angel of Death himself… and that’s really it. Metallica paints the picture of slaves, pharaohs, unheard pleas for freedom, supernatural plagues, darkness, boils, Charlton Heston overacting, Arby’s, boy bands, people who drive in the rain with their hazards on, and so forth. And the Angel of Death silently moves throughout Egypt, killing every firstborn son.

Unless the door to your house is painted with lamb’s blood, of course.

You know, primal terrors. Perfect Halloween fodder.

Now if I can only convince my Dad to include this tune at our Seder…

So let it be written
So let it be done
I’m sent here by the chosen one
So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first-born pharaoh son
I’m creeping death…

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