If you’ve ever thought that the lyrics of Metallica are thoughtful and profound, a philosophy professor agrees with you. The metal legend’s lyrics are the subject of a new book arriving this April.

Titled The Meaning of Metallica: Ride the Lyrics, the book is the work of William Irwin, Professor of Philosophy at King’s College (not the London university, the one in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania).

It seeks to explore “topics such as truth, identity, questions of life and death, the mind-body problem, justice and more”, all through the lens of Metallica’s finest songwriting.

“Their mighty guitar riffs and pounding drums are legendary, but Metallica’s words match the intensity of their tunes,” the book’s description says. “Lead singer James Hetfield writes rock poetry dealing with death, war, addiction, alienation, corruption, freedom, religion, and other weighty topics.

Painting a rainbow of emotions with a deft palette, subtle but not obscure, Hetfield’s lyrics deserve careful attention. A master of narrative, Metallica makes listeners care about a vast array of characters, from a vengeful God, to a suicidal teenager, to a man in mid-life crisis.”

The description continues: “The Meaning Of Metallica is like a riveting conversation with a close friend. A thematic tour de force that traces Hetfield’s lyrical development across the decades, this companion examines everything from deep cuts like ‘Confusion’ to mega hits like ‘Enter Sandman’. Sure to spark debate and discussion, The Meaning of Metallica provides a close reading of lyrics dense with details and rich with allusions.”

What do you think the most philosophical Metallica song is? The Meaning of Metallica: Ride the Lyrics is available to pre-order here. The book is set for release on April 19th 2022.

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Check out this guide to the meaning of Metallica’s album Ride the Lightning:

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