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18 - Seek & Destroy
Manchester, TN

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Seek & Destroy on Wikipedia
"Seek & Destroy"
Song by Metallica from the album Kill 'Em All
RecordedMay 10–27, 1983 at Music America Studios, Rochester, New York
GenreThrash metal
Writer(s)James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich
Producer(s)Paul Curcio, Jon Zazula

"Seek & Destroy" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica and ninth track from their debut studio album, Kill 'Em All. It was also featured on the demo No Life 'til Leather.[1] It was the first song the band recorded in a studio. "Seek & Destroy" has been frequently performed at the group's concerts since its live debut in 1982 and had been Metallica's closing song from the Madly in Anger with the World Tour to the Metallica By Request Tour. It is the third most performed song in the band's history, having been played 1,359 times as of August 2016, behind only "Creeping Death" (1,446) and "Master of Puppets" (1,503).[2][3][4][5]

During the 2004 documentary film about Metallica, Some Kind of Monster, the song is used when footage of the band down the years is shown highlighting the progression in the group's appearance and sound over time. In AOL Radio's list of the 10 Best Metallica Songs, "Seek & Destroy" was ranked at number 4,[6] and Allmusic's Steve Huey chose the song as an AMG Track Pick from Kill 'Em All.[7]

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel.


  • 1 Writing and inspiration
  • 2 Live performance
  • 3 Use in sports
  • 4 Covers
    • 4.1 Live covers
  • 5 Bibliography
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Writing and inspiration

The song is about feeling the urge to kill, but not literally doing it. During the Kill 'Em All for One Tour, Hetfield would jokingly say that it was about hunting. It is said to be heavily influenced by the Diamond Head song "Dead Reckoning". The first three mini solos are derived from the song "Princess of the Night" by Saxon. Metallica added the final solo. Since the song's debut on Kill 'Em All, Hammett has apologized for the unusual pitch of the string bend which occurs at 3:47 to 3:48, during the solo, is in fact a mistake or "bum note".[8][9]

Live performance

The song has become a fan favorite and has been played at virtually every Metallica concert since the band's inception. It is usually played as a closing number for its live performances since the Madly in Anger with the World tour, with Hetfield often asking the audience to sing along with him; he shouts "Searching," and they shout "Seek and destroy!" During the Wherever We May Roam Tour, "Seek & Destroy" was played with Jason Newsted singing vocals; however, at the end of the song, the band would commence in a jam for nearly 7 minutes until Hetfield took the microphone and continually had the audience sing the lines "Seek and destroy!".[11] He also went to the edge of the barriers holding off the crowd and got them to sing the lines individually. The song length went from an average of 7 minutes to an average of 16 to 20 minutes for the elongated concert version of the Black Album tour.

During the Shit Hits the Sheds Tour in 1994, the song would be introduced as a new song that Newsted wrote and would include an extended jam, that would include one of the main riffs of "The Outlaw Torn". From 2004 to 2015, it became a regular closing song at the end of the band's set. From 1983 to 1994, the song was played in E standard tuning. From 1995-2000 and for one show in 2013, it was played in E flat tuning. It was played in D standard tuning from 2000 to 2015. Starting again in 2015, it was played in E flat tuning. When played live, Hetfield (in the past also Newsted) often changes the beginning lyrics "in the city tonight" by replacing "the city" with the name of the town in which they are performing.[12]

Since 2004, bassist Robert Trujillo has done a spinning technique with his bass guitar after the guitar solo of the song before the last verse.

Notably, Seek & Destroy was the last song ever played at Nürburgring before the location of the Rock am Ring festival was moved elsewhere.

A performance of the song with Burton on bass in 1985, is available on the DVD Cliff 'Em All.[13] Newer live versions can also be found in the Live Shit: Binge & Purge box set[14] (with Newsted singing the lead vocals on the Mexico City CDs and the San Diego DVD) and the Cunning Stunts DVD[15] when played in the Kill/Ride Medley.

Use in sports

The song was also the theme song of former WCW and TNA wrestler Sting and former AAA wrestler Cibernético. In Sting's case, the song was a live recording from Woodstock '99 which would be included on the 1999 compilation WCW Mayhem: The Music.

Since 1991, the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League have used Seek & Destroy as their entrance theme, as many of the band members are Sharks fans.[16]

The Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers and the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League also use the song as their entrance theme during home games.[citation needed]

As of 2010, it is being used as the home theme song for the Australian rugby league team, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. In attempt to end his batting slump, White Sox baseman Gordon Beckham began using "Seek & Destroy" as his introduction theme in May 2010, replacing The Outfield's "Your Love".[17] Zoic Studios created a television commercial for NASCAR that features "Seek & Destroy." It aired in May 2010.[18]


  • 1992: Acid Drinkers (Strip Tease)
  • 1992: Kontrol (Lele kako! [English: Like Wow!])[19]
  • 1993: Overturned Spastic Bus (Barnyard Days)
  • 1997: The Ovaltinees (Faith, Folk & Family)
  • 1998: Rage in Eden (Dreams)[20]
  • 1998: Birmingham 6 (Blackest Album: An Industrial Tribute to Metallica)[21]
  • 1999: Nukes (Phantom Lords: A Tribute to Metallic [German])[20]
  • 2000: The Suspects (Panic Button! and Ska Chartbusters)[21]
  • 2000: Mornaland (Metal Militia: A Tribute to Metallica, Vol. 3)[21]
  • 2000: Angel Theory (The Blackest Album, Vol. 4: An Industrial Tribute)[21]
  • 2001: Agent Orange (Punk Tribute to Metallica)[21]
  • 2002: Powerbook Army (Metalliclash: Tribute to Metallica)[21]
  • 2003: Birmingham 6 (Anthrax and the History of Thrash Metal)[21]
  • 2003: Primal Fear (A Tribute to the Four Horsemen)[21]
  • 2003: Divine Ruins (Metallica Tribute: None Blacker)[21]
  • 2004: Agent Orange (World's Greatest Metallica Tribute)[21]
  • 2006: Hellsongs (Lounge)
  • 2013: Blitzkrieg (Back from Hell) NOTE: Listed in Track Listing as "S&D"
  • 2015: HoT iCe (3 simple words)
  • 2015: Stevenseagulls (Farm machine)

Live covers

  • Apocalyptica
  • Pantera (Dimebag Darrell on vocals, with Jason Newsted)
  • Testament
  • Exodus
  • DevilDriver
  • Tuff (Decade of Disrespect Album)
  • Evile


  • Malcolm Dome; Mick Wall (1996). The complete guide to the music of Metallica. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-4902-7. 


  1. ^ "Metallica - No Life 'til Leather". Encyclopaedia Metallum. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ratliff, Ben (August 29, 2008). "Some Kind of Refined Monster". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  4. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (June 2008). "Bonnaroo 08: My Morning Friday". PopWatch. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  5. ^ McKenna, Dave (January 17, 2009). "Metallica, Still Putting the Pedal to the Metal". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  6. ^ Raymond, Serena (June 2009). "10 Best Metallica Songs". AOL Radio. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  7. ^ Huey, Steve. "Metallica - Kill 'Em All". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  8. ^ Jeff Kitts (October 1991), "Through the Past Darkly", Guitar World, p. 83 
  9. ^ "Song Info - Seek & Destroy". Encyclopedia Metallica. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  10. ^ Putterford, Mark (2000). Metallica: In Their Own Words. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-8440-9. 
  11. ^ "Song Info - Seek & Destroy". Encyclopedia Metallica. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  12. ^ See for example: Metallica (1993), "Seek & Destroy", Live Shit: Binge & Purge, Scanning the scenes Mexico City tonight... 
  13. ^ Metallica (1986), "Seek And Destroy", Cliff 'Em All 
  14. ^ Metallica (1993), "Seek & Destroy", Live Shit: Binge & Purge 
  15. ^ Metallica (1998), "Seek & Destroy", Cunning Stunts 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Gonzales, Mark (May 20, 2010). "Slumping Beckham changes his tune". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  18. ^ DeMott, Rick (June 6, 2010). "Zoic Studios Returns To NASCAR With Variables". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2010-05-14. 
  19. ^ "Контрол – Леле Како!". Discogs (in Bulgarian). 
  20. ^ a b "Metallica covers (James Hetfield)". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Metallica covers". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 

External links

  • Metallica Official Page
  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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