Wednesday Question: Best Metallica Song Ever?

It's a big one this week. With news of the next Metallica next album being planned, we want to know what you think their best songs are. Think you know the answer? Join the debate here.

Ultimate Guitar

Yesterday Kirk Hammet confirmed that Metallica have scheduled the recording of their next album, possibly with Rick Rubin who produced "Death Magnetic".

It's exciting news, and we hope it's their best release yet. But it got us thinking: what are their best songs to date?

We think UG readers will have a better grasp of Metallica songs than most music fans, so this week's question is:

What is the best Metallica song?

It doesn't have to be from an album. You can pick from b-sides, covers, and anything that has been released. A live-only performance will be fine if you can find a YouTube link so we can share it with other readers.

Post your nominations in the comments, and be sure to up vote each other so we can see what the consensus is.

Will you pick older classics or give credit to newer recordings? It's your call. We'll stack up the results and publish them in an ultimate Metallica list on Friday. Maybe it'll be our best playlist yet!

Hammer out the debate in the comments and remember to check back on Friday to see the results over the weekend.

606 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I personally like The Call of Ktulu better, as far as their instrumentals go. Don't know if I could say it's my favorite from them, though.
    Personally, I'd say To Live is to Die. Case in point: If I remember correctly Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth said Opeth wouldn't exist without To Live is to Die.
    Gotta be Orion. Listen to the solo bass track, and you'll realize how much of a genius Cliff actually was:
    Awesome post, thank you! Makes it really easy to hear some of the finger-picking dynamics he'd use. That I imitate when I play bass (never use a pick!). @6:39 - I always thought that was bass & guitar in unison. Cliff Burton, still blowing my mind.
    Orion, I wholeheartedly agree. The opening segues of bass ringing out, the driving crunch crunch of the guitars in the opening... epic. The key change at about 2:50 just gets me pyched. But my favorite part is at about 40, the bass line that I've ripped off at least a few times, the unison bends, the slow solos.. just gives me chills. I'm just surprised it took until this far down the list for someone to suggest Orion.
    Weird... when I typed out 4 minutes as # : # #, it translated into an emoticon...? anyways, 40 = 4 minutes, obviously. And also I just wanted to add that Orion was my favorite Metallica song when I was 12 (back in 1991) and still is. The Black album introduced me to Metallica, but the Cliff Burton era stuff, particularly Master of Puppets album really made me a fan.
    Can't agree more! The bass part is my absolute favorite part of any song, and the bass solo later on kicks some serious ass aswell.
    Fade to Black
    The night after Ronnie James Dio death... I cried on that concert. or without video
    yes! the most inspiring song from Metallica Great lyrics, and the solo is just killer!
    I'm about to put The View to remind how crap there are but Fade to Black days were THE DAYS!
    Disposable Heroes
    To Live Is To Die...hands down...nothing in their catalog can top this song for me. I have other favorites...but I get chills every time I hear this song.
    'I am the table!' But seriously, I love the groove and energy of 'The Four Horsemen'. The first album had some serious head-banging material. ... and please don't let Rick Rubin produce the next one. We don't need anymore of this loudness war crap where the music is compressed to the max and audibly distorts. Ruined a good album.
    I actually liked that compressed sound. It makes me feel I'm listening to Metallica playing in my room...
    Anyone who says "this" is just stupid. Say agreed or something else besides "this" cause you just sound so f'n stupid.
    It's hard to pick, like Hetfield's said before it always changes depending on the mood you're in, but if I had to pick right now I would have to say Damage, Inc. Can't beat Burton's beautiful bass intro, followed by one of their best thrash metal style songs, it's the perfect way to finish off what some feel is their best album. I also have a strong feeling a lot of people will be picking songs like Enter Sandman and Master of Puppets because its the only songs they've heard of
    The night Ronnie James Dio died... Fade to black dedicated to him, i cried on this concert.
    Creeping Death. It's my go-to song when any other song gets stuck in my head. Creeping Death can rid my brain of any other tune.
    Frayed ends of sanity.
    Not enough people realise how great this track is! I really hope they start playing it live too. SISO KNOWS!
    For Whom the Bell Tolls
    Hands down Master of Puppets, and I'm ashamed that not one put it up yet
    the four horsemen
    Ride the Lightning
    Also No Leaf Clover hits home for me. I don't know why but that's an amazing tune.
    Badass UltraMan
    I have always thought that No Leaf Clover is one of Metallica's strongest tracks, even up against the 'classics'. Can listen to that track all day.
    Maybe because it's one of the few songs that we can relate to on an intimate level? The lyrics are just so strong.
    Hit the Lights. It's fast, heavy, and has so much energy to it. You can't tell me you don't want to go crazy headbanging when ever you hear that song.
    go dave mustain!
    I Love horsemen but hate mechanix. It's too fast to be heavy.
    faster? yes. heavier? hell no! I like the intro of mechanix though it's ****ing badass. ps, there is no such thing as being "too heavy" in metal
    It just sounds like Megadeth were trying to "Beat" Metallica by showing off, but the song suffered from it.
    My Last Words
    Although 'suffered' is a personal interpretation, it's true! Dave himself said, he wanted to be heavier, meaner and faster than Metallica
    I disagree, but that's just subject to opinion. I like the intro to Mechanix before the songs start sounding the same better, but that's just my opinion. Oh, and Creeping Death.
    My Last Words
    I seriously love those intro chords so much. I prefer horsemen over Mechanix (prolly because of the slower solo in the interlude), but damn those intro chords just scream **** YOU METALLICA. : )
    Too many good ones to choose from... Battery, Jump in the Fire, Metal Militia, Welcome Home and Fade to Black should be notable mentions
    how about "The Small Hours"? It's a cover of an old song by Holocaust, but damn does it sound amazingly evil and heavy!
    I agree. I can choose between either "For Whom the Bell Tolls" or "One".
    I loved it from the moment I realized that was a bass in the intro. Rest in peace, Cliff.
    Ride the Lightning... imo kirks best solo is in that song.
    You mean Dave's I presume?
    Dave my have had a part in the writing of that song but after Kill 'Em All Kirk made his own solos.
    The only things Dave contributed to Ride the Lightning (not just the song but the album as a whole) was the pre-chorus riff in Ride the Lightning and a chord progression in the intro of Call of Ktulu.....that's it. No lead/solo contributions or anything else.
    Actually, to correct myself, I don't think it's considered a pre-chorus riff, but whatever riff is between "Burning in my brain, I can feel the flame" and "Someone help me, oh please god help me, etc."
    i want a megadeth list like this too
    That'd be the hardest decision ever hahaha. Literally too many songs to choose from
    honestly, most fans should know what deserves to be up at the top of the list, same with Metallica. there just needs to be an agreement, not a bunch of counted votes.
    Camron62 - your comment implies that the best Megadeth songs are obvious and people just can't agree... but I disagree (lol). I think Megadeth's best song MIGHT be Hook in Mouth, and I'm certain most people will disagree with that. But my point is that Megadeth is one of those bands that doesn't really have a "best song", and neither does Metallica. Personal vote for Metallica - Blackened.
    Mustaine 1988- Hook in Mouth Mustaine 2012- Foot in Mouth Favorite Megadeth song, personally? Addicted to Chaos.
    na that'd be extremely easy for me, Tornado of Souls but regarding today's question: To live is to die or Fade to black
    Damn this is a hard one... Fade To Black as always been one of my favourites. Other than that, I'd say Master Of Puppets, Creeping Death or The Unforgiven.
    Gotta pick two, one live and one studio. Live, it's gotta be Creeping Death, but in the studio I love Dyer's Eve.
    yeah Creeping Death live is the best, Woodstock 99 version is tits. Lars gives his snare a hiding.
    Harvester of Sorrow!
    I've been staring at this article since I posted my comment and I've actually just come to the conclusion that this is more or less impossible to answer.
    Regardless, Harvester of Sorrow is my favorite Metallica tune and extremely underrated. Shortest Straw is another heavily underrated tune.
    fixxer!! a very under-rated if you ask me - fantastic lyrics! oh oh, and outlaw torn as AnnihilationUK posted above, its more or less impossible to choose!
    Definitely. That and Outlaw Torn stand out as some of their best work from the 90's
    F Yeah. I don't know why people hate Load and Reload :-S great albums IMO
    Maybe not the most popular opinion but Fade to Black has always been my favorite.