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The Thing That Should Not Be (Hetfield/Ulrich/Hammett)

It's another song which has been inspired by a story of H.P. Lovecraft.

Album:
Master of Puppets


The song live:
Since it's release till the "Poor Re-Touring Me '98" tour it has often been a fixed part of Metallica's live shows.


The inspiration:
The song is based upon the short story "Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P. Lovecraft which has been written in 1936. "Shadow Over Innsmouth" was Lovecraft's sole story which has been released as a book when he was alive. His further short stories only appeared in his lifetime in a magazine called "Weird Tales".


A close similarity:

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die."
- H.P. Lovecraft

"Not dead which eternal lie stranger eons death may die"
- Metallica (The Thing That Should Not Be)

This cit of a Lovecraft novel was also featured in the cover of Iron Maidon's "Live After Death" album (on the gravestone in the front).


The cover:
Primus covered this song in 1998.


The subject matter:
Just a transfer of the story from a book into a song.


The Thing That Should Not Be

It is about the story "Shadow Over Innsmouth"

"Messenger of fear in sight"
"Dark deception kills the light"
The shadow over Innsmouth

"Hybrid children watch the sea"
The former leader of the citizen of Innsmouth captain Obed had an agreement with the underwater creatures. The citizens will get gold and fish from them in return that they mate with these creatures. With time every new born citizen became a hybrid between the creatures and humans
"Pray for father, roaming free"
The hybrids (Innsmouth citizens) were waiting for the one day when they will go underwater to live there

"Fearless wretch"
"Insanity"
The hero became almost mad when he slowly turned into a hybrid and he even decided his suicide, but didn't realized it. He followed the call of the water ...
"He watches"
"Lurking beneath the sea"
One of the "Great Old Ones" was waiting for his 'children' that they would follow him under water
"Great old one"
"Forbidden site"
The bay area where the citizen of Innsmouth were celebrating their cult rituals for the "Great Old Ones"
"He searches"
"Hunter of the shadows is rising"
The during the night the citizens were hunting the hero of the story
"Immortal"
The hybrids were immortal and a few years after the hero fleed from this city ...
"In madness you dwell"
... he became a hybrid too because he was a direct descendant of captain Obed

"Crawling chaos, underground"
"Cult of summoned, twisted sound"
The cult the citizens were celebrating in the bay area

"Out of ruins once possessed"
Y'ha-nthei, the zyclope city of the underwater creaures or R'lyeh, the city of the "Great Old Ones"
"Fallen city, living death"
The fallen city is Innsmouth, there was nobody on the streets

"Fearless wretch"
"(...)"
"Timeless sleep"
"Has been upset"
"He awakens"
Yog-Sothoth awakes from his timeless sleep
"Hunter of the shadows is rising"
The during the night the citizens were hunting the hero of the story
"Immortal"
The hybrids were immortal and a few years after the hero fleed from this city ...
"In madness you dwell"
... he became a hybrid too because he was a direct descendant of captain Obed

"Not dead which eternal lie"
"Stranger eons death may die"
Lovecraft wrote that this would be a line of the "Necronomicon"

"Drain you of your sanity"
"Face the thing that should not be"
The hero accepted that he became a hybrid - he faced it in the mirror

"Fearless wretch"
"(...)"

 


 
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