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Song
Kill em All (album)

"Seek & Destroy" is the ninth track on Metallica's 1983 album Kill 'Em All. It was written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. The song has been frequently played in concerts over the years since its live debut in 1982.

The subject matter is feeling the urge to kill. From the lyrics, it can be determined that the violence is directed towards someone who deserves it--perhaps, in Metallica's eyes, LA-based glam metal bands. It is said to be heavily influenced by the Diamond Head song "Dead Reckoning."

Studio Versions

Kill 'Em All

In the original studio version, an odd string bend occurs at 3:46 of the song's 6:55, during Kirk Hammett's solo. Hammett has since confessed that this is a mistake.

No Life 'Til Leather

This demo features Ron McGovney on bass guitar and Dave Mustaine on lead guitar. It has a length of 4:55. James Hetfield does not scream "Alright!" during the intro. The second line of the second verse was originally "This is the end, we won't take no more." It also does not have a third verse or chorus, and simply goes into the intro after playing the intro riff again. Also, the entire song seems slightly slower.

Metal Up Your Ass

This demo also features Ron McGovney on bass guitar and Dave Mustaine on lead guitar. It has a length of 6:51.

Live

Seek & Destroy is sometimes played as a closing number for Metallica's live performances, with James often asking the audience to sing along with him when he shouts, "Seek And Destroy!" When the "Big Four" show played at Yankee Stadium on September 14th, 2011, this was the number with which they closed.

Perhaps the most memorable renditions of the song occurred between 1991 and 1993 for the Wherever We May Roam Tour. Here Seek & Destroy was played with Jason Newsted singing vocals, however, at the end of the song the band would commence in a jam for a few minutes until James took the microphone and continually had the audience sing the lines "Seek And Destroy!" Hetfield 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 minutes for the elongated concert version of the Black Album tour. On the band's 2007 Sick of the Studio '07 tour, it became a regular closing song at the end of the band's set.

A performance of the song with Cliff Burton on bass in 1985, is available on the DVD Cliff 'Em All. Newer live versions can also be found in the Live Shit box set (with Jason Newsted singing lead vocals) and the Cunning Stunts DVD.

As of July 24, 2016, Seek & Destroy has been played live 1,359 times. It is one of the nine songs to be played over 1000 times live along with Master Of Puppets, Creeping Death, One, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Enter Sandman, Sad But True, Fade To Black, and Nothing Else Matters.

Other

"I had maybe four or five days to do all my leads, so there was really no time for overintellectualizing or getting precious. On 'Seek & Destroy', I plugged my Gibson Flying V into an Ibanez Tube Screamer and the Marshall Super Lead and went for it two or three times. The producer said "That's fine! We'll use it! Next!" A couple notes are bent out of pitch and after 20 years they still haunt me! I had been taking lessons from Joe Satriani prior to joining the band, so his influence was pretty heavy in my mind. He gave me so much information, and I was still processing it. I remember just thinking, I hope Joe likes this." Kirk Hammett

Lyrics

    Alright!
    
    We're scanning the scene in the city tonight
    We're looking for you to start up a fight
    There's an evil feeling in our brains
    But it's nothing new, you know it drives us insane
    
    Running, on our way
    Hiding, you will pay
    Dying, one thousand deaths
    Running, on our way
    Hiding, you will pay
    Dying, one thousand deaths
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    
    There is no escape and that's for sure
    This is the end, we won't take any more
    Say goodbye to the world you live in
    You have always been taking but now you're giving
    
    Running, on our way
    Hiding, you will pay
    Dying, one thousand deaths
    Running, on our way
    Hiding, you will pay
    Dying, one thousand deaths
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    
    Our brains are on fire with the feeling to kill
    And it won't go away until our dreams are fulfilled
    There is only one thing on our minds
    Don't try running away, 'cause you're the one we will find
    
    Running, on our way
    Hiding, you will pay
    Dying, one thousand deaths
    Running, on our way
    Hiding, you will pay
    Dying, one thousand deaths
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy
    Searching, Seek And Destroy

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