Metallica is undoubtedly one of the hardest-hitting bands in the business today, however, they do have some songs that show their softer side.
Although their love ballads might not be as well-known as their heavier tracks, they are no less powerful. Here are 12 of Metallica’s best love songs that you might have missed.
Some speak to the complexity of love while others offer a message of hope for those who thought they’d never find it again. So, enjoy these 12 best love songs by Metallica!
12 Best Love Songs by Metallica
1. Nothing Else Matters
This song proves that James Hetfield is capable of singing about something other than death, destruction, and misery. The song has a very strong message relating to unconditional love and is more on the slow side but no less powerful lyrically or musically.
Released on their self-titled fifth studio album, it is one of Metallica’s most popular songs and a staple in their live shows.
According to Wikipedia, James wrote it about his then-girlfriend then-girlfriend Kristen Martinez but in a 2012 interview, he said he wrote it while on tour about missing his family.
He added, this song was very personal to him and never meant to be played live or recorded but it was eventually heard by the band and became a part of Metallica’s standard repertoire.
Thanks to them, it has gone on to touch the lives of millions of people.
Although not a love song in the traditional sense, “One” is a song about ultimate sacrifice in the name of love and deserves to be on this list of Metallica love songs.
Written by Lars and James, this song tells the story of a soldier who is suffering from severe injuries on the battlefield, can’t feel anything, and begging God for death.
The imagery is vivid and the story is touching, but it’s only when the beautiful lyrics kick in that make this track, one of Metallica’s most emotional songs.
Regardless of what you think it’s about, ‘One’ has a bit of everything: fast guitar riffs & solos, acoustic guitars, drums that will bring the house down, and of course James Hetfield’s powerful voice that will send chills down your spine.
3. The Unforgiven
Written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett, it is one of Metallica’s most powerful ballads and I personally feel this song should be on this list as it tackles a serious subject and is very emotional.
The song is about a son who is mad at his father for all the pain and suffering he has caused him and his family during his childhood. On the surface, it seems to be about a broken relationship but you can interpret it however you like.
Whatever the truth, it is definitely one of the best songs by the band where the message is clear enough, lyrics are incredibly moving and the guitar work by Kirk Hammett is strikingly beautiful.
4. Fade to Black
The first ballad and one of the most successful songs they wrote, Fade to Black is a classic. It is one of Metallica’s heaviest ballads that tells the story of a man who is suicidal and is ready to give up on life.
The lyrics are dark and at times depressing but they are also very poetic. This song might not be about love but it is definitely about the power of love and how it can change your perspective on life.
Musically, it is one of Metallica’s most melodic songs and is a great example of how the band can mix heavy metal with acoustic guitars without it sounding forced. If you haven’t heard this one then you aren’t a real Metallica fan.
5. The Unforgiven II
This is actually the sequel to the original Unforgiven ballad and it picks up where the first song left off. It is about the same man who is still struggling with the pain, regrets, and anger caused by the world to him and he is calling all of them as unforgiven.
However, this song can be related to many situations in our life, like where someone is struggling to let go of the past and fighting with inner demons.
Apart from that, the lyrics are just as powerful as the original and musically, it is even more intense with some great guitar solos by Kirk Hammett. Personally, this is in my top 5 Metallica songs and I guarantee you will love it.
6. Low Man’s Lyric
This song is not of typical Metallica style as it is a slow and acoustic song. However, it is one of the most beautiful songs they have ever written with lyrics that tell a story about a man who is struggling to survive the pain of his life and is hiding in drugs.
And I cry, to the alley way
Confess all to the rain
But I lie, lie straight to the mirror
The one I’ve broken, to match my face
Low Man’s Lyric is one of those rare gems that you will love from the first listen. James Hetfield’s vocals are just beautiful and the song sounds even better when you hear it live. If you want to hear a different side of Metallica then give this one a try.
7. Mama Said
Another song that shows a different side of Metallica, Mama Said is a ballad about a son who is losing his mother and trying to come to terms with the fact that she is gone.
He then talks about his regrets about not spending much time with her, his love for her, and how he will miss her.
The lyrics are incredibly sad but the acoustic guitar work by James Hetfield is just beautiful. It might not be one of the most popular songs by Metallica but it is one of the most powerful ballads they have ever written.
8. Loverman ( Nick Cave Cover )
Originally sung by Nick Cave, Loverman is a dark and seductive song about a man who is in love with a pro**itute. The lyrics are just as dark as the music and it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Metallica’s cover of the song is simply amazing and they manage to keep the dark atmosphere of the original while adding their own touch to it.
This is definitely one of those songs that you will either love or hate but I guarantee you that Metallica’s version is a lot better than the original.
Here’s how the chorus of the song looks like:
L is for LOVE, baby
O is for ONLY you that I do
V is for loving VIRTUALLY all that you are
E is for loving almost EVERYTHING you do
R is for R*** me and
M is for MURDER me and
A is for ANSWERING all of my prayers
N is for KNOWING your loverman’s going to be the answer to all of yours
9. Sucking My Love ( Diamond Head Cover )
Another great cover by Metallica! Sucking My Love is a song originally sung by Diamond Head which is a fast and aggressive song about a man who is in love with a woman who is only using him for his money but he doesn’t care.
Metallica covered this in their early days when Dave Mustaine was still a part of the band and it is another example of how Metallica can take a song and make it sound like their own.
In the video above you listen to those amazing guitar solos by Dave Mustaine and I can tell you for a fact that it was the best at that point of his career. Moreover, the song is just a lot of fun to listen to and I am sure you will love it.
10. The Unnamed Feeling
Apart from what others say about the St.Anger album, there are some songs in it that make me feel the unnamed feeling. This is one of them.
This is not one of my favorite Metallica songs but I appreciate it for what it is. If you are a fan of heavy metal then you will love the intense guitar work in this song and the lyrics are as dark as they come.
As said by James himself, the “Unnamed Feeling” is the feeling you get right before you lose it and panic. If you felt this feeling then you will definitely relate to the lyrics in this song.
This is definitely not a happy song but it is an incredibly powerful one.
11. The Day That Never Comes
From the Grammy Award-winning album Death Magnetic, ‘The Day That Never Comes’ is a powerful song about struggling with life and not being able to find solace in anything but fighting through the problems.
This is one of those rare songs that have a lot going on in it without getting boring or losing its power.
The lyrics are extremely deep and thoughtful with a lot of imagery. Filled with amazing guitar arrangements this song starts off slow but builds up to an epic ending which will leave you speechless.
Apart from that, James Hetfield’s vocals definitely shine through in this song especially at the end when he gets into a scream that overflows with emotion.
In simple words, this is just a great heavy metal anthem that you will love from the very first listen.
12. Hero Of The Day
Last on the list we have ‘Hero Of The Day’ which is completely different from what we expect from Metallica. A song with a lot of pop influence, Hero Of The Day is more like part 2 of Mama Said but instead of an acoustic guitar, we get clean tones and a more poppy sound.
A lot of people are not aware of this hidden gem by Metallica but it is definitely one of the most underrated songs in their discography.
This song is basically about trying to find your own path in life, asking for help along the way, and knowing that you will fail many times before finally finding your place in the world.
So there you have it! 12 great love songs by Metallica that might not be obvious choices but are still masterpieces in their own right. Metallica isn’t a band that writes those typical love songs but the ones they do write are incredibly powerful, emotional, and sometimes dark.
Thanks for reading.