Singer James Hetfield revealed to Jam! Music that the chorus is a leftover from Metallica's 2003 album St. Anger.
Hetfield explained to Jam! Music that lyrically, "it was an attempt to get back to the H.P. Lovecraft mythos with 'Thing That Should Not Be,' 'The Call Of Ktulu.' This was about the hounds of Tindalos, which was another crazy mindf--k about these wolves that hunt through their nightmares and the only way you can get away from them is stay with angels. You can't even escape through sleep."
In an interview with Artist Direct, the interviewer commented that he felt this song was saying that death is always chasing us, and we're always running away from it. However, it's still pulling us.
Bassist Robert Trujillo agreed with the statement and added: "It's a constant chase. We've all had dreams where something is chasing us. Whatever monster that is... it could be someone's addictions, or it could literally be that chase sequence in your dream where you're on the tour bus and you're floating over the edge. You look down and you see nothing but rocks and water, which is a dream that I've had plenty of times. It's very interesting. The music has a lot of imagery to it. You can close your eyes, put on your headphones and see things. It's pretty cool. That, to me, is a sign of something special. This album took time, and there's a lot of detail. Metallica's a band of detail. Everybody knows that. Things take time because people like James are very thorough. He explores a lot of possibilities with the lyrics, the lyrical format and the arrangements. There is tons of detail to it."
This song was used as the theme for the October 5, 2008 pay-per-view WWE event No Mercy.
The music video, which does not feature the band, is a mockumentary depicting a sequence of fictional events following the historic 1908 explosion in Tunguska, Siberia.
To promote the video, guitarist Kirk Hammett claimed that he purchased the original animated film from a Russian fan for $5. It was actually created by the director Roboshobo.
Zander from Los AngelesI loved hearing this album- It gave me hope that Metallica has gone back to their roots (and you can tell because the songs are about death and destruction).
Zero from Nowhere, NjI don't know, somehow I think this album could've been made better. It kinda sounds like a rawer version of Slayer. (Well Rick Rubin did produce it) Maybe it's the way it was produced or maybe the songwriting and/or performances weren't up to par. I can't put my finger on it. I WILL say that these songs transfer very well into a live setting, so maybe it was done on purpose.
Shingami from Lusaka, ZambiaDefinitely a great song, My favorite of the album which is an overall good album. I laugh in the faces of people who kept saying metallica where done after St Anger. this album proves that Metallica are still a great band for a bunch of old guys they still rock cause this album is heavy and fast its an amazing listen.
Mike from Ny, NyThis song makes me think of a sniper at night using a night vision scope with his crosshairs on whomever his target is and taunting him
Matt from Bakersfield, CaWhen i first got this album my oldest brother supporting me and my youngest brother on getting into Metallica finally! he came and dropped it off for us he had his own of course. at first i didn't know what to make of it but after awhile i got hooked on it diffenitly a great album and an awesome tune!
Charlie from Las Vegas, Nvif i had to name my favorite Metallica songs from each decade they'd been around, this song would definitely be my favorite from this '00-'09 (the other two are 'ride the lightning'  and 'enter sandman' ).
Abdullaah from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia1.....2.........!!!!!! Headbang!!!
Jeff from Austin, TxThis is definitely my favorite song on DM. I've listened to it several dozen times, and 6:00-6:27 still gives me goosebumps. That riff is straight out of early 80s Metallica!
Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaSeems to be a retread of lyrical themes from earlier tunes (in this case, Enter Sandman).
Hetfield from Port Louis, MauritiusMy favourite song in Death Magnetic....
Michael J from Needles, CaRules the album. The one you need to hear to make a decision if you want to own this release or not. The feel is very And Justice For All. Nothing like recapturing the old glory.
Steve from Lala Vile, Inits true i closed my eyes while listening to this song and i saw things even tho i couldnt make out what they were.
Matt from Houston, TxMy favorite off death magnetic
Armando from Winona, MnWow its really left over from St. Anger? Too bad they didn't put this on St. Anger then that album wouldn't have been one of the biggest wastes of my money.
Eric from Lorton, VaThis is my favorite on the album... the solos kick major ass and doesnt stop until the song ends!!!
Nick from Cairns, AustraliaThis song is awesome!! i love those H.P Lovecraft themed songs that james reflects on and the songs always turn out good too!! even if its instrumental or not
Brandon from Haltom, TxOK this a badass SONG!!!! and the video is awesome!