Atlas, Rise!

Album: Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • James Hetfield calls out here Atlas. The Greek mythological figure was condemned by Zeus for his part in the war of the Titans to support the sky on his shoulders.

    How does it feel on your own?
    Bound by the world all alone
    Crushed under heavy skies
    Atlas, rise!
  • During the pre-chorus Hetfield offers to take on the burden that Atlas has on his shoulders:

    All you bear
    All you carry
    All you bear
    Place it right on
    Right on me


    Hetfield had his writing partner Lars Ulrich in mind. He explained to Rolling Stone Australia:

    "Lars is, 'I have to do everything, or else it's wrong.' He's got the weight of so much on him. And 'Atlas, Rise!' started out as a, 'Here, let me help you with that. You don't need to carry all that, brother.' And then it morphed into more - and this is not specifically him, but I'm plugging him into this - I think he likes that. There's a drama that makes him work, and we all have a bit of that. He wants the control but he doesn't really have control. The illusion of control, and then the ability to complain about how you have to do everything yourself, and then you still do it."
  • Metallica performed the song for the first time at the Hipodromo De Los Andres in Bogota, Colombia on November 1, 2016.
  • Other songs where Atlas is addressed include:

    "Atlas " by Coldplay (Chris Martin sings about two people sharing the weight of the world on each other's shoulders)

    "Achilles Last Stand" by Led Zeppelin (Robert Plants sings: "The mighty arms of Atlas hold the heavens from the Earth.")

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