Creeping Death

Album: Ride The Lightning (1984)


  • A band composition, this song is about the life of Moses. The Creeping Death is the plague inflicted on the Egyptians, also known as the Angel of Death. He was sent by God to kill every first born child. Moses told the Jews to save their first born sons by putting lamb's blood on their doors. The Egyptians, however, didn't know to do this. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Derek - North Buderim, Australia
  • The inspiration for this song was the movie The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston as Moses. In the movie, the Angel of Death is represented by a green cloud. When bass player Cliff Burton saw it, he thought it looked like "Creeping Death."
  • Metallica usually plays this at their live shows, with the audience joining in for the chorus of "Die! Die! Die!"
  • Musically, this began as a song called "Die By His Hand" by Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett's former band, Exodus. Exodus recorded a demo of the song, but never released it. When Hammett came to Metallica, he brought it with him; they changed the lyrics along with some of the riffs, and the song became "Creeping Death."
  • Kirk Hammett told Kerrang! September 13, 2008 that this contains one of his favorite Metallica guitar solos. He explained: "There's a really raw, powerful energy to this one. It's exciting to listen to, and it's one that even to this day I absolutely love playing live. In my opinion it's definitely one of the best solos a Metallica song has ever had."
  • Hammett came up with the blistering "Die! Die! Die!" riff when he was a teenager. Trapped in the suburbs, he felt bored and alienated - feelings he channeled into music. When he hit on the riff, he realized he created something he'd never heard before.

Comments: 36

  • Sandman from TucsonFrom a. Man who loved idolized and eat drank nothing but Metallica 24 hrs a day ...This bulls--t makes me wanna wretch!
    So what really happened was..
    Kirk was part of a huge screw job by the managment along with Lars (im all about money not metal) and james ("yes lars im doing it okay!) Hetfield to fire Dave Mustaine who they knew wouldnt conform to thier bulls--t!
    So in order to use the song die by his hand they had to lie about mustaine to Cliff burton so hammet could join the Mega Money Monkeys that Used to be the badass band Metallica but now play crappy sell out tunes
    All hail Metal a putz!
  • Jeronimocen from MexicoHardest Metallica solo so far. Kirk Hammett really put work on the solo and the bridge riff that he wrote when he was 16. The song is so good, that it was the only Ride the Lightning single release.
  • Rich from Las Vegas, NvFavorite Metallica song! Hell yeah are you kidding me, Creeping Death crushes all mankind into dust!!! Must be played very LOUD
  • Brett from Sutton, OnFirst thing that comes to mind when I hear this song is the movie "Prince of Egypt". I also must say, it's a lot of fun to chant "Die" when that part comes.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjDoes anyone know what kind of scale Kirk uses in the solo? I'm guessing diminished...
  • Jacob from Jackson, TnWhen I first listened to the song, I was like, "Woah, it's about the Angel of Death in the story of Moses!" I thought that was cool, as I had previously listened to "The Four Horsemen."
  • Matt from Bakersfield, Cathis song is one of the best Metallica songs out there.when i can drive i'm going to drive with my windows down and blare this out of my car with the volume up high like those crap heads rapper heads do. it's going to be awesome i'm going to piss people off so much!
  • Crizzle from Rincon, GaI think is awesome that Metallica can take a story from the Bible and turn it into a song about death. This song kicks it.
  • Austin from Bristow, VaThis song is so awesome. Has the classic Metallica sound and is one of the best thrash songs ever. I would love to play this song at a vacation bible school on a day that the topic is The Prince of Egypt. I can picture the crowd's movement at the opening and closing ceremony at a VBS.
  • Aki from Sunrise, FlI don't think Kirk is, but I like to think of this as the ultimate Jew Pride song.

  • Justin from Ft. Luaderdale, FlHoly Crap! Anyone who knows that Bible, has seen the movie (or any move based off the events) must love this song. It's just flippin' awesome!
  • Shane from Tipperary, Irelandthey came up with the title when they were watchin ten commandments and cliff goes wo!thats like creeping death hence the name!
  • Bryce from San Diego, CaI remember watching The Ten Commandments When i was younger and the green cloud that was "Creeping Death" scared me, everyone should watch that movie who likes this song. One of their best songs
  • Dylan from Olmsted Falls, United StatesOne of their best for sure. DIE DIE DIE!!
  • Matthew from St. Paul, MnI think the song is about the book of Exodus from the Bible. The jews in Egypt are being enslaved (the first verse of the song) and they look to Moses as their leader. God in the form of a burning bush (also in the song) tells moses he will send ten plagues to punish the Egyptians for not believing in Him. The plagues come as flies, frogs, the Nile River turns to blood, only the Egyptians get boils on their skin, locusts, only the Egyptians cattle die, darkness overcomes the land, gnats, hail and then God tells Moses to tell his people to slay and eat a lamb with unleavened bread, then put the blood from the lamb on the door so God will know to pass over that persons house when he comes in the night to kill all of the firstborn Egyptian sons. This is where the holiday of passover comes from. So the songs is not about the Egyptians or the angel of death. All of this is in the song somwhere and I think it is one of Metallica's best songs.
  • Evan from Otway, OhThis is definantly in my top 5 Metallica songs. I love the DIE DIE DIE part, especially live. METALLICA RULES!!
  • Brooke from Otway, OhGreat song, but its hard to pick which album is better...ride the lightning, or master or puppets...xD
  • Jameson from Lexington, KyI have to agree with a few people here, there is NOTHING like being in an arena when they were doing this song. Having thousands of people shouting "DIE! DIE! DIE!" is amazing. I've seen them do this song at an outdoor venue, too (Riverbend in Cincinnati), and I think we scared the people there to see Glenn Danzig... (laugh)
  • Alex from Londond, EnglandKirk wrote most of this song in his old band and james and the rest of the band altered the lyrics etc
  • Chris from Uhhhh, VaMetallica is one of the most talented bands of all time
  • Alex from Londond, Englandkirk wrote this one with exodus
  • Dylan from Wicklow Town, IrelandIt's a song about the film "The Ten Commandments", after watching it... James came up with the lyrics, and added them to some music Kirk brought from his old band, Exudos
  • J from Nyc, NyBeing around when this album came out as young teen (may be pre-teen), this song became an instant favorite; and yes, seeing them live back when they were good, there was nothing better than the "DIE!" chants of the entire ARENA!
  • Devon from Westerville, OhMetallica is freakin' awesome. James Hetfield made me want to learn to play guitar. I don't think I would be playing guitar if it wasn't for Metallica. This is one of my favorite songs from Ride the Lightning. The verse riff is one of my favorites.
  • Brandon from Morristown, Tnin september 28 1991 they performed it in Moscow and Newsted sang the last chorus(that was one of Newsted metallica lead vocals ever in somewhat occasion).
    - ziv, ramat efal, Israel'
    I have that concert downloaded-they did sandman,creeping,then fade to black.It was great fact im gonna go watch.And great song.
  • Michael from Zurich, United Statesrar, I totally agree with you.
    one of their best songs, especially when performed live.
    Thousands of fans screaming: DIE, DIE, DIE...
    An unprecedented experience
  • Rar from Flint, MiAn amazing moment occurs at every concert at the DIE DIE DIE chorus, download a concert version if you dont know what I'm talkin gabout.
  • Travis from Minneaplouis, MnIn my oppinion CREEPING DEATH, next to FADE TO BLACK is the strongest song on their 2ed album RIDE THE LIGHTNING, to me this song shows the way a metal song should be 1.KILLER INTO, sweet drum solo in to the main RIFF 2. ASS KICKIN'LYRICS, also a VERY chachty chorus 3. a LOUD SOLO, CREEPING DEATH, has a main school solo, a solo that should be heard by everybody as an example to what a metal solo should be along with ANGEL OF DEATH by SLAYER, and 4. A good verse, also with the chorus and a KILLING outro RIFF, with a drum solo closing up the song.
  • Collin from Olympia, WaMisconceptions in this thread:

    1) This is not about the life of Moses or ancient Egyptians.
    2)This is from the point of view of the Angel of Death and Moses, not Gabriel. Gabriel is not the angel of death.
    3) Creeping death wasn't a disease, according to the movie "The Ten Commandments" or ancient Jewish scripture.
    4) According to the same scriptures, a priest didn't need to bless the house. You just to spread lamb's blood over the top and sides of the doorframe, not the windows.
  • Tim from Leuven, Belgiumnot bad but not their greatest song , I miss a climax
  • Mike from Drayton Valley, CanadaThis song is about ancient Egyptians. Creeping Death was a disease, but the Egyptians considered it to be an angel of death, sent from god to kill all royals first born male air to the throne. Moses told his people (jews)if they want to prevent the angel of death from killing their children, they must slay a lamb and spread its blood on their doors and windows, and have thier homes blessed by a perist(rabi).
  • Brian from Pittsburgh, PaMoses guided the Jews, but the song is both from the point of view of Moses and Gabriel, God's avenging angel. The first set of lyrics is the set up of the banishment of the Jews, the second Moses' threat to I believe it may have been Ramses (not sure which one, there were many pharoahs named Ramses), and the third deals only with Gabriel, and 'Passover' - "I rule the midnight air, the destroyer.
    Born, I shall soon be there, deadly Mass.
    I creep the steps and flood, final darkness.
    Blood, lambs blood painted door, I shall pass."

    Of course the chorus is only about Gabriel. Interesting that a metal band would do something this Biblical.
  • Ernest Martinez from La Puente , United StatesIn kirk's old band Exodus They wrote a song called "Die By his Hand" In the middle of the song it had the words "Die, Die, Die"
  • Anthony from Wichita, KsThis is my favorite MetallicA song to play and to listen to. Metallica forever baby.
  • Ziv from Ramat Efal, Israelin september 28 1991 they performed it in Moscow and Newsted sang the last chorus(that was one of Newsted metallica lead vocals ever in somewhat occasion).
  • Nick from Paramus, NjI saw them on the "Tattoo the Earth" tour in 2000 and this was the first song they played. It was f***ing awesome.

    Coincidentally, the movie "The Ten Commandments" was being shown on TV the same day I added the lyrics.
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