Metallica are still hating on Ride The Lightning deep cut Escape even after all these years

Metallica’s James Hetfield singing onstage
(Image credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns)

There are few songs more divisive in Metallica’s illustrious back catalogue than Escape. The band have been famously dismissive of the Ride The Lightning deep cut over the years, airing it live just one - and then only grudgingly when they played their second in full at the 2012 Orion Music Festival.

Even then, James Hetfield made his feelings about the song they knocked out as a last minute addition to RTL clear. “The song that we never wanted to play live, ever… is now on the set list,” he said introducing the track. “We’re not afraid, we’re just hoping it’s good. We’ll do our best.”

It turns out the band’s view of the track hasn’t mellowed over the years. A TikTokker named shotokanguitarist recently posted a short video: "Listening to Metallica's Escape after many, many years of skipping it." In the caption he added the question: “Is Metallica's Escape better than I remember it?”

Fair question, right? Except they probably didn’t expect the band themselves to wade in. As a Reddit user named Ok_Equivallent5230 subsequently pointed out, a reply from Metallica’s verified account amusingly but firmly shut down the question of whether Escape is better than people remembered: “No, it’s not.”

While it’s hard to argue with Papa Het, we feel obliged to jump to Escape’s defence. Sure, it’s no Creeping Death or For Whom The Bell Tolls, but it’s not stinker either - just because they knocked it out in the studio at the last minute to pad out the album doesn’t mean it sucks.

But there may be redemption for this unjustly unloved song. Speaking to Metal Hammer in 2016, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich denied that he hated the song.

“It’s become folklore… but it’s not true!” he told us. “We thought of it in the spirit of Iron Maiden’s Run To the Hill or Judas Priest’s Living After Midnight – dare I use the words ‘radio songs’? So instead of turning it into an eight minute Seek And Destroy type of thing, we kept it on the short side. Then it got a bad rap, and I don’t know why. I don’t have a particular problem with it, but it never became a live staple like the other songs on the record. It just goes to show that you’re better off not trying to do things on purpose.”

Still, don’t expect Metallica to bust out the song on their current M72 tour any time soon.


♬ Escape (Remastered) - Metallica
Metallica says Escape isn't a good song lmao from r/Metallica
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