Blood running down the Nile? Darkness three days long? Sent here by the chosen one to kill the first born Pharaoh's son? "Creeping Death?" Sign me up!
One of the best songs off a record that every metalhead should own (Ride the Lightning,) "Creeping Death" was allegedly inspired by the film The Ten Commandments. Today's death metal bands usually express disdain for anything remotely biblical, but Metallica realized that the story of the Ten Plagues was even more brutal than anything that Tobe Hooper, Clive Barker or Stephen King could dream of.
"Creeping Death" is a great example of how Metallica works best as a band. Contrast the James and Lars-dominated years with something like this. Hetfield unleashes an alarming main riff under a vocal melody that has almost no resemblance to it. The sound of Cliff Burton driving his Rickenbacker into the war zone at the :27 mark still thrills me. Lars sounds discontent in a good way--whoever sets up his crash cymbal every night must pray to Lemmy that Metallica don't play this song. But despite James' riff and narration, the star here is Mr. Kirk Hammett.
Having replaced a future metal icon on lead guitar just a year before, Hammett was leaving his mark on a band that still had Dave Mustaine's fingerprints all over its songwriting. The harmonies and solo near the end put to rest any wonder of who would be the best lead guitarist for Metallica. The unforgettable bridge (known to Metallifreaks as the "audience participation" part) was originally written by Hammett for his previous band, underground metal heroes Exodus. With all respect to Gary Holt, the Phrygian segment and "Die by my hand" chant deserve to be performed by Metallica and a room (or arena) full of maniacs. With or without a Haggadah.
Of course, I can't post anything Metallica-related without posting a live version: