I can’t rave enough about this song and this video, All Nightmare Long by Metallica. Nightmare is from their wicked new album, Death Magnetic, which I finally picked up a few months ago, about a year after its debut. To say the least, I am nothing short of awestruck by the song and the album. Despite Metallica’s plethora of hits—which include the likes of Battery, One, Enter Sandman, and For Whom The Bell Tolls—I’d venture to say All Nightmare Long is perhaps the best song they’ve ever produced. It’s that good!
I absolutely love the video. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so watch it below first and then read on.
I love the fictitious documentary of how the USSR decimated the USA by using a “special” kind of biological weapon—a spore of of extraterrestrial origin—to trigger an American zombie apocalypse. The video is creative and original, two traits that are sorely lacking in the videos of today’s mainstream music.
Though the video is a fantastic piece of fiction, it’s based upon an actual, historical occurrence, the Tunguska Event. In the morning of June 30, 1908 (not July 30, which is displayed in one of the video’s captions), a sizable chunk of meteoroid or comet exploded in the sky above the Podkamennaya Tunguska river, in what is now the Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia, obliterating 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometres. The blast occurred 5-10 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, with its force estimated to be approximately 10-15 megatons of TNT; that would make it 1,000 times as powerful as the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II by the American B-29 bomber, Enola Gay. That’s quite a wallop!
Update (February 5, 2010). Last week, during a hunt for a live performance of this song—which I have now officially declared to be Metallica’s best song ever—I happened upon the following video. It’s a superb performance of All Nightmare Long that was recorded in Nîmes, France on July 7, 2009 for the DVD, Français Pour Une Nuit. For me, as a lover of antiquities, what’s most notable about the performance is the venue, the Arena of Nîmes. It’s a Roman amphitheater that was constructed circa 70 A.D., during the reign of Emperor Augustus, and is still used to this very day for public events, such as bullfights and concerts.