Bodies fill the fields I see, hungry heroes end
No one to play soldier now, no one to pretend
running blind through killing fields, bred to kill them all
Victim of what said should be
a servant `til I fall

Hot off their sophomore album, Ride The Lightning, Metallica honed their sound and created a masterpiece of modern metal entitled Master of Puppets. The album featured Metallica at their best, composing bruising metal riffs with poignant, powerful lyrics. From the soothing intro of Battery, to the closing segment of Damage, INC., Master of Puppets is a mental ride of seismic proportions. Disposable Heroes is one of the many tracks from the disc that combine Metallica's melodic thrash sound with some powerful lyrics. For as much acclaim as 'Tallica gets for their music, it's the lyrics that really shine through on this song.


now an empty shell
twenty one, only son
but he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
just do as we say
finished here, greeting death
he's yours to take away

James Hetfield has touched on many subjects on Metallica's various songs. The death penalty, the apocolypse, nuclear holocaust, addiction, child abuse and insanity have all been the subject matter for Metallica's lyrics. It would only be a matter of time before James started penning songs about war. If one only looked at the fact that Metallica was blasted by soldiers during the first Gulf War, and used as a subduing agent by soldiers during the second, one might think that Metallica and War go hand in hand. This is not the case.

Barking of machine gun fire, does nothing to me now
sounding of the clock that ticks, get used to it somehow
More a man, more stripes you wear, glory seeker trends
bodies fill the fields I see
the slaughter never ends

The two Metallica songs about war both take a very anti-war slant. One, considered by many to be Metallica's "best" song, focuses on the atrocities of war, especially when one loses their humanity because they're wounded so much. That song is based off of the movie "Johnny Got His Gun" and the video uses several disturbing images from the flick. Disposable Heroes preceeded One on the Metallica timeline, and can be taken in a way that the two mesh together, with One as a sequel. However, One is not an "official" sequel, the two songs have coinciding themes.

Why! Am I dying
Kill! have no fear
Lie! live off lying
Hell! Hell is here

James' lyrics are powerful, and when combined with his gruff, baritone voice, create powerful imagery that rivals One. While the music is not as fancy as One, or Master of Puppets, the power of the song comes from the words. James writes how a soldier is barely human, as he has very little, if any, freedom of thought or choice. He tells of how soldiers are merely unthinking pawns. He even goes so far as to say they have no control of their life, "You will do what I say, when I say ... You will die when I say, you must die." This theme is repeated several times throughout the song. His words paint painful imagery, similar to the Black Sabbath classic War Pigs, yet focusing more on the condemmed soldier, than on the manipulating politicians.

I was born for dying!

The music on the tune is pretty straight forward thrash metal. The dynamics come through with the lyrics. Hearing these lyrics read aloud, or shouted as James does, creates enough mood and power to move the listener. Hearing James cry, "I was born for dying" still sends a shiver through me.


Disposable heroes appears on the Metallica album, Master of Puppets, produced by Flemming Rasmussen. I know it's written by atleast James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, but credit might also have been given to the other two members of Metallica, Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett. All lyrics are center aligned, with hardlinking added by me. Thank you for not suing. CST Approved