Metallica delivered a brutal, incendiary version of “Now That We’re Dead” on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday. The gnarled single appears on Hardwired … to Self-Destruct, the band’s latest double album.
Lead singer James Hetfield opened the performance with a dire warning, just as he did at a recent Baltimore show: “If you want to live forever, than first you must die.” “Now That We’re Dead” unfolded slowly, with the band cycling through a series of low-slung riffs for a full minute before Hetfield stepped to the microphone. Bassist Robert Trujillo joined Hetfield to shout parts of the hook, and guitarist Kirk Hammett unspooled a tightly wound solo played high on the neck of his guitar.
The song came to a close with Metallica’s twist on a hopeful ending. “Return to ashes, shed this skin,” Hetfield yowled. “Beyond the black, we rise again.”
Metallica kicked off the North American portion of their WorldWired Tour in Baltimore on May 10th. The cross-country jaunt is the band’s first full-scale trip around the U.S. since 2009. After playing stadiums in Houston, Chicago, Miami, Phoenix and more, the band wraps up in Edmonton, Alberta on August 16th.
Fans can purchase audio from each stop on the WorldWired Tour. The well-annotated recordings are sold through Metallica’s website (according to the band, the recent Baltimore show marked “the first time in 25 years that ‘The Unforgiven’ was played in Maryland.”)
Metallica released Hardwired … to Self-Destruct last November. The album was their sixth to reach No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart, selling 291,000 album equivalent units its first week.