That kid in your math class with greasy hair and the black muscle shirt might not have known it, but Metallica’s 1984 hit “Creeping Death” is inspired by the second half of the Cecile B. DeMille classic The Ten Commandments. Thanks to this video, they’re finally able to exist in harmony.
Well, maybe not “harmony” exactly. While DeMille’s epic is pretty omniscient, evidenced by its countless long shots of desert vistas and journeying Israelites, Metallica is more interested in telling the tale in a voice we don’t hear from often: the Angel of Death. (“I’m Creeping Death” is a frequent refrain, just in case you forgot who you were talking to). Among Creeping Death’s accomplishments: turning the Nile to blood, blocking the sun, killing the Pharaoh’s oldest child. The band members seem to have watched the film closely—the song more or less narrates the edited movie footage.
What would DeMille have thought of Cliff Burton‘s thrash retelling? About The Ten Commandments, he said, “Very few moviegoers can make a pilgrimage to Sinai. We’re bringing Sinai to them.” “Creeping Death,” dare we say, is in the same spirit (and now, the same brilliant Technicolor).