The Day That Never Comes

"The Day That Never Comes"
Single by Metallica
from the album Death Magnetic
B-side "No Remorse" (Live)
Released August 21, 2008
Recorded March 12, 2007 – May 11, 2008 in Los Angeles
Length 7:56
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Metallica singles chronology
"Some Kind of Monster"
"The Day That Never Comes"
"All Nightmare Long"
Music video
"The Day That Never Comes" on YouTube (Outside the US)
"The Day That Never Comes" on YouTube (US)

"The Day That Never Comes" is a song by heavy metal band Metallica, and the lead single from their ninth studio album, Death Magnetic. The song was released to the radio and for digital download on August 21, 2008.[1]

The working title of the song was "Casper", as shown in the Mission: Metallica videos and in "Demo Magnetic".


Like previous ballads and downbeat songs by Metallica, it is the fourth track of the album. Rock Sound has also compared the song to the likes of Thin Lizzy.[2] The intro starts out with clean guitars that carry into the verses, while the choruses are backed with heavily distorted guitars. The bridge speeds up gradually and eventually leads into fast paced harmony between the guitars and a long guitar solo by Hammett, a build-up comparable to that of "One", "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" and "Fade to Black". The ending of the song, like the previously mentioned ballads, is purely instrumental, featuring numerous solos and chord progressions.

Music video

A music video for the song was filmed in the desert outside Los Angeles on July 31, 2008, directed by Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg. It was premiered on the band's official page at midnight on September 1, 2008.[3]

The video depicts two Marines riding a HMMWV in a desert and getting hit by an explosion. After they take cover and look for the attacker, one of them reveals that he suffered a wound. The other Marine provides first aid and calls for help, and while he's eventually medevaced by a helicopter, it is implied that he fainted. The video then forwards to another situation involving the remaining Marine in another group riding a HMMWV and getting stopped in the road by a car and a civilian in front of it holding a jumper cable in the air. The group, suspecting it might be an ambush, circles around the car and keeps the man at gunpoint, only to find a woman in chador in the back seat. They order her out of the car, but she approaches the protagonist, who keeps holding her at gunpoint. The video then climaxes when the Marines nervously look at each other, fearing that she might be a suicide bomber, but eventually the Marine lowers his weapon and signals to the rest to do the same. The Marines help the man to push start the car, and the protagonist remains looking at the sky. Scenes of the band performing in the desert are interspersed within the video.


On August 4, 2008, in an MTV interview, the song lyrics were said to tackle the subject of forgiveness and resentment. The band's drummer Lars Ulrich claimed that the lyrics were inspired by a father-son relationship. The content of the video itself is of a different theme or setting that what the lyrics themselves were written about, a second interpretation. The video is said to be in a war background in comparison to the "One" video, but will not make any modern day references as in the war in Iraq and the Middle East (although the video depicts images of Middle East war in present day, they do not imply any political statement). Frontman James Hetfield spoke on the lyrics of the song and also the radical difference of the song lyrics and vision intended to the music video.

"That's the beauty, I think, of writing vague but powerful lyrics – that someone like a movie director can interpret it in his own way and obviously, someone creative is able to take the metaphors and apply them to whatever he needs in his own life," the frontman explained. "The main [theme of the video] is the human element of forgiveness and someone doing you wrong, you feeling resentment and you being able to see through that in the next situation that might be similar and not take your rage or resentment out on the next person and basically keep spreading the disease of that through life...The one thing that I wasn't keen on here was Metallica plugging into a modern war or a current event [that] might be construed as some sort of political statement on our part... There are so many celebrities that soapbox their opinions, and people believe it's more valid because they're popular. For us, people are people – you should all have your own opinion. We are hopefully putting the human element in what is an unfortunate part of life. There are people over there dealing with situations like this, and we're showing the human part of being there."[4]

Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and Ulrich also commented by stating ultimately, the concept of the video deals with humanity and the relationships between human beings and how your basic sense of humanity can override any sort of politicized situation.

In pop culture

Track listing

CD single
1."The Day That Never Comes"  7:56
2."No Remorse" (Live)5:33




Chart performance

The song debuted and peaked on Billboard's Hot 100 at number 31, giving the band their seventh top forty Hot 100 hit. It is also the band's highest-charting single on the Hot 100 since 1997's "The Memory Remains", which peaked at number 28. With less than four days of airplay, "The Day That Never Comes" debuted at number 7 on Billboards Mainstream Rock Chart, giving Metallica their sixteenth top ten hit on the chart. The next week it rose to number 2 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. In its third week, it reached number one on the chart, the band's sixth song to top the chart, and first since 2000's "I Disappear". It also debuted at number 25 on Modern Rock Tracks, and has so far peaked at number 5, giving the band their first top five ever on that chart. It debuted in the top ten on the Canadian Hot 100, at number 9.[6]

"The Day That Never Comes" has spent a total of nine weeks at number one on Hot Mainstream Rock Chart with its seven consecutive weeks at the top spot and two consecutive weeks prior.

The song has been very successful internationally as well. On August 24, 2008, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 36 and peaked at number 19. In Ireland it has so far reached number 14. On the Australian ARIA Charts, the song has also reached the top twenty, at number 18. It has reached the top ten in New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Finland,[7] and Sweden.

It was voted in at number 88 on the Triple J Hottest 100, 2008 which is Australia's largest annual music poll. It was their only track off Death Magnetic to poll in the list.


Chart (2008)[8][9] Peak
Australian Singles Chart 18
Austria Top 40 Charts 25
Belgium Singles Top 50 11
Canada Airplay Chart 1
Canadian Hot 100 9
Denmark Singles Chart 3
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[7] 1
Irish Singles Chart 14
Italian Singles Chart 39
Netherlands Mega Top 100 20
New Zealand Singles Chart 14
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Polish Singles Chart[10] 1
Portuguese National Top 50 6
Swedish Singles Chart 3
Triple J Hottest 100 88
Turkey Top 20 Chart[11] 18
UK Singles Chart 19
European Hot 100 2
US Billboard Hot 100 31
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 5
Venezuela Pop Rock (Record Report)[12] 4


  1. "Metallica.Com". Metallica.Com. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  2. June 5, 2008. Last accessed August 1, 2008
  3. The Day That Never Comes...The Video Premiere (September 2, 2008)
  4. "Metallica Tackle Forgiveness, Resentment In 'The Day That Never Comes' Clip". News. MTVNews. August 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  5. Single details on
  6. Canadian Hot 100
  7. 1 2 "TILASTOT – Suomen virallinen lista – Singlet 35/2008" (in Finnish)., Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  8. "Metallica – The Day That Never Comes – Music Charts". Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  9. Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Polish Singles Chart |".
  11. Turkey Top 20 Chart Retrieved on 2008-10-20
  12. "Pop Rock" (in Spanish). Record Report. October 18, 2008. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008.
Preceded by
"Bad Girlfriend" by Theory of a Deadman
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single (first run)
September 20, 2008 – September 27, 2008
Succeeded by
"Bad Girlfriend" by Theory of a Deadman
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single (second run)
October 11, 2008 – November 29, 2008
Succeeded by
"Rock 'n' Roll Train" by AC/DC
Preceded by
"If A Song Could Get Me You" by Marit Larsen
Norwegian VG-lista number-one single
September 2, 2008 – September 9, 2008
Succeeded by
"Kids" by MGMT
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