The fourth and final single from the divisive Load (1996), "King Nothing" is probably one of the stronger tracks from its parent album. Tight, raspy, heavy and the closest that Metallica ever got to recreating their fabled Black Album sound in the mid-to-late '90s, the song's attitude and more raw, focused sound definitely make it an overlooked stand-out.
However, upon closer inspection, one of the primary reasons why "King Nothing" is one of the better entries in the band's Load/ReLoad era canon is probably its stark resemblance to another Metallica hit: namely, "Enter Sandman".
Structurally, these two songs are virtually identical. Both begin with a slow, building opening ("King Nothing" using Kirk Hammett's guitar, Lars Ulrich's cymbals and Jason Newsted's bass, while "Enter Sandman" relies on James Hetfield's clean guitar) before descending into an electric guitar section that gradually adds notes to itself until, after a percussive breakdown, it constructs the main riff.
After a verse mostly built around power chords and a more middling pace, a short pre-chorus ensues that revolves around mid-neck guitar picking, followed by an anthemic, singalong refrain. The main riff is then recreated post-chorus, except for when it comes to the bridge, which goes out of its way to rebuild the riff gradually, much like the intro.
Wrap it all up with a massive chorus to close each track, and you have two songs that are mathematically near-identical. The end of "King Nothing" even has a spoken word outro during which Hetfield says "Off to never, never land" in reference to "Enter Sandman". What more proof do you need?!
Whether intentional back-reference or simply adherence to a formula that's been proven to work, there's no denying the immeasurable similarities between two of Metallica's biggest '90s hits.