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"Ride the Lightning" is the 2nd studio album by American thrash metal pioneers, Metallica. It was released in 1984 on Megaforce Records and produced by the band with Flemming Rasmussen & Mark Whitaker. The line-up for the album was James Hetfield (vocals/guitar), Kirk Hammett (guitar), Cliff Burton (bass) and Lars Ulrich (drums).
Released almost exactly a year after debut album "Kill 'Em All" hit the shelves, "Ride the Lightning" is quite easily one of the best thrash metal, and indeed metal in general, album of all time. All of the band had a hand in writing the songs, with former guitarist and now Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine gaining writing credits for "Ride the Lightning" and "The Call of Kthulu".
This album was the Metallica of old; a pure out and out thrash machine. But that's not to say there aren't any slower parts on the album. The amazing "Fade to Black" is an example of what many would call a 'thrash ballad', even though the band would probably have denied this at the time. The song starts slow and progresses through a heavy riff-laden chorus, and finally into a crescendo of furious soloing from Hammett.
For fans of the heavier stuff, you don't get much heavier than album opener, "Fight Fire With Fire". As soon as the guitars kick in on overdrive, you know you're listening to a monster. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" begins with guitars and drums down-produced over the sound of a tolling bell and Cliff Burton's incredibly heavy bassline, and "Creeping Death" is also a thrash anthem for its high-intensity fretwork, written largely by Hammett.
In summary, if there are any downsides to this album, I've yet to hear them. I've been listening to "Ride the Lightning" since it was released and still come back to it time and time again. If you want an album than not only made people look at the Bay Area thrash movement and want to be the next band to make it, then this one of those very albums that inspired the likes of Machine Head into picking up instruments.
1. Fight Fire With Fire
2. Ride the Lightning
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
4. Fade to Black
5. Trapped Under Ice
7. Creeping Death
8. The Call of Ktulu
My rating: 9/10
Metallica has arrived. With their second album the band has dug a foothold into the side of Mount Metal and has begun a steady climb to the top. The musicianship involved in the weaving of this vast tapestry belies the band's relative youth and leaves that of the band's previous album, Kill 'em All, in the dust. The leap from Kill 'em All to Ride the Lightning is a significant one (all the more for the fact that only one year separated the recording of each) and serves as a harbinger of Metallica's varied and ever-evolving future.
Clocking in at just over 47 minutes Ride the Lightning leaves one's skull rattled and mind piqued; here, the band has evolved a social consciousness, exhibited most firmly in the titular track of the album, hammered home with pulsing guitars and screeched vocals. The lyrical content explores the hypocrisy and the moral implications of the death penalty, from the perspective of a soon-to-be-fried inmate awaiting death on the electric chair. His crimes are not revealed, but we understand that he is indeed guilty and that he accepts it, but wonders about the righteousness of the State ending his life. We're taken along for the ride as his final hour draws nearer and his mind begins to bend under the pressure, until eventually he comes to terms with the futility of his situation and yells "get it over with!".
The song features a guitar solo of typically epic proportions, with several distinct sections spanning one and a half minutes of the song's 06:37 runtime. For me this represents one of Kirk Hammett's most accomplished contributions to the album, with its seamless passing from one section to the next, and without ever descending into fretboard onanism. It captures the insanity, fear and outright anger of the character at the centre of the story. His constantly shifting moods, perspectives and emotions are exhibited primarily through this solo and this is the mark of a great guitarist; outdoing the lyrical content in the conveyance of emotion is every musician's dream.
The most widely loved song on the album is undoubtedly Fade to Black. Even my Westlife-loving mother has this song on her iPod. Take from that what you will!
The band's members experienced a severe hit of depression soon after their equipment was stolen, leaving them penniless and without the tools they required to continue gigging and writing material. When the situation came to a head the band arrived at a crossroads - do we just kill ourselves or do we get back on track? When the bleakness of their predicament started to fade they sat down and wrote about their experiences, and Fade to Black was the result. The lyrics explore the hopelessness their trials had instilled in them, accompanied by sombre, finger-picked acoustic guitar sections intersected with distorted, power chord-heavy detours, eventually leading into a climax of harmonised rhythm guitars and a crescendoing guitar solo taking the lead for the songs fading finale. The song is played live at almost every concert to this very day, which says a lot about the impact it has had on metal fans.
The seventh track on the album, Creeping Death, is probably the strongest link Ride the Lightning has with the band's first album, Kill 'em All. The first album featured a song about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, which is a fairly cheesy affair but typical of the metal genre. Metallica had vowed to rail against the big hair, Spandex and stupid lyrics of their rivals but had failed to do so in any meaningful way; they claimed to be separate from the silliness of the genre but were in fact writing the same kinds of songs, only with much higher tempos. Ride the Lightning, on the other hand, represents what the band were trying to achieve all along, and for me the album is the first release representative of the real Metallica. Creeping Death is the exception.
The song details the biblical account of Death, the Passover and the killing of the first born male. It's a largely empty work, simply furnishing the listener with a broad overview of what the bible says about these events, but musically the song is a straight-up head-banger favourite and a mainstay of live performances. It's also one of the first songs burgeoning guitarists learn how to play, owing to its intricacy of structure and the relative simplicity of its riffs.
If you've watched the film Zombieland you'll be well-acquainted with one of the album's more accessible songs, For Whom the Bell Tolls. A structurally modified version of the song is used for the opening credits and makes an appearance or two later in the film. The song, obviously based on Ernest Hemingway's book of the same name, asks questions about the motivations for war and what it means to be a soldier in the middle of it all. Although the lyrical content is fairly broad there is a sense of immediacy and urgency to the phrasing, painting a very stark image of the unfolding desperation and carnage. The intro features a distinctive chromatic riff played by the bass guitar, although you wouldn't guess that from listening to it; it's treated with healthy lashing of distortion and wha-wha, successfully masking the fact that it's played on bass and not guitar. Live, the song is an almost-permanent fixture, and has remained largely unchanged in the 20-odd years of its being performed save for extended intros/outros, and the occasional mid-song audience participation.
Running out the album's final minutes is an instrumental piece written in large part by the band's former lead guitarist Dave Mustain. The Call of Ktulu is an expansive, epic flexing of musical muscle, with numerous distinct passages wedded together by Kirk Hammett's blisteringly fast, and sometimes downright soulful, lead guitar work. The song ends where it begins, with a neo-classical arpeggio section played on bright, clean, piercing guitars. The piece continually rises to the heights of mania and falls to the depths of guttural, crunching, low-end riffs chugging along beneath the virtuosity of Kirk Hammett's guitar playing. The song is very much a Hammett showcase, giving him free rein to carve himself a neat little corner of the album all for himself.
The album's production is a marked improvement over that of the band's previous album, Kill 'em All. It has a depth and a meatiness to it which had been absent before, and combined with the improved musicianship Ride the Lightning has over its predecessor the studio team have made an album which still rings true today. The album is almost certainly of its time, and in its own rebellious way it became a kind of convention itself, one which Metallica and other metal bands have since abandoned in the unending pursuit of a new and evolved sound. Metallica fans need to experience this album, and metal fans in general will have an incomplete understanding of the genre if they haven't heard it.
The album was released under Megaforce Records in 1984, and was later re-released under Elektra Records. The album has gone five times platinum since its release and remains a steady seller amongst metal fans today.
01. Fight Fire with Fire
02. Ride the Lightning
03. For Whom the Bell Tolls
04. Fade to Black
05. Trapped Under Ice
07. Creeping Death
08. The Call Of Ktulu
Price: £4.99 on Amazon.co.uk
Ride the lightning is Metallica's 2nd album. This was started to be written and produced when now ex-member of the band Dave Mustaine was still a regular feature in the band. All ready from Kill 'Em All, the bands debut you could see that the band are evolving with this album. With the added clean and acoustic guitars on tracks such as the intro to "Fight Fire with Fire "and also the intro to "Fade to Black". Also a full out instrumental on "Call of Ktulu" at the end of the album. This shows a growing, much needed maturity in the band. Also another plus is the song arrangements of this album compared to their first one, Kill 'Em All. As mentioned before, "Fade To Black" would not be the same, if it where not for the acoustic introduction on the song. Also with the bass taking the lead line on "For Whom the Bells Toll" at the start of the song, this shows a much needed change to the obviousness of the guitar taking the lead. Also the subject matters of the songs mature a lot from the first album. With the title track going inside a prisoners mind in the last moments before the electric chair is switched on. To "Creeping Death" in which the song comments on a plague that killed every Egyptian first-born child. These are just 2 examples, and lord knows I could go on! This album is in my top albums of all time. As it show cases thrash metal at its finest, but at the same time, shows a band with maturity and growth, which lead to Master of Puppets, And Justice For All, and The Black Album., to the more radio friendliness of Load and Reload. But this was in my opinion a band at the height of their career. And was long before the years they are the stadium selling behemoths the band have become. This album is best heard in all its glory on Vinyl (as with Master of Puppets). But if you think CD is the way to go, then it still sounds great.
Ride the Lightning is the second studio album released my heavy metal/ thrash giants Metallica. Released July 27th 1984 and has since sold over 5 million copies in the USA alone. The album was released a year after Kill 'em all (Metallica's debut album) and in such a short time you can really tell how much the band has matured from ruthless teenagers to more deep musicians. The album deals with what some people would call stereotypical metal themes but I think that Metallica have gone further on the topics and really put a lot of thought into each track giving each one a uniqueness about it. As with Kill 'em all Dave Mustaine has been given credit for a couple of the songs on this album.
Lead vocals/ guitar: James Hetfield
Drums: Lars Ulrich
Bass: Cliff Burton
Lead guitar: Kirk Hammet
Fight Fire with Fire- 4:45
The opening song to the album starts with a nice soothing melody (surprising when you know Metallica) but of course this changes after 30 seconds into an amazingly raw riff followed by amazingly raw lyrics, perfect combo. These two factors coupled together make such an aggressive tune this is a great opening track that soon grows on you. Solo isn't bad either, this is just one of those songs that you can really lose yourself in. You can also really tell the difference in Hetfield's voice which has grown a lot deeper making the entire theme just seem that little bit more strong.
Ride the Lightning- 6:38
A personal favourite of mine with probably one of the most addictive tunes you'll ever hear. Ride the lightning brings us a story about capital punishment and the thoughts that go through some one's head as they are awaiting their fate, really deep stuff. Again the lyrics here coupled with the riff make this song incredibly immense. If there is a song on this album that you're going to listen to it should be this one. This is also the birth of those excessively long solos from Kirk that we all love and also the beginning of Hetfield's mastery of lyrics (my opinion).
For Whom the Bell Tolls- 5:11
No metal band is complete until they've released a track with that ominous bell tolling in the background, ACDC did it, Black Sabbath did it, and now Metallica. I think that this is where Metallica set themselves apart from other bands in showing that it isn't all about playing as fast as you can. A more toned down riff but still the lyrics have a major impact. Not much more to say about this tune other than it shows that Metallica are easily capable of changing their style.
Fade to Black- 6:55
Now this is really where Metallica breaks the mould. All we have seen so far are massive riffs at a blinding pace; we never thought Metallica could create what can only be described as a ballad. Another moving song about suicide and the feelings of a man that 'has lost the will to live'. The track also has a nice melodic tune to it and in my eyes, shows James' lyrics at their best. Inevitably, the song picks up tempo towards the end and brings around a great finish. Definitely another personal favourite of mine.
Trapped Under Ice- 4:04
Trapped under ice, yet another song about death, who could have guessed  though it doesn't get old fast. Its all in the name, this song tells the story of a man who is ... trapped under ice. The tempo picks up again for this track and the lyrics are still amazingly strong. If nothing else, this song is at least interesting to hear the story.
I love this song but this is where both the tune and lyrics slip in my eyes. The song still has an amazing solo preformed by non other than Hammet and the lyrics still sound great but I don't think it compares to the rest of the album but you are entitled to your own opinion.
Creeping Death- 6:36
Yet another personal favourite of mine and when you hear it live you may even say as much. This track is Metallica's most frequently played song and allows great fan participation during the mid section where an entire crowd will be chanting 'Die, Die, Die'. The sheer power behind this song coupled with the biblical story of Moses and the plagues of Egypt make this song a classic. Truly great stuff. The lyrics are written mostly from the perspective of the angel of death and really have a massive impact.
Call of Ktulu- 8:51
Metallica's second instrumental clocking in at 8 minutes and 51 seconds but it doesn't go stale at all. It starts off very melodic like fade to black and then picks up getting faster and faster. There's really not too much to say on instrumentals but the composition in this one is amazing, it all blends so well, not a single part in the entire 9 minutes seems out of place and is a great way to wind the album down.
Ride the Lightning is probably my favourite Metallica album and if nothing else should be listened to just to hear the lyrics as this is what I think makes this album, though don't underestimate the guitar (and drum work).
Review taken from my account on Ciao
After the comparative meat and potatoes of thrashy debut 'Kill Em All', 'Ride the Lightning' came as a epic surprise to the listening metalheads. Metallica hadnt lost any of their pace (See opener Fight Fire with Fire for evidence of the thrash fires still burning brightly) but they did manage to embellish and progress their sound to heights previously unrealised.
'Fade to Black' was the first Metallica song that really showed off the versatility of James Hetfield vocals, a walk through a suicidal mind, 'Fade' was a beautifully structured bolt from the blue, and an introduction into the melody that lay within the band.
'For Whom the Bell Tolls' still remains a live favourite to this day, its punishing groove translating perfectly into the concert arena.
'The Call of Ktulu' started a long line of classic Metallica instrumentals, as was another example of the variety that this band could call upon when needed.
Ride The Lightning - Metallica!
'Who Are Metallica?'
Who are Metallica? Well Metallica are one of the biggest metal band of all time, have dominated the thrash scene, they've made some of the greatest albums of all time (this being the best), has one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Kirk Hammett, in their arsenal and have amassed over 100 million album sales since their release of 'Kill 'Em All' in 1983.
Over the last 25 years Metallica have released a total of 9 studio albums, 2 live albums and 1 album consisting of coverers and tributes.
Although Metallica started out by making four amazing album, they are still not only one of the greatest thrash bands but also the biggest sell outs, with such pieces of trash like Load, Re-Load, Garage Inc. and worst of all St. Anger! But despite this Metallica is one of my favourite all time bands and one I will eventually see live, but this is Ride The Lightning, this is not a sell out album, so hear comes the thrash!
Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar - James Hetfield
Lead Guitar - Kirk Hammett
Drums - Lars Ulrich
Bass Guitar - Cliff Burton
Ride the Lightning was released in 1984 and was the follow up to the greatly successful Kill 'Em All album that was released only a year prior to this masterpiece, 25 years later and some Metallica fans will argue that this album is their best, I most certainly will, although Master of Puppets was a landmark in Thrash metal and voted the best metal album of all time, according to Metal-Rules.com but this album most certainly has a very different and much heavier feel to it.
Since 1984 Metallica has sold almost 6 million copies, which for its genre, is pretty good and albums shouldn't be judged on sales as this only shows popularity not quality, I mean not one true Metallica fan will say that the black album was their best album, but that has by far sold the most, after which Metallica was labelled as sell outs, but I'm not here to discuss that, I'm hear to talk about one of the greatest albums in metals history, it's time to Ride the Lightning.
Basically plays up to the whole lightning theme by having 'Metallica' induced with a fierce glow of lightning, dark clouds in the background producing a few bolts of lightning and having the old electric chair in the middle, this comes into relevance with the title song 'Ride the Lightning' with the lyrics 'strapped in the electric chair' and I personally love the look of this album next to Master of Puppets as that is red and the mix of blue and red goes quite well, so credit where its due to Metallica, a simple yet effective piece of artwork.'Track List'
Fight Fire With Fire
Ride The Lightning
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Fade To Black
Trapped Under Ice
The Call of Ktulu
'Fight Fire With Fire'
I love the way this song opens the album, it's a brilliant intro, it stars off with an acoustic guitar, but even that sounds a little heavy, with other guitar parts in the background, this only last around 20 seconds until Metallica do what they always did in the early 80's and that's play some heavy thrash metal!
True to Metallica this opening riff is heavy, simple and so very hard hitting, it just knocks you out of your seat, puts you on your feat and makes you pull out that beautiful looking air guitar, thrash at its best.
First time I heard this I found the vocals a bit odd, just the way it's like a word at a time 'Do...On.....To others.....As.....They've done to you' but even though it's a bit strange its still really catchy and goes well with the backing music, which does help when playing air guitar, and if you've ever wanted a solo to air guitar to here's a brilliant one, the intro to this solo is one of the albums best, reminds me of the solo intro to No Remorse, another Metallica classic.
There isn't really much else to this song, a catchy and simple chorus just 'Fight fire with fire, the ending is near...' and towards the end of the song the words 'Fight fire with fire' is just repeated fore a while until James is almost screaming it.
Now this song, to me, is just an intro to the title track as the ending part with just a quick repetitive beat on the drum, like the heavy part on 'One' leads straight into the killer opening riff off 'Ride the Lightning' and when listening to it on iTunes, as I am now, they miss out the few seconds of nothingness and go straight into the next song, so I'd advise using iTunes for this album.
'Ride The Lightning'
With a Brilliant opening riff and guess what? It's easy again! But Metallica are so good at it, look at Paranoid, simple yet still good after over 30 years. Now this track is my 3rd favourite of the album and this is because of three things, number one, it's a song that shows the rest of the world that Lars is an awesome drummer and the thick beats at the start gives the good old head banging feel to the song, number two, the riff after the intro that takes you to a new world of head banging, this riff caves your head in! Finally, have you heard Kirks solo? What a solo, another amazing solo entry with the tapping and then another minute or so of pure solo, how much more can you ask for?
This song is album downloadable on Rock Band and when my friends are over it's always on our play list if get to choose our songs but it is one I really struggle to do on expert as that solo is extremely hard.
Lyrically it's a song about someone facing the electric chair, hence the album art and basically I like the fact they did a six minute song on the electric chair and the emotion that comes with it, again a lot of talk about death, as usual, with a catchy melody playing with a great riff, perfect, I also love the chorus:
Flash before my eyes
Now it's time to die
Burning in my brain
I can feel the flame
Its just really catchy and what more could you say about an electric chair besides flashes, dieing and burning brains, nice one Metallica. The song closes out with a repetitive riff of power chords and hard picking before the intro riff finishes it off, then we enter For Whom the Bell Tolls, are you ready for 'Tallica heaven?
'For Whom The Bell Tolls'
One of Metallica's all time classic, a really simple song as a whole; the intro just shows any bass haters what the instrument can do when used by a trained professional like Cliff Burton, one of the greatest bassists to have lived, along with Steve Harris who is probably the best.
The simple power chords and the powerful bass riff combine extremely well and just sets the song up for so many brilliant yet easy riffs, the hard hitting heaviness of the first one as the guitars slide up the neck producing such an effortless amount of heaviness, this of course is then destroyed with one of Metallica's best riffs, played a total of 16 times by Kirk Hammett before entering into the chorus riff. That's the traditional 2 minutes of intro by Metallica.
Now into the verse and surprise surprise yet another simple riff, well just a power chord actually, couldn't make it much easier, yet somehow Metallica makes the song feel so electrified and with the lyrics about death, possibly in relation to the novel 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' by Ernest Hemingway, but I just love the lyrics:
Take a look to the sky just before you die
It is the last time you will
Relatively simplistic lyrics with a very catchy rhyme pattern and a very catchy chorus to match, 'For whom the bell tolls, Time marches on' easy enough and that's probably why its such a great crowd pleaser, well and the fact that there is no solo so its pretty easy for them to do live, unlike the rest of the songs. The song slowly in a similar way to how it started but with a little bit of craziness from Kirk to make up for the lack of solo, then the song goes onto one of the best Metallica songs and one of the best songs ever made, in my mind, Fade To Black.
'Fade To Black'
This is defiantly my favourite track off the album and quite possibly my favourite Metallica song of all time. The slow intro of the clean acoustic guitars is met with a soft solo, beautifully crafted from the hands of Kirk Hammett. This is also the first song on the album that Kirk has been credited for in terms of the writing process.
Then after the long introduction the riff changes, though still using the acoustics which gives this song a much more epic and emotional feel. After a few seconds the drums begin to softly play along and you know that the song has moved into full swing and we only await the lyrics of James Hetfeild to come in.
Next the words 'Life it seems, will fade away, Drifting further every day' are sung wonderfully and again soft, fitting in with the mood of the song. This mood keeps with the song throughout the first verse where it then begins to show the darker side to the song as the lyrics 'Need the end to set me free' are sung and the mood of the song rapidly switches from soft and gentle, to hard and heavy.
This only lasts about 20 seconds before the song goes back to its original verse riff and another slow background solo goes throughout the verse. Then again, like before, the mood changes as the words 'I was me, but now hes gone.'
The darkness is then kept thought the song instead of going back to the slower feel like before and this is where Metallica show how great they are as guitarists. The riff changes, to a 3 part riff with a quick tremolo section for the riffs tail as 4 frets are used to give it that extra edge and create a much more dynamic feel, basically its one of the greatest riffs of all time, and so energetic.
The last 2 minutes of the song is then pure instrumental and is truly great. It's hard to describe I suggest listening to the song yourself. Watch out for the solo, as even though its quite slow at the beginning it does pick up to a much faster pace and I believe some tapping is used towards the end, which is typical of Kirk with songs such as 'One' that uses this technique, then he goes back to the original solo rhythm and this continues as the song begins to fade out which is ironic considering the song title.
'Trapped Under Ice'
Yet again Metallica builds suspense through a 30 second introduction, mainly consisting of power chords and a simple drum beat, this is all before Kirk Hammett steps in and like No Remorse all you here is hardcore solo and what an intro to a solo, with plenty of bends and typical thrash speed.
The verse is again played with speed and a lot of open strings, this really does sound good and with the lyrics of 'I don't know how to live through this hell' that blends well, as usual, with the rest of the song, this is a song I love singing and playing guitar to on Guitar Hero World Tour, feels just like being James Hetfield, which is nice to feel.
The chorus again like most of Metallica's early songs is a catchy melody and a much slower backing music, something they are brilliant at, just look at the pace changes in Fade to Black or One, the lyrics go:
Can't move at all
Can't hear my call
I am dying to live
I'm trapped under ice
Great to sing along to whilst playing the lead guitar, or the air guitar, either one works well, then solo number 2 kicks in and of course it's a good one, what did you expect? The only flaw is that this song only has two minor solos, but is lacking that epic over the top 1 minute long solo and doesn't really provide enough unique riffage to back up the lack of long solo like for whom the bell tolls.
Overall though a good start to the second half of the album, which is the weaker half of the album, still 4 great songs, but it's hard to measure with what has come before. The song then ends, pretty fast before going into Escape.
Escape, although a good song, it is probably the worst song on the album, only just behind Trapped Under Ice, it's just that song had a blistering opening solo. The song opens relatively slow, with no real energy in either the intro or the repetitiveness off the verse riff, this song is basically saved through the quality of the sound, even though the verse riff is just constant open E strings, it does sound hard and heavy, which is always nice, also the chorus is yet again really catchy and soft:
Out for my own, out to be free
One with my mind, they just can't see
No need to hear things that they say
Life's for my own to live my own way
I'm a man for catchy melodies and fun-to-sing lyrics, one of the reasons why I love Maiden so much and this song luckily provides us with that catchiness. Now I love Metallica and all but this isn't one of Kirks best solos, it does fit with the song well, possibly too well as I fancied a really fast solo to overlap the riff, instead I didn't really feel much energy, then the song plays with the last line of the chorus being repeated as a siren sounds in the background this then fades away until you hear the sound of Creeping Death!
In terms of intros, this has to be one of the best on the album and one of the best in Metallica's history, beaten of course by Master of Puppets, but not only does this have a great riff with a lot of head banging potential, but it also has a great riff for the verse and is one of those songs that combines everything to create an amazing song and if we talk about energy then this song is a power plant of pure pleasure.
Lyrically the song is about the old Moses thing and the Egyptians, letting the people go and all the rest of it, but the way James enters with the first lyrics is what does it for me, as soon as I heard that I was up and singing with my air guitar, nothing different there.
Hebrews born to serve, to the pharaoh
To his every word, live in fear
The chorus is then said through the eyes of the thing that comes and kills all the first born children, don't know what it was, don't believe in it either, but I makes a good song, the chorus isn't as catchy as the verse but its still brilliant.
So let it be written
So let it be done
I'm sent here by the chosen one
So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh's son
I'm creeping death
As choruses go it's not my favourite but it does well for the track and does flow pretty well, now a song with this sort of start, fantastic intro, quality lyrics, has to be backed up with a good solo, I bet your surprised to hear that this one is pretty good, not my favourite solo but it still has a good sound and speed for the song and the bit played out at the end has a really nice tune to it before going into the slower part of the song.
This part is again, pure headbanging, traditional of thrash metal, with slower vocals but with the same theme of death and killing the first born son, very nice. The song continues with another verse and chorus, before ending with a little simplistic riff and another sort of half solo type riff then back to the intro like on Ride the Lightning, this of chorus setting it up for the next song, The Call of Ktulu.
'The Call of Ktulu'
Right, this is defiantly the hardest song on the album to talk about, for two reasons, one it's really long, almost 9 minutes in fact and second of all, it's an instrumental, so I can't talk about lyrics, just pure music.
It's actually surprising how quick this song goes, as there is so much going on, your mind gets taken away due to the speed changes and the different riffs, it really is a brilliant song. The introduction is both beautiful and some how rather sexy, which is weird for a Metallica song, well I find it sexy, probably because I'm a little strange but it doesn't deny the fact it's a good intro, with, thanks to Cliff Burton, a really good bass line at a different pace to the other riff that adds that dynamic feel to the song.
Then after about a minute or so the riff changes, you'll find this a lot, and your taken somewhere else from where you thought you was going and although this part is rather heavy, its still soft, don't ask me how, it just is. The rhythm carries on until around 4 minutes where it picks up from some good guitar work and eventual soloing from Kirk but with a slower background sound, now we're at the half way point, don't worry it gets better from here, somehow, well it starts off getting better with a much heavier feel and a lot more vertical movement up the neck of the guitar giving increasing note sound that begins to build towards the next stage of the song.
The pace then gets slower before continuing with a new riff and this has a nice little headbanging moment as it draws to the final few minutes of the song and as its an instrumental everything takes long, each passage extended so you will find a lot of repetition before it goes back to the intro part, this is where the final outro of the album comes, with a build up from the drums and an final power chord riff that should used a lot more frequently, but is still a brilliant closing to any album, basically by this point your ready to start again as your slightly gutted its come to an end whilst being chuffed with how good it was. So that's The Call of Ktulu, a weird name and one that I don't think I can say correctly, but a good song none the less.
Well, what can I say? This is my favourite Metallica album and possibly my second favourite album of all time, just behind Painkiller and only just above Powerslave. Its an album that shows what Metallica where capable of, of course we all now know that they've lost that edge with their age and are no trying to redeem themselves with Death Magnetic, which is their best album since selling out in 1991, but still, its no Ride the Lightning and nothing they ever do with compare with this album, if you're a fan of heavy metal then you don't need me to describe the feeling of this album, if your not then I either suggest you listen to it, or you start off lighter and build yourself up.
Rating 78.5/80 ----- 98%
Total album time: 47:24
Metallica's second studio album released in 1984.
1. Fight Fire With Fire - Awesome song, really shows off the band members talents.
2. Ride The Lightning - Headline track, easy to see why, intricate fast paced solos are the key to thrash
3. For Whom The Bell Tolls - Didnt really catch on to me, but a bareable metal song nonetheless
4. Fade To Black - Brilliant song, comes a close second to ride the lightning
5. Trapped Under Ice - My favourite song, fast, faster and fastest. Love every second of it.
6. Escape - Seems out of place
7. Creeping Death - My second favourite song, a song about the plot to kill all the first borns in Egypt
8. The Call Of The Ktulu - A very well composed instrumental to end the album. Long song, was boring for me at first, but grew on me a lot.
Amazing! The classical guitar-work which opens the album might be misleading, but make no mistake - this is a mighty fine thrash metal album, and opener 'Fight Fire With Fire' soon becomes engulfed in blazing riffs, played at a breakneck pace. The song never lets up on the speed, and when it comes around to the vocal break there's some bloody brilliant blistering guitar leads from Hammett, followed by the guitars backing off temporarily, in which you can just sense Ulrich picking up the pace on the drums - sometimes I burst into laughter because it's so damn awesome. The perfect way to begin the album and oh yes, this is my favourite track.
But other songs are as good. Title track, 'Ride The Lightning' follows, and whilst it's not as fast as the first song, it's also got great chugging guitar riffs and an electrifying guitar solo - a highlight for sure! Perhaps the third verse and chorus are one too many but this is really good stuff, and the manner in which the song ends - nice to hear a quick gallop in the rhythm - is cool.
The next two tracks, musically, are about as accessible as Metallica gets (at least back then) and incidentally, are their slowest efforts on the album. There's no mistaking the tolling of bells in 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', a song which appears to have been speeded up hence the slighter sharper than usual pitches of the guitars, but curiously the bass in the introduction playing chromatics is put through wah-wah and distortion, and sounds like an electric with a big fat tone. A song which is likely to be My First Metallica Song if you're learning the guitar, so that's simple rhythms with trickling, but not tricky leads into sustained power chords. Not that it makes it any less of a song.
'Fade To Black' is a ballad. That's right, a ballad beginning with acoustic guitars, but without James Hetfield's vocals being reduced to cheese, despite the song's theme being that of suicide - apparently written with the band's equipment having being stolen recently in mind! An absolute monster of a distorted guitar riff makes up the chorus, and the song progressively becomes heavier, with Hammett coming up with a number of fine guitar solos. Recommended listening.
Unfortunately, the second half of the album does not compare to the first, with 'Trapped Under Ice' and 'Escape' being of the good, but not great category. In 'Trapped Under Ice', possibly my least favourite track, it's back to thrash metal stylings, and an opportunity for Hammett to go nuts on the wah pedal - but the introduction is lacking and some of the riffs could have been upped in intensity. 'Escape' however, has a cool intro, one which, if it were up to me, I'd have extended and given fuller harmonies, but while the verses chug away effectively - love the sudden rushes in rhythm - the chorus is not something you'd expect from Metallica. By the end it fades away rather than goes out with a bang.
Musically, 'Creeping Death' - a song which tells of the bible tale where the ten plagues are set upon the Egyptians - doesn't quite reach the same peaks as the album does as in the first half for me, but it's heavy, and fast! 'The Call Of Ktulu', an instrumental, is a great way to end the album - there's some captivating stuff from each of the guys as they move from one fine riff onto another.
James Hetfield is not someone I would choose to listen to when it comes to singing, but the vocals on this album are well done. Rather, it's the abrasive qualities of the rhythm guitars which I dig and also, I love the drumming from Lars Ulrich - it certainly gets me excited enough at times to start air-drumming along! And then there's Kirk Hammett delivering some mesmerising guitar solos as well. While there are musical lapses in Ride The Lightning, there are enough outstanding songs to make up for this. An electrifying album!
One of the finest metal albums ever made ! Despite metallica's recent negative image and press due to the release of St. Anger they still remain one of the biggest and best loved metal bands of all time, and this album is one of the reasons why.
This was the first metal album i ever bought and it single handedly inspired me to learn to play guitar; every track is packed with a wealth of exciting riffs, solos and generally good musicmanship.
The album kicks off with Fight fire with fire - at first you would be forgiven for thinking that you bought the wrong cd ,as what ensues is one of the most memorable acoustic intros i have ever heard, pleasant and harmonious , but it soon dissolves into a dark and blisteringly fast trademark chugging riff, this is one of the heavier tracks on the album and ,what an opener! the pace remains constant and fast once it gets going and the vocals are barked in a somewhat stoccato manner ,ie ,short and punchy. this track is raw and everso energetic.
next up is the title track Ride the lightening - Again another solid track packed full of great riffs and some harmony guitar , but what i like about this track is the juicy face melter solo which would give any begginer / intermediate guitar player a run for their money. simple in construction but hugely melodic . it also starts with a nifty thunder clap to regain the listeners attention ,probably necessary as the opener FFWF will leave you mezemorized.
Up next is the most commercial track of the album For whom the bell tolls - which is commonly used in association to metallica for promos etc. a sort of trademark song if you will. this track is down tempo compared to the first two and istead of speed relies on crushing brutallity and simple yet brilliant riffs. the solo utilizes just four notes in repetition which on paper should be dull and uninspired yet somehow kirk hammet has made it sound huge and sort of Black sabbath-esque. (just listen to the end of Black Sabbaths Fairies wear boots to know what im talking about) Another point to note is the vocals sound more mature on this track compared to the last two aswel, not to put down them tracks by any means.
Just when you thought this album couldnt get any better, track four, Fade to black- is yet another supurb song that will blow you away. Similarly to For whom the bell tolls it is also another of the more commercial and sucessful down tempo songs on the album, beginning with another clean intro and a lush intro solo it then picks up with a spanish classical inspired chorus, again very melodic for a metal band. the vocals are a little on the depressing side with this song but it is none the less is what can be described as a beautiful song. it then ends with a really epic , over the top sort of solo. I think there is a little bit of showing off going on here as the solo seems to go on for ages but that doesnt detract from the song in any way ,infact it reinforces what is already a great song with the perfect ending.
Track 5 Trapped under ice - I feel is possibly the weakest song on the album , im not saying its bad , it just doesnt meet the high standards already set by the first four songs. It is thrashy and energetic bringing the album back upto the thrash tempo metallica were known for, but it lacks refinement. the lyrics are a little cheesy on this one ,but its still a great song and well worth a listen.
track 6 is also a slight dip in the album , Escape- is again not as refined as the first four with un-memorable vocals , but it still has a tight rhythm section provided by James hetfeild and Lars ulrich.
Here we go ,track 7 Creeping death reminds us why this is one of the greatest metal albums of all time. the sound is kept fresh and interesting on this song by bringing in egyptian sounding phrasings and solos. Another brutally heavy song on the album with good vocals and at the time a fairly origional theme (inspired by Merciful fate).
Lastly the album closes with another reminder about why metal musicians are great , The Call of ktulu - is an instumental track with many technical guitar flourishes and no vocals to get in the way. This is a daring song, not commercial in the least for the fact it has no words but it is genius. clean guitars a woven effortlessly between distorted filthy guitar crunch. Admittedly at times this song can be a tad boring i think personally, as it is long and a little repetetive but it is a good closer to the album and should not be overlooked. I can still listen to it after not having heard it for a while and think WOW.
a point to note is that almost all of the songs are very lengthy, these are not your average commercial pop songs.
Overall i would give the Vocals 8 / 10 (James Hetfeild had not yet fully discovered his voice on this album)
-the guitars 10 / 10
-the drums 9 / 10
-the song structure 9 / 10
-and the sound quality 9 / 10
in conclusion if you are a metal fan but do not yet own this album buy it now! a rock fan , someone who is intersted in getting into metal, a guitar enthusiast like myself , or someone who appreciates good musicmanship then definately buy it now.
This album could change your life!
With the somewhat punkish kill em all debut release by metallica this is an album full of thrashy heavy riffs, with the punk element all but gone.
This is the album that defined metallicas style. 'Creeping death' is an egyption themed song that has that great exotic feel about it.' For whom the bells tolls' is a black sabbath influenced thrash anthem. 'fight fire with fire' is metallicas heaviest ever song that is bordering on death metal.
Metallica were the hottest and coolest band to like if you were an American youth in the early 1980s, especially as their ?no MTV? policy thrust appealing obscurity upon them. Their 1983 debut album ?Kill ?Em All? was very popular with fans of speedy US thrash metal but lacked any real depth or interest, but their 1984 follow-up ?Ride the Lightning? astounded music fans worldwide with its unique sound and very complex and detailed song styles. STYLE The band?s bass player Cliff Burton was not a member of the band when their previous album was written, and as such had little imput into the final product- apart from his fast-playing on the grating bass instrumental ?Pulling Teeth.? A classically trained bassist, his appreciation for intricate song structures was fused with the band?s fast, aggressive music and improving lyrics, and their first truly outstanding album was released. The success of this album led to 1986?s ?Master of Puppets,? in many ways an even better album that expanded on the strengths of this, but Ride the Lightning still contains many of Metallica?s most-loved songs. TRACKS 1. FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE The most deceptive opening in rock history presents the listener with a soothing acoustic guitar played in a classical, baroque fashion, but thankfully an amplifier build-up and heavy drum slap allow the metal fan to lie back and enjoy the melodies, safe in the knowledge that they have not accidentally bought the soundtrack to Louis XIV?s palace at Versailles. One of the album?s ?thrash? songs, this is not one of Metallica?s most remembered pieces but is still much more interesting and enjoyable than anything by their Devil-worshipping contem
poraries. The song?s relatively simple lyrics deal with the threat of nuclear warfare bringing mankind to extinction, and it ends with an echoing explosion that leads perfectly into the second track. The fast riff and staccato vocals make this a great and different Metallica song, but its true wonder lies with the original and, dare I say it, beautiful guitar solo after the three-minute mark. A very strong opener that would inspire the later and more popular ?Battery.? The ending riff is reminiscent of the final notes on Iron Maiden?s classic ?Hallowed Be Thy Name,? but that is where the similarity ends. ?Soon to fill our lungs, the hot winds of death. The Gods are laughing, so take your last breath.? 2. RIDE THE LIGHTNING A fantastic high guitar section opens this song, which isn?t as aggressive as the previous track but is still fast, dark and angry; all that can be expected of a song about electric chair execution. The chorus and bridge sections of this song are great, but there are a couple of factors which prevent this from being recognised as one of Metallica?s most classic tracks; for a start, James Hetfield?s vocals are very annoying and grating when he seems to attempt an AC/DC style delivery in places, and secondly it?s a little longer than necessary at 6:37. This is still a great song however, and as with all tracks on this album it has clearly had a great deal of effort expended to ensure its success. Not sure why they thought the high vocals sounded good though. ?Someone help me, oh please God help me, they?re trying to take it all away. I don?t want to die.? 3. FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS The first recognisable track p
resent on almost all Metallica live sets and collections from 1984 to the present day, ?For Whom the Bell Tolls? features some outstanding work all round from the guitars, bass, vocals and drums. A distant bell ringing leads into Cliff Burton?s classic bass line and the chugging guitars, and Kirk Hammett delivers an excellent, and again classical-influenced, guitar section long before James decides to start on the vocals at around halfway into the track. The song deals with the futility of war (?For a hill men would kill- why, they do not know?) and may be related to the 1960s film of the same name. This song is a Metallica classic as every instrument is noticeable and essential; the guitars carry out the riffs and solo sections, while Cliff?s bass can be heard setting the song?s moderately slow pace in an excellent way. And while a little unimaginative, Lars Ulrich?s drums are catchy and work to finish the sound. And while James? voice has yet to break into its adulthood, his voice thankfully isn?t annoying here. The only slight problem I have with the song is at the end, as it takes a full, dull minute for the song to bring itself to a close and fade out. ?For whom the bell tolls? time marches on.? 4. FADE TO BLACK The most popular song on this album is also the band?s first attempt at a ?power ballad,? and most fans, including myself, find it among their finest work. The most powerful and emotional song on the album, this tale of depression leading to suicide is essentially structured into two sections; the first few minutes are led by a soft acoustic beat with heavier electric guitars and hard drums in the chorus, and the second half suddenly becomes far more ?traditional? Metallica, while keeping the tone. The first half is excellent in itself, showing the ab
ilities of James? voice even at this early stage, but it is the second part which earns this song its popularity and esteem. One of the best guitar sections ever devised plays like a galloping bass riff, and the high guitar section that slowly leads the song into its fade-out and solos is often in my head, especially when I?m unable to sleep and so decide to write an album review at 4am. This is among my very favourite Metallica tracks and one of my favourite songs of all time, and I?m going to let you into a pretty sissy secret: when I bought this album at the age of sixteen and listened to it on high volume, reading along with the lyrics, I shed one very small tear. There, I?ve said it. ?I have lost the will to live, simply nothing more to give. There is nothing more for me, I need the end to set me free.? 5. TRAPPED UNDER ICE Following the awesome fourth track comes the most mediocre track on the album, not that that?s a bad thing. ?Trapped Under Ice? has the potential to be a good song but is overshadowed by everything else on this disc (or LP if you?re either very old or just very cool), and lacks the energy and emotion that it really requires. As the title suggests, this is literally about someone being trapped in the very undesirable situation of being under ice, and it?s only James? vocals that stay in the mind following a listen. The kind of song which you only remember when looking at the back of the album and see the name, and you think, ?I am dying to live, cry out, I?m trapped under ice!? Ner-ner-ner, no I can?t remember the rest. I?ll put track four on and cry again.? It?s not a bad song, and I never skip it, it?s just not great. ?Freezing, freezing, can?t move at all. Screaming, screaming, can?t hear my call. I a
m dying to live, cry out, I?m trapped under ice.? (Ner-ner-ner? no, it?s gone). 6. ESCAPE Another variation on the band?s style just when you think you have them pinned down. This isn?t thrash metal or a ballad, it?s more of a mid-paced rant with an incredibly upbeat chorus that also sticks in my head a lot. Unrecognised and unappreciated, this is one of the happiest Metallica songs, despite being a bit of a rant about how people always try to give out standards and control feelings. The song ends with a long air raid siren behind the fading music which I a nice, if strange, touch. Metallica fans should check this out if they haven?t already, as it?s very fun! ?Out for my own, out to be free. One with my mind, they just can?t see. Don?t need to hear things that they say, life?s for my own to live my own way.? 7. CREEPING DEATH A popular song and another that returns to their thrash roots, this also has all the elements that make their later epic songs so popular. A unique intro shows that this is a big song from the onset, and when the riff kicks in it?s clear that it?s no skipper. Similar to Iron Maiden?s ?Powerslave? and at least one song from every metal band in the whole world ever, this deals with an Egyptian theme, and more specifically the Exodus story from the Bible, the eponymous ?Creeping Death? being the Angel of Death sent by the Old Testament?s vengeful God (before he had a son and decided that being forgiving would make him a better father figure) to kill the Pharaoh?s first-born son. In fact, this could almost be an Iron Maiden song if it were focussed more on melody than power, but I?d rather have it this way. The guitar solo after three minutes begins the latter half of the song and
is one of the finest electric whine sections on the whole album. This second half features a much slower but heavy section, with the original riff returning before the climax of the song with those much-anticipated Egyptian-style guitars. I love it when bands use that sound. ?So let it be written, so let it be done. I?m sent here by the chosen one. So let it be written, so let it be done. To kill the first-born Pharaoh?s son? I?m Creeping Death.? 8. THE CALL OF KTULU In many ways, this is the finest track on the album as it showcases everything Metallica are capable of in terms of their instruments. The influence of Cliff Burton?s classical taste and training clearly shine through in this epic, eight-minute instrumental that could not be deemed ?a bloody noise? by even the most hardened metal hater. Well, maybe just them then. The instrumental does sound very fitting to its subject matter, that of raising and calling the mythical Cthulhu beast devised by H.P. Lovecraft in his ?Cthulhu Mythos? which have since spawned a huge worldwide cult that believes in the tales, despite them being fictional as proclaimed by the author himself. The fools. The ominous guitar section at the start leads into the main, excellent riff and sections which dominate the song, and being an instrumental it is very difficult to describe the appeal and sound of this classic. A symphony-enhanced version opens the band?s 1999 experimental ?S&M? album, but I still prefer this original. Likely Metallica?s finest instrumental, although ?Orion? from their follow-up album comes a close second. VERDICT A fantastic album, let down slightly by some dodgy vocals in places and production that could be clearer
. The influence of the bass guitar will doubtless please fans of that overlooked instrument, while the guitars are up to their usual, very high standard. This album marks the start of Metallica?s finest era, and no metal fan?s collection is complete without it. Buy. Highlights: Fade to Black, The Call of Ktulu, For Whom the Bell Tolls
Metallica's best two albums are this and 'Master of Puppets', but this wins With their debut, 'Kill em all', Metallica had been one of the creators of thrash metal, mixing the heavy riffing of bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead and Diamond head (the latter one of their biggest influences) with the speed and attitude of hardcore punk. It featured great songs, most notably 'the four horsemen' and 'seek and destroy', and was a superb straight-up heavy metal record. with 'ride the lightning' the band evolved its unique sound, adding progressive elements to the song structures, and upping the levels of musicianship and dexterity. The album's first track, 'fight fire with fire', begins with a classical guitar opening before exploding into pure mayhem. An unbelievable riff mixed with amazingly fast and powerful drumming from Lars Ulrich. A great, thrashy opener telling you that Metallica are playing. The title track is where the progressive elements come in, the song mixing yet another amazing thrash riff with numerous time changes, brilliant lead breaks from Kirk Hammett, and powerful lyrics from vocalist/rhythm axeman James Hetfield. 'For whom the bell tolls' features great bass work from Cliff Burton, and has some excellent riffs and chorus. 'Fade to Black' is one of those songs that can only be described as brilliant in every way. The band's first power ballad, it displays an emotional vocal from Hetfield, beautiful lead guitar, and when that riff kicks in half way through...wow. a true metal classic. 'trapped under ice' is the only track is usually skip. its good, but no way near as great as the others. 'Escape' is a cool song, but for me it serves as a taster for what's next. 'Creeping death' is my favourite Metallica song of all time, an absolute bonafide metal super-classic. The main riff is amazing beyond description, hetfield's lyrics a
re about a plague in ancient egypt (very evocative), lars' drumming drives the song superbly, while kirk's solo is pure brilliance, both technically flawless and melodic in a way. 'Creeping Death' is simply amazing. The closing instrumental 'The call of ktulu' still ranks as their finest non-vocal track ('orion' from 'master of puppets' comes a close second), and has some great playing all round. 'Ride the lightning' is in many ways the definitive prog-thrash album, not just because of the quality of the songs but primarily because of the influence it would have on future thrash and prog-metal bands. Artists such as Dream Theater, King Diamond, Helloween, Blind Guardian and many others would be hugely influenced by 'Ride the Lightning'. Get this piece of metal history in your collections.
This album is by far and away the best Metallica album. Since this there has been a few good tracks coming out of the band and some very memorable moments but this album beats them all hands down. From the beginning you get a real sense of the band's integrity. They are a thrash/heavy metal band at this period in their lives with the softest track being Fade To Black. Their stuff from here on in is fairly useless. Ride the Lightning is the first Metallica album I heard and I was instantly hooked. They have a great sound, easy to listen to and FANTASTIC to drive to. It'll get you banging your head, tapping your feet and jumping aroung like a looney in minutes. Favourite tracks (in order of preference) ----------------------------------------- Creeping Death : Really heavy song, great guitars and a story which follows the Angel of Death in the Passover time. This song really hits you as being a classic straight away. Fade to Black : Mellow beginning with some really good heavy guitar in the middle section. This is tyhe first Metallica song I mastered on the guitar and I love to play it now. For Whom The Bell Tolls : Again a great heavy sound, simple to play and easy to listen to - you'll grow to love this one. Overall. -------- The album is my roots with Metallica, it's what got me hooked and it'll always have a place in my heart, I love to play the guitar and these songs are playable even for someone of my liimited ability. It's a fun, simple and great to listen to album, Metallica at their finest.
Ride the Lightning Metallica Track Listings 1. Fight fire with fire 2. Ride the lightning 3. For whom the bell tolls 4. Fade to black 5. Trapped under ice 6. Escape 7. Creeping death 8. Call of Ktulu Don't let that classical-guitar opening to "Fight Fire with Fire" fool you--Ride the Lightning packs a heavy-metal wallop. While not as ambitious as the subsequent Master of Puppets, this early Metallica album is indubitably one of their best. Thematically, it explores death and dying from myriad points of view: nuclear war ("Fight Fire with Fire"), electric-chair execution (the title track) and drowning ("Trapped Under Ice"). Interestingly, the best track on this album is probably "Fade to Black", a slower, more introspective song about suicide. There's also "Creeping Death", which remains a concert favourite. An excellent mix of rapid-fire guitar riffs, rip-roaring solos and singer James Hetfield's trademark growl, this is thrash metal at its finest. This is an essential work of art, made by the ultimate masters of thrash metal in their heyday. It is tremendous. Nearly every track is standout. You must buy this, and "Master of Puppets" and "Kill 'em all" as well or you might as well start listening to Belgian reggae music.Every true metal fan should own these three albums."Kill 'em all" was fast and abrasive and aggressive, "Ride the Lightning" was in a more classic vein, and "Master of Puppets" was the most brutally heavy of the three. Musically, this album is quite diverse compared to it's predecessor. Savage thrash metal dominates throughout, but the album also has it's quite melodic parts,(although these are still heavy) such as the epic "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and the execution anthem of "Creeping Death." "Fight Fire With Fire" is
full-on thrash with an almighty, bruising riff. Don't be fooled by that classical intro; this is one of the heaviest songs on the album. The title track has to be one of the most doomy things ever written, with a pounding riff which leaves considerably large holes in your metallic eardrums. And "Trapped Under Ice" is another frash classic."Escape" is a slower, riff-laden, Sabbath-esque song which is probably the most bluesy song on the album (if you could call it that) and the classical-played with-rock-guitars epic, "The Call of Ktulu" is absolutely fab, an atmospheric, dramatic track which never gets boring despite being seven minutes long. Overall this a timeless album and set the scene for what was to come next from the masters of metal . . . in the form of their best album yet. Kill 'em all was great too. Oh, yeah, I already said that a few times. Also, . . . And Justice For All is a very good record, and so is the black album, although I would rate the former at four-and-a-half stars, and the latter at four stars. The first three Metallica albums are, in my opinion, the joint three best Metallica albums. The first five Metallica albums are the ones worth buying especially.
This is where they discovered their style. It wasn't just about speed and thrash anymore. It made heavy metal as artful as 70's rock and changed the direction of a straight motorheadesce thrash band to the epic song structures to be later found on future releases. The cd starts out with a acoustic riff. This was so great cause it freaked out all those who have only heard Kill Em All(just straight metal). But then surprised you again cause it crashes into the one of the hardest songs on the album. The speed is amazing. This song is about adrenaline. FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE.. great song.. and unique to metallica's line up. Next is the classic title track that is Ride The Lighting.. about a man who is about to be electrocuted... it's classic. great riff, great solos, hell yeah. FOR WHOM TO BELL TOLLS is one of their best known songs. The bass line in the beginning is so great your just hooked for the rest of the song.. Epic metal classic. "men would kill for a hill/ why? they do not know. stiffened wounds test their pride." Is a must have. FADE TO BLACK... perfect title for a perfect song... this song is the best song about suicide beside Nine Inch Nails Hurt and it was done almost 10 years before hurt. This song caused the first shoutings of metallica being "sell outs" cause it was a 'ballad'.. I don't care this is a great song with great lyrics and an awesome climax. "Life it seems, will fade away Drifting further every day Getting lost within myself Nothing matters no one else I have lost the will to live Simply nothing more to give There is nothing more for me Need the end to set me free Things not what they used to be Missing one inside of me Deathly lost, this can't be real I cannot stand this hell i feel! Emptiness is filling me To the point of agony Growing darkness taking dawn I
was me, but now he's gone No one but me can save myself, but it's too late Now I can't think, think why I should even try Yesterdays seems as though it never existed Death Greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye" BRILLIANT and groundbreaking... especially if you think about all the crap in the early 80's. then as the next track plays.. you get so digusted. Trapped Under Ice is horrible. It's just lame and the fact that it follows Fade To Black makes it seem more lame.. just forget this one ever happened. the chorus is so damn horrible. Escape is a great song with a great singable chorus.. good song... not as good as the others but hey not much is. CREEPING DEATH rules. One of my favorite riffs by metallica ever. It's about holy plague that claimed the first born sons in the exodus story. Perfect song. Awesome solos. THE CALL OF THE KTULU is metallica first full band instrumental.. epic and incredible in every way. This is as close as hard rock gets to a symphony. It comes off as timeless and beautiful. Great way to end the album. I see this album a lot like how I view Led Zeppelin II. The music is great and they are starting to fine tune their sound but the albums after just get better and better. Only difference is I happen to like this more than Led Zeppelin II. It kicks a$$. Grade: A-
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Fight Fire With Fire
2 Ride The Lightning
3 For Whom The Bell Tolls
4 Fade To Black
5 Trapped Under Ice
7 Creeping Death
8 The Call Of Ktulu