Thrash Talk #5 - Ride The Lightning (Metallica)

Welcome to part 2 of the 80s Metallica albums reviews. This time I will be reviewing Ride the Lightning, which is a much better album than Kill Em All.

The album starts with a soft intro, only to see that one of their darkest and heaviest songs of all time was here to come. Fight Fire with Fire was written when James Hetfield was obsessed with Death, and is about the end of the world during a nuclear apocalypse. During the horror of nuclear warfare, a prisoner was convicted of murder and was executed even though he did not commit the actual crime. The two songs would make a good combination of thrash and darkness, to make the album their heaviest one, and unlike Kill Em All, the songs were more manifold and better-sounding.

However, Metallica decided to make more than just thrash metal songs with this album. For Whom the Bell Tolls was a slower hard rock/heavy metal song based on Ernest Heimingway's novel with the same name. This was also Cliff Burton's chance to shine with his memorable riff at the beginning of the song to start off an extremely long intro. The fan-favorite song Fade to Black follows that song, as their very first ballad, that features a haunting intro, and a stunning outro, both with great solos. The song also has good lyrics about a depressed person who wants to die but then realizes that life was to good to let go, but it was too late for him to turn back. This would be one of their most depressing songs, and was written after some bastards stole their equipment back in early 1984. This would be remembered as one of the greatest Metallica songs of all time.

In order to get fans to realize that Metallica wasn't going to abandon thrash metal just yet, they put on two thrash classics and a filler. The Filler, Escape, was only played one time in 2012, and was by far the weakest of all 80s Metallica songs. It's hard to believe, but sadly they had a not so great song in the 80s, and not every song during that decade was a masterpiece. It was still pretty decent. Trapped Under Ice was a much better song, that had probably the best riff in second half of the album. The song was about someone who was trapped underneath a layer of ice freezing trying to live but nobody could help him. The solos were short, but good at the same time. It's an underrated song, and deserve more praise. Although both songs were pretty good, they were the weakest songs in the album, and the album didn't get really good again until Creeping Death came along. The song was played more than any other song live but Master of Puppets, and was about Ancient Egypt and was originally a song called "Die By His Hand" which would be released by the band Exodus. Kirk Hammett then left the band and changed the song's lyrics and a few riffs to make this song. It turned out to be one of the best songs in the album and a fan-favorite, with only For Whom The Bell Tolls and Fade to Black being praised more than this.

The album then closes with The Call of Ktulu, a nearly 9 minute long Instrumental which would be probably their best. Dave Mustaine was one of the writers of this song and he said it was his favorite Metallica song that he wrote. This song was good because of the complexity found in the song, and the variety of riffs played throughout the song. This would close out Metallica's best album, with a unique tone that would only make it better. The sound was better than any other album, and it's probably Metallica's best album, rivalring only And Justice for All.

The Verdict: 95/100
Best Song: Ride The Lightning

Next Up is Part 3 of the 80s Metallica Album reviews, Master of Puppets.


My favorite album of all time can't get any better than this - christangrant

My favorite Metallica song is The Unforgiven, not sure about my favorite album. - Skullkid755