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Metallica - Ride The Lightning review


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Band: Metallica
Album: Ride The Lightning
Release date: July 1984

01. Fight Fire With Fire
02. Ride The Lightning
03. For Whom The Bell Tolls
04. Fade To Black
05. Trapped Under Ice
06. Escape
07. Creeping Death
08. The Call Of Ktulu

Metallica's second effort, called Ride The Lightning, was released in 1984. The American band verged it in an international scale, projecting that the real brutality is not merely limited through fast tempos, and other musical procedures can be tested.

Ride The Lightning widely presents musical and lyrical progress, with more mature songs than Kill 'Em All. Metallica consciously developed more political and social lyrics; the songs are not about metal music itself, demonic contents or violence anymore. Solos are better-shaped and riffs are impeccable, and most importantly bass lines won't leave any space for critics.

"For Whom The Bell Tolls"'s intro with the distorted bass sound beside a wah-wah pedal, marching drum and fatal atmosphere is one the best tracks of this album, visualizing war pictures. Metallica took the risk of producing a ballad ("Fade To Black"), and certainly this was a new door of thrash metal to be unlocked, maybe not by Metallica for the first time but it was a huge impact on this path.

"Escape" is the most underrated track of this record, reflecting anarchism, and full of dark moments and finally a perfect ending going hand in hand with a whining siren and a savage riff. "The Call Of Ktulu" is Metallica's first instrumental track, written mostly in minor chords producing a mysterious tone.

The production is not faultless but far better than Kill Em All; moreover, the atmosphere that can be found in this record is completely related to the theme of the album.

Can we say this is one of the best albums of thrash metal history? Surely yes. Metallica did a great job in producing something valuable and inspiring, and held the torch for many other bands in this genre. The whole package is an example for real 80s untamed metal and thoroughly recommended.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 7

Written by TheH2K | 06.06.2020

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Iced Iñigo
With this album Metallica confirm their total control on Thrash Metal and their consolidation like an international band. In this album the band members were fully adapted to each other and make a more mature and considerably better musical album. The lyrics of this album are also better than in the last one, they do not speak now about headbanging, blood, and those things, in "Ride The Lightning" they speak about personal problems like in 'Fade To Black' . Other tracks are inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and the movie 'The Ten Commandments' like 'Creeping Death'.

published 22.09.2003 | Comments (48)

Guest review by
1984. Talk about a band and an album being so far ahead of their time that they would be hallmarks in the history of metal...

Ride the Lightning was nothing less than a nuclear bomb dropped in American metal laps. We'd heard Judas Priest and Sabbath, but nothing could have prepared anyone for what was coming full force out of San Francisco in '84. Since Kill 'em All had limited success in the underground, most people still hadn't heard of the Bay area thrashers who were busy forging a new metal scene stateside. With the launch of Ride the Lightning and heavy touring, Metallica were set to take stage as one of the more brutal premier metal acts.

published 06.07.2008 | Comments (37)


Comments: 2   Visited by: 36 users
06.06.2020 - 02:03
Rating: 10

I'd give this a 10 of 10 too. But 9.2 scores as excellent so I can't get upset too much. Still this is a progression for the band beyond Kill 'Em All, more polished, but a little less aggressive and while it's a fast paced album their is some progressive playing unlike Kill 'Em All. This is also a foundational album that 1000's of bands across many genres were inspired by and still are.
07.06.2020 - 20:19

How in the hell does it get a 7 for production though

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