Sound — 9
There are two very noticible differences between Metallica's debut and the others. One is the obvious: the production. Not top notch, but enhances the quality of the album as a whole. Hetfield's voice is much, much, much different, the trademark growl is more like a yell on the album. The guitars are slurred and distorted, and sometimes hard to make out. Unlike some of the later albums, the bass rings loud and clear. The drumming is fast and ferious, not cool and calculated. Basically, its thrash at its very best. The second is the more subtle presence of former bandmate Dave Mustaine. Though he does not appear on the album, his writing on four of the tracks (The Four Horsemen, Jump In The Fire, Phantom Lord, and Metal Militia) are also the hardest, crunchiest, and fastest tracks on the album. His playing was an huge influence on this album, and to a lessar extent on Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets. It's thrash, thrash, and more thrash.
Lyrics — 7
Never the strong point in thrash, Kill 'Em All is no exception. Though the lyrics are pretty good, Hetfield has not developed his growl, and rather yells and screams on this album. It still kicks ass. Tracks like Seek & Destroy and The Four Horsemen show that he is actually quite good at that kind of singing, but it still isn't the best. It's metal, what else can I say?
Overall Impression — 10
01. Hit The Lights - one of the more popular tracks of the album, the song was original written for Hetfield's previous band, Leather Cream. Good riffing, but I don't much care for the lyrics or vocals 6/10. 02. The Four Horsemen - possibly one of the thrashiest thrash song ever, The Four Horsemen was originally written as Mechanix by Dave Mustaine (Mechanix can be found on Metallica's rare No Life 'Til Leather demo with Hetfield singing) and was rewritten by Hetfield after Mustaine was fired. Amazing riff, great solos, spectacular lyircs. Best song on the album 10/10. 03. Motorbreath - this song simply proves that Hetfield is the God of Riffs. Not so good when it comes to lyrics, but good all the same 7/10. 04. Jump In The Fire - this song simply proves that Mustaine is the Better God of Riffs. Written by Dave, it was Metallica's big hit off the album, and it's riff is considered one of the best in metal history. Great, great cut 10/10. 05. (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth - a bass solo by the late Cliff Burton, this trach shows his expert technique, use of pull-offs and hammer-ons, and use of the wah pedal. Any experienced bass player should be fluent with this track 10/10. 06. Whiplash - Metallica's signature mosh song. Kick ass riffs, and lyrics about a mosh at a Metallica concert. Kick ass 8/10. 07. Phantom Lord - another one written by Mustaine, this is one of those great thrash songs. Not really memorable, but still good 7/10. 08. No Remorse - not remarkable, which is strange, since this is one of the better cuts off this album. Just great overall 9/10. 09. Seek & Destroy - and Hetfield returns to reclaim his Godism at riffage with this track. Seek & Destroy has one of the most recognizible, memorable riffs ever. Great, catchy lyrics, and impressive vocals. Not as amazing as The Four Horsemen, but very close 10/10. 10. Metal Militia - a great way to close an album, with speed metal supreme. Written by Mustaine, this is one of those anthemetic "F--k all those who do not rock" songs. Great 9/10. Kill 'Em All is simply an explosive, dropkick way of saying "We're here!" One of the greatest debuts in history, Metallica's Kill 'Em All has influenced millions and will influence millions more. Great album. Buy it.