Sound — 10
Heavy metal was at its prime in the days of Ride The Lightning, and leading the pack of rabid metal-hedz was a young group called Metallica. They were making a major impression in the underground with their demo tape "No Life 'Til Leather" and their debut album "Kill 'Em All" but no one was ready for the awesomeness that was to be unleashed upon the music world when Ride The Lightning came to be. The sound is probably the best of the Metallica albums, blending the pounding force of heavy metal with just the right amount of distortion thrown in for good measure. This was also one of the last albums to bear any influence/input from former Metallica guitarist and Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine. Mustaine's style indirectly effects some of the songs, Call of the Ktulu in particular, and if you're a Megadeth fan you can notice similarities to some of the Ride The Lightening songs and Megadeth's early material (Killing Is My Business and Peace Sells in particular). The awesome bass work of Cliff Burton is also noted on this album, his amazing talent is apparent on this album more so than the other albmus he's performed on.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are simply amazing, in each song they tell a story. Creeping Death for example tells of the trials and tribulations of the Hebrew people during their tenure as slaves in Egypt. Ride The Lightning tells of a man trapped in a dream where he's about to face death via Electrocution. The lyrics and music blend together beautifully to provide what can only be called the best metal album of the '80s.
Overall Impression — 10
The album holds its own as the best metal album of the era, and that's quite a feat considering the competition from Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Motorhead to name a few. Eight heavy, passionate, amazing songs jammed onto one album and performed by the undisputed best of metal, Metallica. What more could any metal fan want?