Sound — 10
This is a revolutionary heavy/thrash album. It took complex riff structure and mixed it with the motorhead-ish style of their first album. This is a very close second to their greatest, Master Of Puppets. The riffs are fast and driving, and the solos are great, one of my favorite guitar solos ever is in Ride The Lightning the song itself.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics pretty much all concern death in some way, except Escape (about escaping prison), and Call Of Ktulu which has none. Personally I think it's a cool idea to have all the lyrics themed like that, and For Whom The Bell Tolls's lyrics are inspired by the book which shares that name (by Hemingway). I like how James sounds on this album better than the debut, and delivers the lyrics well.
Overall Impression — 10
Another of my top favorite albums, just not as overall as good as Ride The Lightning, but has two songs which are unbeatable: Ride The Lightning and For Whom The Bell Tolls. Also, I particularly like the very beginning of Fight Fire With Fire (right after the acoustic bit that is), and I love to surprise people with that song. Call Of Ktulu is an excellent instrumental, its a good finisher and sounds awesome, better than Orion in my opinion. It's a shame Cliff Burton died and couldn't compose more of these great instrumentals. If anything happened to it, I'd go get a new one immediately.