Ride the Lightning review by Metallica

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1984
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (1,748 votes)
Metallica: Ride the Lightning
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Sound — 8
Metallica were the first metal band I was really introduced to. I'm a complete indie addict but most of my friends are metalheads so naturally they tried to get me into some metal. Metallica was their first success. I now own about 5 metallica albums this one being my latest purchase. so what can be said about it? Well it does have quite varied styles of play to it. From straight thrash (Trapped Under Ice) to slower heavier stuff (For Whom The Bell Tolls). The production isnt incredible on the album and it doesnt sound as helathy now as it probably did on first release, but theres still power to the songs. this is particuarly apparent on Fade To Black, where the change of tempo changes the mood in the listener. Overall though the sound is pretty damn good and the production works for the album. It rocks like hell.

Lyrics — 9
James Hetfield started to show off his ability to write lyrics more clearly on ths album. The all the songs with lyrics have a seriousness about them which deserves praise. Out of all of them Fade To Black is by far the best lyrically, as it sows a toucing sympathy for those who do decide to commit suicide. sadly this is not matched as Fight Fire With Fire has terrible lyrics. James doesn't seem to have put much thought into them and has just written down the first lyrics that came to mind that associated themselves with the subject matter. Also Fight Fire With Fire is sung particually well either. James just sings with the riff rather than attempting to counter it. He does sing well on Ride The Lightning and For Whom The Bell tolls though, and adding extra strength to the songs. Overall his voice hasnt fully developed into the great instrument it would eventually be, but the lyrics makes up for this and give the album extra credit.

Overall Impression — 9
Against the other Metallica albums I own, I would have to say this is joint second along with the black album. It is bettered by Master Of Puppets, but is still better than ...And Justice For All, which in my opinion was a great oppourtunity wasted. I would rank each of the songs as follows: 01. Fight Fire With Fire - musically great fast paced opener let down by poor lyrics and vocals. 02. Ride The Lightning - stunning track showcasing the entire band's talents. 03. For Whom The Bell Tolls - brilliant slow burner which fetures some of Kirks best guitr work. 04. Fade To Black - stunning and beautiful track which shows metallicas maturity in both music and words. 05. Trapped Under Ice - under-rated thrash song which has a killer riff. 06. Escape - more of a rock song than a metal song seeing as its not as heavy as other parts of the album. Still fairly good though. 07. Creeping Death - awesome song which was deservedly the single for the album. Great riffs and brilliant solo. 8. The Call Of Ktulu - great instrumental with great riffs and solos provided by everyone. It may be dragged out slightly too long though. still great nevertheless. This album is absolutely brillinat in places and features great guitar work. I love the more deepness of the lyrics and the fast paced guitar work. however james vocals still needed a bit of ironing out but thankfully that was all worked on by Master Of Puupets. overall this is essential.

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