Sound — 10
This album was produced by Metallica and only Metallica. The sound is exactly how the East Bay thrash Metal Giants wanted it o be, racous, yet professional, loud yet refined and thrashy yet fully auidble. This is better produced than the over produced later efforts such as the Black Album and underproduced "St. Anger" and "...And Justice For All." James Hetfield and Kirk Hammet are the dynamic guitar duo with riffs, solos and just simply heavy metal guitaring. The Cliff Burton and Lars Ulrich are the dynamic rhythm duo and there has never been one bar Steve Hariis and Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden and Rex Brown and Vinnie Paul of Pantera. For 1984 the techinal ability on display is stunning.
Lyrics — 10
James Hetfeild was prefecting his art of lyrics at this point so it is not the perfection of "Master Of Puppets" but it is damm near close. "Fade To Black" is one of the best is not the best peice of lyric on the topic od suicide ever written. "Creeping Death" gave me a history lesson about aincient Egypt and "Ride The Lightning"is a simplistic+brilliant take on the death penalty. There is elemets of the "Master Of Puppets" growl and the "Kill 'Em All" yell in all of James's singing.
Overall Impression — 10
01. Fight Fire With Fire - is the blistering opening track, one painfully fast riff and a blistering guitar solo. 02. Ride The Lightening - is a vicious song that in one go personifies all of Metallica's music. Guitar solos that make even relatively good players look like ametuers and riffs that blow the mind. 03. For Whom The Bells Tolls - is the epic metal stomper with the iconic Bass solo (the reason I started playing the bass) plus some truly unforgetable riffs. 04. Fade To Black - is the first Ballad, beautiful acoustic guitar work, a legendary guitar solo and the highlight is those truly magical lyrics that cemment James Hetfield as one of the great song writers of his generation. 05. Trapped Under Ice - is truly bonkers with 3 shred solos, riffage that defies the laws of physics and even more insane drumming by Lars Ulrich, who I mantian is the worlds best drummer. 06. Escape - has some cool drumming in the begginning and a couple of huge riffs and one of Kirk's best solos. 07. Creeping Death - is the staple thrash metal song: Catchy but genius lyrics, an epic guitar solo, one of the best riffs ever (the main verse riff) and a nice breakdown. 08. The Call Of Ktulu - is the first instrumental with all band memebers. It is bare fist, white knuckle ride of bass fills, huge riffs and nice arpegieos ant the beginning anf end. The Call of Ktulu is a nice ending, and minus the lyrics (which there are none of) it is a reflection of what has just graced and destryoed your ear drums, this was released in the same year a Iron Maiden's reputation securing record "Powerslave" and it is just as good if not better than the british Metal giants offering. Metallica would then go on to relase the greatest Metal album ever "Master Of Puppets", this would be in my top 10 along with classics like "Number Of The Beast", "Holy Diver" by Dio and "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath and "Vulgar Display Of Power" by Pantera. All hail Ride The Lightning.