Ride the Lightning review by Metallica

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1984
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.6 (1,750 votes)
Metallica: Ride the Lightning
1

Sound — 10
This is Metallica's second album, and comes between Kill 'Em All and Master of Puppets in chronology. In a way, this album bridged the gap between Kill 'Em All and Puppets because it pushed the fast thrash metal of Kill 'Em All into a sort of progressive structure found on Puppets and ...And Justice For All. The entire album is heavy thrash metal, with added innovations like an instrumental ("The Call of Ktulu"). Ride The Lightning is a pinnacle of heavy metal music, and should not be overlooked. Many songs have different concepts, such as how the title track talks about the electric chair. The sound is a little more full than their debut, Kill 'Em All, but the midrange is still pretty scooped on the guitars. Every song has a guitar solo, in typical Metallica fashion. Overall, it comes fairly close to Puppets in sound. It also has a really cool album cover to boot.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics deal with many different topics, such as the apocalypse (Fight Fire With Fire), suicide (Fade to Black), or death by electrocution (Ride The Lightning). To me, the lyrics are very well written, and James Hetfield sings them well. I especially love how the depressing lyrics of "Fade to Black" fit with the overall depressing tone of the song. 01. Fight Fire With Fire - the song starts out with acoustics for about 35 seconds, and then swells into one of the fastest, heaviest riffs I've ever heard. Later on in the song Kirk Hammett launches into a completely mental guitar solo. Discusses the apocalypse. 02. Ride The Lightning - this song covers the topic of death in the electric chair. Some really great riffs here, and a jaw-dropping solo courtesy of Mr. Hammett. 03. For Whom The Bell Tolls - this is a classic, right here. Takes a little over two minutes for the vocals to start. The outro guitar solo as the song fades is bizarre, but it's still pretty cool. 04. Fade To Black - this song suggests a story of man contemplating and eventually commiting suicide. This is one of Metallica's classic songs, and combines elements of both acoustic and electric guitars. The guitar solos are awe-inspiring here. 05. Trapped Under Ice - this song is pretty fast, and it's really thrashy. Discusses the topic of being trapped under ice. I wonder why? It's about four minutes long. 06. Escape - this is actually a pretty catchy song. This four and a half minute song is probably the low point of the album for me, though. 07. Creeping Death - another Metallica trademark. Very thrashy, very good song. This is written from the point of view of the Plague of the Firstborn. Type it into Wikipedia to learn more. Awesome guitar solo, and the "Die!" chants follow shortly after. One of my favorites from this album. 08. The Call Of Ktulu - Metallica's first instrumental, almost nine minutes long. The intro is very cool, but is a little too long. To make up for that, there are some great guitar solos on this track. Closes the album in a dramatic way.

Overall Impression — 10
This album comes very close to Master of Puppets, but I don't think that album can be topped. Just about the whole album is impressive to me. As with Master of Puppets, there really isn't anything to dislike. If it were stolen or lost, I would immediately buy it again. If you are a metal fan, this is a must-own.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    extrememetal129
    gunner_011 : is it just me or is the start of fight fire with fire a complete rip off from blackbird by the beatles? It's only you *****. Anyway this album is a metal masterpiece.
    gh3man1
    i give this album a 10 out of 10 its very well produced and its just AWESOME!!!!!
    anky_des427
    this is the best album ever beats anything... fight fire with fire...is only song that i dont like that much but its good but dam ride the lightning is PERFECT...for whom the bell tolls eveerything then they got call of ktulu witch is beautiful wow this perfect album
    judas_disciple
    Screw you and everything u stand for Maitinin! One of the greatest metal albums of all time, every song is perfect.
    bcrichesrock
    metallica_102 wrote: 05. Trapped Under Ice - to place such a lousy song after a comeplete miracle was the biggest mistake this band has ever made. It is worse than Fight Fire With Fire. But that's only because Fight Fire's got a good intro. Worthless peace of s--t 1/10. u suck trapped under ice and fight fire were awesome songs they're porbably just to heavy for your faggot ears
    yeah he is right that is one of the best songs so it must be too heavy for your little pansy ears.
    metallica_102
    05. Trapped Under Ice - to place such a lousy song after a comeplete miracle was the biggest mistake this band has ever made. It is worse than Fight Fire With Fire. But that's only because Fight Fire's got a good intro. Worthless peace of s--t 1/10.
    u suck trapped under ice and fight fire were awesome songs they're porbably just to heavy for your faggot ears
    trivium036
    i disagree with darkdays420 when he said the song escape is a 'letdown' its not bad, but in my opinion it is the least good song on the album...
    01. Fight Fire With Fire - a really great acoustic intro. Really peacefull, but then it crashes into the worst song Metallica has ever made! The riff really sucks and the chorus is a big joke! Not to menchon the verse. I just can't listen get nyself to like this one 1.5/10. Then he says 05. Trapped Under Ice - to place such a lousy song after a comeplete miracle was the biggest mistake this band has ever made. It is worse than Fight Fire With Fire. He completly contradicts himself....
    says the guy who can't spell complete...
    melvg
    pag_slash_2 wrote: 01. Fight Fire With Fire - a really great acoustic intro. Really peacefull, but then it crashes into the worst song Metallica has ever made! The riff really sucks and the chorus is a big joke! Not to menchon the verse. I just can't listen get nyself to like this one 1.5/10. Then he says 05. Trapped Under Ice - to place such a lousy song after a comeplete miracle was the biggest mistake this band has ever made. It is worse than Fight Fire With Fire. He completly contradicts himself....
    well.. u cant blame him dude.. maybe he just listens to bands like MCR or even techno..
    pag_slash_2
    01. Fight Fire With Fire - a really great acoustic intro. Really peacefull, but then it crashes into the worst song Metallica has ever made! The riff really sucks and the chorus is a big joke! Not to menchon the verse. I just can't listen get nyself to like this one 1.5/10.
    Then he says
    05. Trapped Under Ice - to place such a lousy song after a comeplete miracle was the biggest mistake this band has ever made. It is worse than Fight Fire With Fire.
    He completly contradicts himself....
    Lightning_Rider
    DeMoNhUnTeRuLeS wrote: 01. Fight Fire With Fire - a really great acoustic intro. Really peacefull, but then it crashes into the worst song Metallica has ever made! The riff really sucks and the chorus is a big joke! Not to menchon the verse. I just can't listen get nyself to like this one 1.5/10
    YOU ARE THE DUMBEST PERSON ALIVE!! Fight Fire with Fire is a great ****ing song!
    Lightning_Rider
    this is a VERY VERY close second to Kill 'Em All, in my opinion. Ride the Lightning showed great musical growth and it went in new directions that would affect heavy metal for years to come. I don't have to say much else. this album is just a great example of Heavy Metal at its finest it also shows Cliff Burton's influence He was a great influence on Metallica and he is sorely missed! R.I.P. Cliff Burton!! oh, and on a side note. my favorites in order 1. Kill 'Em All 2. Ride the Lightning 3. Master of Puppets 4. ...And Justice for All
    spaceace12342
    ive loved this album since i first go it. fade to black is amazing. the intro is amazing, ALMOST as amazing as the outro solo lol. creeping death is an amazing song also. if Master is a 10, i would give this a 9. thats MY opinion. i believe this is a step up from kill em all, simply because of the sound. its way more defined and more metallica-ish.
    Silas S Thompso
    RHYS910009 made the dumbest comment. He was talking about the Justice album in his interview. If I was him I'd stop illegally downloading albums and go to the nearest record store and pay the bands back for what he's pirated by buying some ****ing heavy ****ing metal ****ing records. METAL UP YOUR ASS!!!!!1