Sound — 10
Basically the sound in this album is what Metallica sounded like in their prime. They put together one of the best Metallica albums out there, with a mixture of thrash, heavy, and instrumental and a ballad, Fade to Black. The bass can be heard in the background (something that was VERY usual back then) and also Lars puts in a couple of drum solos in some songs. Production improved a hell of a lot since Kill 'Em All, which makes this album stay in NUMBER 1 for me. Also I like how the acoustic intro in Fight Fire With Fire suddenly explodes in the FASTEST and most BADASS riff I've ever heard in my life. Plus the solos in this album just finish the greatness that this album is.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics in this album are just awesome, Hetfield's singing also improved a lot since their first album and his writing skills are also better here. He used various ideas in this album, suicide (Fade to Black), apocalypse (Fight Fire With Fire), death (Ride The Lightning, Trapped Under Ice), war (For Whom the Bell Tolls) and even religius ideas (Creeping Death). 01.Fight Fire With Fire: this song deals with the end of the world or the apocalypse being near, Hetfield's vocals go excellent with the theme, both dark and low. The solo in this song is one of the best in the album. Also the ending thunder is a serioulsy awesome bridge between this song and Ride The Lighning. 02.Ride The Lightning: this song is about a man about to be killed by the elctric chair, as this is mentioned in the end of the verses and he is describing how it's happening in the chorus. The solo really blew me away, if I'm correct, this is the first time that Kirk used tapping in a solo. 03.For Whom The Bell Tolls: the point of this song is about a war that has ended and the soldiers from that war are being honored by a bell. One of the things that makes this song one of the best in the album, is the chromatic intro that Cliff (R.I.P) came up with and also the really eerrie ending, which gave me chills down my spine. 04.Fade to Black: this is the number 1 from the album, this should have been the single. The lyrics are about a man who is drepessed and is also contemplating suicide, as the song progresses, the man is going nearer to the point that he cannot take it anymore, so he commits suicide. The solos in this song are epic, also the combination of acoustic verses, then jumping into heavy-as-hell-without-words choruses, make this, one of Metallica's greatest masterpieces. 05.Trapped Under Ice: the lyrics aren't that hard to get, it's about being trapped under a sheet of ice, to the point of death. The intro is pretty darn cool, going from a simple power chord riff, to a super fast shred solo by your's truly Kirk Hammett, the rest is pure thrash, the second and third solos are still amazing. 06.Escape: not the best of songs in this album, but stil has catchy riffs and a cool solo. 'm not too sure about the lyrics, but the only thing I can get so far, is that is about going out and living to the full or something like that. 07.Creeping Death: this song is one of their best song ever, also a concert favourite, as crowd go f--king mental when Metallica play this song. The lyrics aren't so hard to understand as well, it's the story of the ten plagues and the angel of death, who came at night. 08.The Call of Ktulu: this is the greatest instrumental I've heard in my life. It's based on the book "The Call of Chultu" by HP Lovercraft. Frigging great. Eerie as hell if you ask me, Kirk uses volume pedals and distorted arpeggios. The siolo in this song is also incredible.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is the pinnacle of Metallica's sound, Master of Puppets is also freaking cool, but I think that this album passes Master for about just a bit. Fade to Black, Fight Fire With Fire and Creeping are the best songs in this album to me, the rest are in no correct order, but these three are the best songs in the album. The thing that I love the most from this album, is the creativity that Metallica showed with it, you don't see Slayer or Megadeth write songs like Fade to Black and acoustic intros like Fight Fire With Fire. Hell yeah I would get this again if it got lost. This is a must for any Metallica fan that wants to hear them when they were at their best.