Ride the Lightning review by Metallica

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1984
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (1,748 votes)
Metallica: Ride the Lightning

Sound — 9
This record is Metallica's second album, and definitely shows an improvement from First album Kill 'Em All. Kill 'Em All is an awesome album, and it's best thing is its raw sound and compositions. On the other side, Ride The Lightning shows a more elaborated music, from sound, singing and the compositions themselves. Cliff Burton improves his bass playing in this record. Even though there is no instrumental bass solo, he plays very strongly throughout the album and plays some solos. Kirk Hammett develops some of his best solos in this record. Hiss solos are more elaborated than in Kill Em All, not as fast as in Kill Em All but he does a very good job. James Hetfield has a better voice due to him not shouting as hard as in Kill 'Em All and trying to sing a little lower. He develops some amazing riffs and very nice harmonies in the whole record. Lars Ulrich also brings a new way of playing. He plays better fills, and he does more complex things in the right places. 01.Fight Fire With Fire: the song starts with an acoustic intro, setting a trend for the intros in subsequent albums. The intro is a series of arpeggios in acoustics. As soon as the intro ends all hell breaks loose with a kick ass riff. There is another riff very heavy before James starts the singing. Then James starts singing about armaggedon with a very deep voice. The Chorus riff is also a very amazing one. The song goes again with the verse and the chorus before giving way to the solo. The solo is a very fast very suited with the song. Then there is a very heavy harmony. Then it returns to the verse and chorus to end with fight fire with fire singing. The song ends with some lighning strokes. 02.Ride The Lighning: the lightinig strokes from Fight Fire With Fire move on To a very smashing intro with a nice harmonie. Then the main riff gives in. This is a slow song based on this lone riff even though it does change. Here, james sings a little bit more shouted. The song goes about being set to suffer the capital punishment in an electric chair. The song has a very nice interlude before the solo. The guitar solo in this song is one Kirks best. The goes with another verse and another chorus giving way to a very well suited outro. 03.For Whom The Bell Tolls: the song starts with some bell toll giving way to a smashing intro with a bass solo. This is one of Metallica's trademarks in concert due to it's power. The song itself is very simple, but the riffs are very nice chord progressions. One of the best songs by metallica to start off playing in your guitar as a begginer. The harmonies in the middle of the song is very cool too. This song also is a trademark from Cliffs virtuoso playing. Lars develops some nice playing also. The song ends off with some smashings and the solo in the song which is basically Kirk fooling around with his wah and the trmolo in his guitar. The lyrics in the song are about dying in battle field. 04.Fade To Black: Fade to Black is the best song on the record. It could be my favorite metallica song if One wouldn't exist but the songs are very similar. The song is a staple and it is a song that gave way for many ballads from metal bands. The song starts with several arpeggios and give way to this beautiful solo. Then the song continues with some more arpeggiated parts. James sings the verses about suicide (it is said that this song has helped a lot of people to avoide suicide). The song has no chorus just a riff played and there is a great solo in between verses. Then The song turns into heavy, there a some variations of the riff played before giving way to (for me) kirks second best solo. The song fades out. 05.Trapped Under Ice: this is a very good song, the riffs are very complex it has very good solos and very good lyrics. It is heavy and very thrashy. Anyway the song is not very likeable I don't know why. 06.Escape: this is another not very likeable song evethough it is great. The song starts with very good riff harmonicaly arranged. Then there is the main riff. THe song is about escaping the prototypes that society tries to set for one. The song has a very good interlude and a nice solo. It ends up with the frase "Life's for my own to live my own way", and some sirens repeating over and over again. 07.Creeping Death: this is another trademark in metallica's concert because of it's power. It is a fast very Egiptian song that talks about the plagues in Egypt in Moses time. The riffs are very good perfect for a good headbang. The solo is very nice also, very well suited and has a wide range of playing styles. After the solo there is an amazing part where the band sings die repeatedly, this part is what makes the song a trademark on metallica's concerts. The song ends up with a very nice harmony and a very egyptian like lead. 08.The Call Of Ktulu: this is the last song on the record. I don't know why they dicided to end here instead of putting a faster song to close the record. The instrumental it self is very nice. It is a piece of art as a composition. The riffs are great, powerful and the song is full of energy. It is very dissonant which gives a very dark mood. Cliff plays a solo the entire song, it is heard throughout how he plays behind the guitars. The song's original name was When Hell Freezes Over, which to me is a better name.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics in the record are very very good. James sings about Death from songs 1 through 5, and 7. All well suited with the music. Escape sings about being released from authoritarism in the way of living your life for your own. James voice improves from Kill 'em All but his voice is still not at levels he would later reach.

Overall Impression — 9
The record itself is one metallica's best and a classic metal album. It should be owned by every metal fan. it is a thrash trademark and a very important point in the history of metallica. Many of Metallica's best songs are in this album. The songs from better to less better to me are, Fade To Black, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Creeping Death, Ride The Lightning, The Call Of Ktulu, Trapped Under Ice, Fight Fire With Fire and Escape.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Tiepps wrote: Idiot Kirk wasnt on this album!
    WTF? He was on every album, even Kill 'em All. You must be thinking Mustaine, he got kicked out when Metallica were on their way to NYC to meet Kirk.
    Wolfsblood138 wrote: Tiepps wrote: Idiot Kirk wasnt on this album! WTF? He was on every album, even Kill 'em All. You must be thinking Mustaine, he got kicked out when Metallica were on their way to NYC to meet Kirk.
    Any moron who writes this kind of bullshit, where he shows his lack of knowledge about a band or about music in general should be banned from making any contribution to the page, it's immpresive the amount of ignorants making comments and even writing reviews, i'm not saying mines are good, i just post my opinion based on the knowledge i've acquaried through age, listening and reading, and any comment good or bad about any of my reviews is welcome and can help me in learning, there should be a thing like on facebook where you can report people like this, if there is one, let me know.
    Kirk was NOT part of Kill 'Em All. Mustaine got kicked after that album. they kept the music he wrote too. Kirk signed on and has been on since then. Not that hard to understand.