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 (1,748 votes)
Metallica: Ride the Lightning

Sound — 10
Although Kill 'Em All was a very good album that possessed more rawness than anything, Ride the Lightning was a large step up from Kill 'Em All. The way that this album was put together was astounding, the order of the tracks is perfect, and the music sounded more planned and clean. Kirk's style of playing scales more compared Mustaine's use of pentatonics was a nice change from Kill 'Em All. Altogether a great album with a much needed and better sound than Kill 'Em All.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics for the songs on this album were much more broad than on Kill 'Em All, in which the lyrics were focused more on the band itself than anything. 01.Fight Fire With Fire: nuclear warfare is destined to end life by higher power. Really cool intro followed by the heaviest thrash on the album. 10/10 02.Ride The Lightning: a man is sentenced to death by the electric chair. Very amazing song, is in top 4 songs on the album 11/10 03.For Whom the Bell Tolls: soldiers in war. good song. cool bass intro 9/10 04.Fade To Black: a man contemplating and eventually committing suicide. Best song on the album in my opinion, the acoustic side meshes with the heavy side perfect, and the solo is one of the best for Metallica. 12/10 05.Trapped Under Ice: a man is trapped under ice, drowning and freezing. good song, short, sweet, to the point. 9/10 06.Escape: trying to escape life by dieing. My least favorite song on the album, but the opening riff is musically great 7/10 07.Creeping Death: this song is very very good. It's about the 10 plagues of Egypt, but the name of the song is about the Plae of the firstborn. Check out the Bible, the Book of Exodus for more info. 2nd best song on the album, very great solo 11.5/10 08.The Call of Ktulu: the first instrumental song written by Metallica. Probably the 2nd best instrumental they've written behind Orion, the bass Cliff Burton plays bass in this song is clearly a sign of his improvement from the first album. long song, but worth listening too. 11/10

Overall Impression — 10
Ride the Lightning is right up there with Master of Puppets with regards to the music and the songs, but I think it doesnt't quite match up to Master. It's definately in the top 2 Metallica albums. Fade to Black continues to amaze me after years of listening to it, as do most songs on this album. They are hard to learn to play, but very easy to love. Escape was the low point by far, I dislike that song, it seemed like it was put there due to a lack of ideas, but the all the other songs were quality songs, and that easily made up for it. If I lost this album, I'd cry, then go buy a few copies so I wouldn't lose it again. Amazing album. A must have for a true metal fan.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    AngryGuitarist wrote: yah, when cliff died, metallica died.....But wtf! fight fire with fire is great!
    I will not have any regrets after calling you an ***** - metallica will never die! All of their albums are awesome and you either like all of them or don't like any.
    All of their albums are awesome and you either like all of them or don't like any.
    How can you say such an ignorant thing? I absolutely love the albums from the 80s, and well, I don't like the rest. Your fanboyism is giving Metallica fans a bad name!
    They really changed their sound in load, but made a comeback with Death Magnetic and Hardwired... To Self-Destruct. I like the first four and the latest two; the other are not heavy. Also, the lyrics deteriorated, take the whole of St.Anger. Hardwired... To Self-Destruct is a gem, though. All the songs are amazing, with the amazing Hardwired being the only weak point(which is still unbelievably strong). But, in the end, the only things that come close to Ride The Lightning are Master Of Puppets and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son.
    fadetoblack84 wrote: 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.
    Then understand that you are wrong friend. Mustaine never performed on any album with Metallica only in clubs. Kirk has been Metallica's lead shredder on every album whether you know or not. Knowledge is power and I hit you with some powerful knowledge.
    ride the lightning has one of the greatest solos kirk has ever done in my opinion. it might not be his hardest or fastest but it sounds amazing. its very dramatic and shows his skill. its my favorite solo ever. and the egyptian sounding breakdown riff from creeping death with the group chanting is epic.
    steveCFH wrote: Each reviewer copyed the person before them.
    Because everyone thinks this album is awesome. If they were different, there would be total chaos.
    Saintsatan wrote: Fade to bLack has nothing to do with suicide. It was written because their gear and James' favourite guitar got stolen.
    Incorrect, It's about James' favorite/first amp getting broken. Get your facts straight.
    Now the below part written by wesselbindt is partially correct.
    wesselbindt wrote: All of their albums are awesome and you either like all of them or don't like any. How can you say such an ignorant thing? I absolutely love the albums from the 80s, and well, I don't like the rest. Your fanboyism is giving Metallica fans a bad name!
    Yet the above is also partially correct as well. A dedicated Metallica fan has no problem in liking all the albums, however you don't have to like all of them to be a fan. Yes, it was ignorant, but one person is gonna give us all a bad name just because of one ***** comment. Both freak-out comments on both your parts.
    BlackSymphony6 wrote: bloodbath519 wrote: Who cares I have all there metal albums. And fade to black isn't that great unless you like slow songs and then why would you listen to metal?. thats one of the dumbest things i've ever heard.
    You obviously haven't heard the end dude, every album with the exception of a few has a song that builds up onto a heavy end. Kill 'em All - exception Ride The Lightning - Fade To Black Master Of Puppets - Welcome Home (Sanitarium) ...And Justice For All - One Metallica - exception Load - Bleeding Me ReLoad - Exception St. Anger - exception Death Magnetic - the Day That Never Comes And all these songs are Metallica's greatest. So shut up, i'm with bloodbath.