Sound — 9
Like they all say, early Metallica is the best Metallica, and here, it shows. The production is awesome, fits well with their thrashy side. the second album by Metallica, and they're belting it out right away. The guitar is amazing, better than any other Metallica. The bass is Cliff Burton, so it has to be awesome. And it's audible, that's towards you ...And Justice For All haters. Best solos out of any other album, like in fight Fire with Fire, Fade To Black, and of course, Ride The Lightning.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrics are just as amazing, if not better, than other Metallica albums. They really get into depth, especially in the song Creeping Death. It talks about a bible story in Hebrews, specifically about Moses taking the pharoah's prisoners and crossing the red sea. Ride The Lightning is also a lyrical masterpiece, about a prisoner about to be executed in the electric chair. "Wait for the sign, to flick the switch of Death, it's the beginning of the end. Sweat chilling cold, as I watch death unfold, consciousness my only friend." is one of the verses in Ride the Lightning. Fade to Black, to clear up the confusion, is about James' favorite amp blowing out. His first and best amp died, and he wrote the best song on the whole album about it. No, it's not about suicide. James' voice is still in development, you'll see big improvement in Master Of Puppets. Although it still fits the thrash genre well. The fast paced guitar in Fight fire With Fire, to the slow pounding drums of For Whom The Bell Tolls, james' vocal talents give the right angry bite, which is just what it needs.
Overall Impression — 10
Here's a breakdown of the songs for you... 01. Fight Fire With Fire: the acoustic intro, so sweet and lush, quite peppy, wait...This isn't metallica! And then, it blasts pure speed into your eardrums unexpectedly. A speed riff takes you through fire and out, Vocals are extremely thrashy and ominous, and then the solo hits. Your head will blow up when you get done with this song. 8.5/10 02. Ride The Lightning: comes through the explosion of Fight Fire With Fire with an incredible groove metal riff out of the blue. Vocals and Lyrics are top-notch here, complimented well with Cliff's backups. Then the solo starts with an amazing tap at high-speed, then a catchy rapid picked solo. The end, right? Nope, more soloing, even better than the last. Best solo of the whole album. 10/10 03. For Whom The Bell Tolls: time to take it down a notch or two. Bells ring through your ears, then the big tom beat blasts through. Amazing bass work by cliff burton here. The guitar is really cool, but nothing special. The "solo", even if you wanna call it that, is very brought out and untalented, but goes well with the rest of the song. vocals are sweet here, but the lyrics are pretty simple. Nice drums by ulrich, even though they're extremely simple. 9/10 04. Fade To Black: the best track on the album is here, even when you thought it couldn't get any better than the first three. This starts out with the best acoustics Thrash has ever seen. No doubt about it. you're thinking, "My friend said this was all Metallica, why did he burn this on here?" then you here then classic lyrics and then the heavy chorus. I like how there aren't any lyrics during the chorus, because this is a very moody song, the soft vocals wouldn't have complimented the heavy guitar very well. Another verse of acoustics, then a heavy chorus, then a sweet breakdown afterwards. This is just purely amazing, the vocals are sweet here, then james is done for the rest of the 2 minutes you have to listen to. The guitar just gets more epic by the second, and the second best solo on the album breaks through. It fades out with the solo flailing everywhere, then the double kick breaks through. Purely amazing song. 10/10 05. Trapped Under Ice: made to be a thrash song, and succeeded, but failed at making it very successful. A good song, just extremely simple lyrics, not very good solos, just fast. Still better than Kerry King though, haha. 8/10 06. Creeping Death: the only single to come off this album, I believe. Amazing thrash anthem, 2nd best lyrics, behind Fade To Black, has a Metallica classic riff in here, there's no denying any metalhead will love this song. This song has the best guitar, behind Ride The Lightning barely. Love solos? Who doesn't? This solo is pretty good, a lot of speed to it, but not very complex. 9.5/10 07. Escape: this song is the worst on the album, but you can't say that it's not good. It's awesome guitar work up until the verse comes. the vocals are kind of annoying, the chorus just isn't that great. Nice breakdown though, the solo is actually really creative, but now you start to see the similarity in Hammett's solos. 7.5/10 08. The Call Of Ktulu: the instrumental of the album, it has some nice guitar at the beginning, you have to be really creative to write something like that. I'll say they put the most work into this song, too bad that it didn't succeed. Nice guitar work throughout the song, amazing bass throughout, next time you listen to this, really focus on the bass, it's even more amazing than the guitar. Truly amazing piece, best Metallica instrumental by far. 9.5/10 The highlights of the album would be... Ride The Lightning For Whom The Bell Tolls Fade To Black Creeping Death The Call Of Ktulu (I rarely give 5 highlights in a review, but this album is so dang amazing!) I love everything on it, there is nothing to hate about one o the famed 4 Metallica albums, except for the lack of bass in AJFA, that is. There is no losing this album, it's in a safe place already.