Ride the Lightning review by Metallica

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1984
  • Sound: 2
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reviewer's score: 3.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 9.6 (1,750 votes)
Metallica: Ride the Lightning

Sound — 2
I have always been a hater of Metallica, I never liked them, never understood the hype. I've listened to the big three classic albums 3 or 4 times over and I've not liked them, ever. So why am I writing this? I am attempting ONCE AGAIN to commit the futile act of being open minded and give this band another honest chance, I just finished with Ride The Lightning and here are my thoughts. On a review, I'd give this thing a 2/10. For a myriad of reasons that quite frankly, will plague the entirety of Metallica's "good" material. I will dissect this album track by track. 01. Fight Fire with Fire: this song is the ONLY REASON this album gets any score at all, and its still not really an excellent thrash song. This song starts out with a BEAUTIFUL acoustic intro that has such a nice touch of classical to it, but when it ends, the thrash comes, well, kind of. As soon as this song kicks into high gear the three major faults of Metallica become present. The simplistic and not even nessecarily catchy or memorable riffs, Hedfields melodic but, somehow boringly monotone vocal style, and that awful guitar tone that sounds like their playing through practice amps in a garage. These things ALWAYS apply to Metallica no matter what stage of their career you speak of, but that's just their general traits, I will focus on the particulars to this album later. This song is better than most, it has a memorable chorus that's been done a million times before in a million different variations, a solo that sounds like every other Kirk Hammet solo ever written (Turn the Wah on, noodle in a non memorable less skilled manner in E, or F# minor and pentatonic) that just happens to be better than most, and the cool lead guitar dual afterward. Otherwise this song is pretty uninspiring for the most part. The riffs here are barely riffs, one of the things about Metallica, and Metallica's fans that grinds me to no end, we will touch on this through a majority of this series. As while I will be giving these albums an honest chance, it will more than likely end in me tearing the "big three" a new asshole. 02. Ride The Lightning: I forget if this is a Mustaine number or not, but I'm not a Mega-fag or a Metalli-fag and really don't care. It has a Mustaine characteristic to it in its riffs but, overall, the song still sucks. Why? Metallica's leading fault, riffs that aren't riffs. Every riff in this song is NOTHING but constant chugging or pedaling on the E string with one, or two power chords to make a difference in notes. I know, Thrash is always chugging on the E string but, NO ONE does it like Metallica. How people actually think things like "The Thing That Should Not Be" (a song that should be ENTIRELY to blame for the worst of the Post-thrash/groove movement) actually have RIFFS to them. Its nothing but heavily palm muted chugging and than occasionally, a riff will pop up that's not as much a percussion instrument as the f--king drums are. I don't even remember a single riff from this song and I'm writing this blog immediately after listening to it because all I can recall is constant thudding on palm muted power chords. The ONLY thing that at all sticks out in this song Kirk Hammet actually somewhat manages to produce a solo that envokes colors other than f--king putrid ass gray. 03. For Whom The Bell Tolls: here we have probably one of the FEW decent Metallica songs (by decent, it'd get probably a 4/10 from me). The intro melody is cool, the drama of the build up with the guitars ringing out and the bass going is cool, and than it begins. CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG Power chord lather rinse repeat. Wait a minute, they already used a variation of this riff in Fight Fire with Fire, WHAT THE f--k!? When we finally get to the actual main meat riff of the song, things pick up a bit but its got a swing characteristic Metallica should've left to Overkill, this'll be your chorus riff. Than we have the verse, the verse is just f--king suckage ass bitch shit smeared all over my face everytime I listen to it. Are you serious? a suspended power chord for a verse? In thrash? Shouldn't this be in anything other than thrash? Nu metal, Hair metal, ANYTHING ELSE!? 90% of this song is simply the chorus riff, and the verse, and a really weak fade out outro that's just more suspended power chords. I'm sure there is an E-minor pentatonic wank solo with heavy wah somewhere in here but does it really matter? The only memorable part of this song is the chorus really. 04. Fade To Black: Metallica for some reason, seems to do these ballad type of pieces the best, and by best I mean just above being a junk of putrified shit. To be fair I don't mean this as harsh as it sounds, the verse of the song is actually quite cool and there is quite a bit of legitimate feeling put into the intro despite the fact the solo sounds thrown together. It doesn't last though as the song gets more boring as it progresses, instead of climaxing like it should. This song would've actually been good had its unspectacular second half been as good as its captivating first half. Although the first half does have one problem, ANOTHER SECTION OF NOTHING BUT f--kING POWER CHORD CHUGGING! 05. Trapped Under Ice: this song exemplifies Metallica's inability to progress and evolve. This would've been just fine on Kill'em All and is, I'm dead serious, NOTHING but Power Chords and more of Kirk Hammet's POINTLESS WAH INFESTED WANKING! If you like this sort of boring drone shit than that's your thing I guess. 06. Escape: cool melodic intro CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG pretty cool chorus melody CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG. 07. Creeping Death: One of Metallica's most boring, most overhyped, most incredibly trite pointless songs out there. I'm pretty sure Judas Priest wrote this song before, and much better. 08. Call Of Ktulu: I won't even comment on the fact they f--kING SPELLED CTHULU WRONG save the fact this instrumental isn't captivating except in a few short spots. I can tell you none of these occur within the first 3 or so minutes however. Alot of the lead work in this track just feels tacked on and uninspired, majority of it blindly following the riff melodies. I will admit, most of these riff IDEA'S are cool, but they weren't fleshed out enough to really come across as anything more than something to carry the song, not something to make the song. So there you have it, this is the product of my attempt at being open minded, my attempt to understand why people love this band, and all it did was reinforce, and increase my disdain for this band. I believe this band is to blame for EVERYTHING that went wrong with metal, pointless groove, chugga-chugga bullshit, commercial melodies to stay afloat, you name it, I will, and can, pin it on f--king Metallica. Don't worry, I intend to decimate the overrated shitacular mastercodpiece that is Master Of Puppets and the not prog but, chug of And Justice For All. I will destroy this f--king band.

Lyrics — 5
Hedfield's Lyrics are honestly sometimes very good, but sometimes just come off as plain hammy. I think the lyrics to Fight Fire With Fire and even Creeping Death are pretty cool.

Overall Impression — 3
I am ultimately glad I never spent money on a Metallica album. I will NEVER in my life understand this band. I do not think this band revolutionized thrash, I don't even think we needed this band to exist for it to start. If they did, its sad for me to say I think the pioneers of thrash are also who did it in.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    That's fine, there's a lot of people like that, but you don't have to come and announce that in a metalhead zone.
    Why are people arguing over an album, one of their albums, that helped destroy metal?
    I love this album... my favorite of all time. I connect to every song on it so much. Ride the Lightning is what made me want to play guitar. My favorite song is "Escape", but it seems that a lot of people don't know that song. I love it!