Metallica
Ride the Lightning


4.5
superb

Review

by meep17 USER (5 Reviews)
May 28th, 2007 | 18 replies | 2,858 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist



This is when Metallica starts to experiment with their sound and expand upon their original sound. I say they do a heck of a good job with it, making their old approach far more musical and varied. They fix all the apparent problems on Kill 'em All : lyrics mature, as do vocals and the song structure varies with each song.

The first song starts with a classical intro that may have turned old Metallica fans off at first listen. But patience is a virtue(Well, if you consider listening to Metallica a pleasurable thing, anyway.), and after thirty seconds you are introduced to a face-melting riff courtesy of James Hetfield. This song isn't like the thrash on Kill 'em All- it's not as Motorhead influenced and definitely darker, with James using a deeper shout than usual and a staccato vocal style. ("Time- is- like a fuse- short- and- burning fast!") This sound won't last for the entire album, though, and as the song ends we are introduced to the harmonized guitar intro of Ride the Lightning. This song features James' higher screaming vocal like his older material, but it's played over a slower and less speed metal riff than before. Then there's For Whom the Bell Tolls, which is VERY different for a band that spewed guitar solos left and right before. This song has none, but it does have an extended instrumental beginning that lasts for about two minutes before the vocals kick in that is very excellent and definitely not boring.

After this we have Fade to Black, the first of Metallica's three famous (or some might say infamous) track four "power ballads". This is a very emotional song with lyrics describing a person who is contemplating suicide. The song slowly but surely escalates into a great solo by Kirk (From a casual listener's standpoint; I'm no guitar expert! ) that fades into black itself as the song ends. Clever little artistic move there.

The rest of the songs also have to do with death, except for the odd little number Escape. This one almost sounds like it was written as filler, and interrupts the flow of an otherwise great album. The last standouts are Creeping Death and to a lesser extent Call of Ktulu. Creeping Death is a song about the biblical Exodus. The main riff is insanely catchy, as is the bridge. ("DIE! DIE!") Now for the Call of Ktulu. I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I really don't find it all that interesting. Some parts of it are awesome, like the beginning acoustic part that crescendo's into the main riff, but the rest is a bit bland for me. Too much of the main riff and too little variation. Luckily, Metallica gets a bit better at writing instrumentals later on, but it's pretty clear that that type of song is not their strong-suit.

PROS
- Far more varied song structures
- A good show of maturity throughout the album in all aspects
- Less dependancy on the guitar solo (Unfortunately, this is a very short lived phase. No offense, Kirk!)
- Interesting lyrical topics; morbid but at times unique. (Creeping Death, for instance.)

CONS
- Escape is sub-par for the band, the vocals on it bend flat more often than not, and seems out of place.
- Call of Ktulu is a somewhat bland instrumental and is very repetitive.

PS- The band worked on the guitar solo-ness on St. Anger and took my advice a little TOO well... oops.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
meep17
May 28th 2007


136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know, I know, another Metallica review. Just what everyone needs. Sure. As long as it's pretty well-written, though, I'm happy. (I'll try for a less generic and predictable choice of what to review next time.)

meep17
May 28th 2007


136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And what the deuce?! I keep double-posting by mistake!! My computer... stinks.This Message Edited On 05.28.07

Thor
May 28th 2007


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Kind of an unnecessary review.

chimera908
May 28th 2007


713 Comments


Unnecessary, but that dosn't matter, decent review, although it says the same things I've heard a thousand times.

meep17
May 28th 2007


136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh... yeahh... blargh. Guess you're right. Oh well. Like I said, I'm definitely opting for something far more original and not beaten all over for next time. I guess everybody makes mistakes in choices for review, though, so... *shrug* this'll be my one. (Still feel rather stupid, though, since it's sorta obvious that this one was already walked all over. -_-)

rattlehead42147
May 29th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey its only youre second review, nice job btw

Nepenthe
May 29th 2007


62 Comments


call of ktulu is their best instrumental

Confessed2005
May 29th 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think To Live Is To Die is a better instrumental.

But Call of Ktulu is marvelous.

ValiumMan
May 29th 2007


493 Comments


*Yawn* I suggest you do a Dark Side Of The Moon review next time. Review itself was solid, but nothing too great

chimera908
May 29th 2007


713 Comments


I didn't notice this was only your second review, in that case from a relative standpoint it's great. The fact that it's unnecessary really dosn't matter much. If you want to review it, it's your choice.

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 29th 2007


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

fucking fags tyring to tell everyone what to review why dont you grow up

WARPATH_88
May 29th 2007


514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I havent listened to this album in a long time. I need to check it out again.. This Message Edited On 05.29.07

Altmer
May 29th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok review, neat album

FriendofTheDevil70
May 29th 2007


384 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty good review, keep at it.

Used to love this but now it bores me to no end, and so does Metallica in general.

Lunarfall
May 29th 2007


3179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The S&M Call Of Ktulu owns the original.

Bfhurricane
May 29th 2007


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A quick read, but not too great of a review. Try to not be so vague, use more ADJECTIVES and be more in depth.
Escape is a great track imo. And it was an intentional filler.

meep17
June 3rd 2007


136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for all the advice, guys. Looking back, this is pretty ironic. My second review is
worse than my first; ha. Metallica may not have had much of sophomore slump here
but I certainly did. Though I suppose the Metallica thing can be argued. (Escape was
intentionally filler, eh? Well, there ya go. I like the song a bit better than at the time I
wrote this review, but James' vocals sorta kill it for me.) This
Message Edited On 06.03.07This Message Edited On 06.03.07

thesystemisdown
June 28th 2007


413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is great but it is a little immature in parts. Not big things, just some of the repetition of Call of Ktulu and Escape in general. I've noticed that all three of the big Metallica albums have a slump around this part of the album. Here, it was Escape and maybe also Trapped Under Ice, MOP had Disposable Heroes (I love that song but many people think it's not too great) and AJFA has Shortest Straw/Frayed Ends of Sanity. Decent review.



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