Metallica
Ride the Lightning


2.5
average

Review

by Deathfan1 USER (1 Reviews)
November 24th, 2010 | 79 replies | 4,925 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Still, kudos. They developed their niche, and while there was nothing truly original about any of it, they've made one hell of a career of it. That said, the opinion of this one mere mortal probably means very little to the band, and i blame them not in t

3 of 19 thought this review was well written

When you consider that this LP is credited with broadening the musical scope of thrash metal, in reaility it is far from the truth. So many other band innovated much more.What is meant by broadening the scope of thrash, is in this context that battering ram guitars are occasionally augmented by solo passages of a more "progressive" nature and sound effects that beg the question why? And just when you've tired of these violent oscillations of blitzing, "progression" and claps of thunder or bells-a-ringing, you get an almost tolkienesque acoustic passage that - wonder of wonders - makes you wish they'd get back to all that donner und blitzen.

What I find astonishing about this LP - and quite possibly about Metallica as a band - is how they can tick so many boxes in so thoroughly unsympathetic a manner. Everything about Ride the Lightning screams contrivance to me. These men are like little boys who are not content to prove that they are the thrashingest band around, but need also prove themselves thrash virtuosos, in addition to being the doomiest band around: "My belief that we're all going to hell in a handbasket is bigger than your belief that we're all going to hell in a handbasket, so there!"

LĂ*ke so many before and after, Metallica have a knack of making all of their signifiers ultimately appear as empty gestures. Perhaps no other part of the sound exemplifies this better than James Hetfield's vocals. He understands perfectly that the conventions of the genre dictate that his gruff enunciations come across like a bad case of halitosis, but it's pure theatre, and moreover bad theatre that outstays its welcome quicker than a stale joke.

But what is he actually spouting? I have no desire to engage in a scientific investigation into this album's lyrics, but here's a taster: "death - kill - dying - plague - blood - die - kill - all gonna die - death - blood - don't wanna live by society's rules" (I'm paraphrasing here, you understand). For a band that apparently wants to be free (don't they all?), Metallica seems curiously unwilling to free itself from the lyrical conventions of the genre.

But of course this is to be expected. Readers of a certain age will recall that newspapers of yore occasionally carried cartoons featuring wizened old crazies bearing signs stating: "The End Is Nigh". Take ten wizened old crazies, subtract their medication, multiply by Al Gore, and you have the pompous doggerelese that is the lyric sheet for this LP.

Except of course that there were no crazies in the band, just very astute busĂ*nessmen in the making, who by luck or by design stumbled across a formula with Ride the Lightning that with minor (commercial) tweaks would allow them to translate doom into dollars.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
antiprog86
November 24th 2010



25 Comments


I agree man. Nice review. yet, I do indeed own and enjoy Metallica's first five releases (I really dunno why), but I REALLY am not a worshipper for these guys. To be honest, I really wonder how the hell these guys struck a chord the way they did. They do indeed have a signature sound and are energized as fuck, but I really don't find them to be too, too convincing, and the praise for their "complex" arrangements and compositions really rubs me the wrong way. I've always appreciated the fact that they do take the time to compose their own songs in a layered and multi sectioned way, but it's almost as if people are so entralled that they even dared to do that in the first place, that they forget that this is mere child's play compared to people who will just knowingly and effortlessly make music. Doesn't anyone else think that it feels forced? Doesn't anyone else think that if Cliff Burton didn't have to waste his time teaching the rest of these guy's how to play, we'd have something that feels more genuine and not so unconvincingly DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH!!! I'll agree for sure, sometimes you need a bit of DUH DUH DUH, but every goddam metal head in the universe holds this in the highest regard as if they've never experienced a multi sectioned tune before. Great. Now everyone thinks they're influenced by Mozart now, and we've got two generations of metal fans that have horrendously tranformed this into the standard way of looking at the genre. Why do think that evey idiot who listens to Trivium and Atreyu (great fucking lame ass name by the way. I've seen the Never Ending Story too, you retards) can't even comprehend the fact that Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are more metal than these guys'll ever be? As for the album itself, it'd be a step ahead of their previous effort indeed (which even though I like better, I know it's NOT better than this LP). I know 'Master Of Puppets' is hailed as the all time metal masterpiece, but I think this is just as good as that, if not better. Really, it's almost the same LP but with a cooler title (but not a cooler album cover). 'Fight Fire With Fire', the title track, 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', 'Fade To Black' and 'The Call Of Ktulu' are the highlights on this one. But please, stop the praise. For fuck sakes, stop.

Counterfeit
November 24th 2010



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

no.

Ire
November 24th 2010



41749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wat

Megadeth
November 24th 2010



935 Comments


great review

Megadeth
November 24th 2010



935 Comments


reported

Terrifyer
November 24th 2010



3403 Comments


the first butthurt neg has been activated

no suprises on which tool did it

Gyromania
November 24th 2010



15200 Comments


No.

Jim
November 24th 2010



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a bit messy, but good review.

Ovrot
November 24th 2010



10468 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Didn't you have this a 5 sonic?

Digging: Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2010



15339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So many other band innovated much more.What is meant by broadening the scope of thrash, is in this context that battering ram guitars are occasionally augmented by solo passages of a more "progressive" nature and sound effects that beg the question why?

That whole section is pretty bad, and compunding the problem is that it is right smack in the beginning of your review.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

Ovrot
November 24th 2010



10468 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So your only 14?

Ovrot
November 24th 2010



10468 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album will always be a 5 for me.
Everysong is classic except maybe escape.

Ovrot
November 24th 2010



10468 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, it was a joke because your 5 review was from 07'

ConsiderPhlebas
November 24th 2010



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review sucks my balls

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2010



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Solid review for a first. I'd suggest taking a look at other seasoned metal reviewers' pieces though, to get a feel for some good, solid, and extremely tight writing. This is a decent start though; welcome to Sputnik =)

Awesomesauce
November 24th 2010



1083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice rant.

dr2den
November 24th 2010



1342 Comments


cool review

climactic
November 24th 2010



18342 Comments


2.5 is pretty ridiculous even tho its my least fav 80s metallica album

Smalley
November 25th 2010



108 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Insufficient, confused justifying + panning one of their best albums = a neg.

eggsvonsatan
November 25th 2010



1087 Comments


Such a controversial review deserves more detail. Who exactly do you think they were ripping off on this album?



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