Metallica
Ride the Lightning


5.0
classic

Review

by mangled USER (4 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2013 | 27 replies | 1,267 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A massive improvement from their debut to make for one of the best thrash metal albums ever recorded

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

After the release of their debut album which laid the foundations for the thrash metal genre, Metallica sought to expand on their sound a little. It was on their second studio album that they would hit their pinnacle in the eyes of many, including my own. It was to be released in 1984 and would be the first album with no assistance from Dave Mustaine in the writing process, and would include a variety of new ideas that would arguably define Metallica in the few years to follow. The album was released in 1984 entitled Ride The Lightning.

On Ride The Lightning, Metallica used their own debut as a foundation but improved the song writing ten fold. The riffs here are a lot better and James' vocals (the worst thing about Kill Em All) feel massively improved. For the most part, his voice is a lot more in key and fits the music a lot better. He ranges from the mid-ranged shouts that he would abuse on the following album, high pitched shrieks and even a little proper singing on songs like Escape. James really did a good job on their sophomore album.

The guitar work on this album is what makes it as good as it is. Creeping Death opens up with an iconic riff that gives you little room to breathe before diving into the verse. Fight Fire With Fire picks up from an acoustic introductory setting with some brutal riffs, whilst the title track has some of the finest guitar lines Metallica ever put to record. This is an album laden with creative and well written guitar parts from both James and Kirk, capped off with some blisteringly fast solos. There is a lot more variety in the speed of them as well. Trapped Under Ice and the aforementioned Fight Fire With Fire represent the speedy side of the band, whereas tracks like the ballad Fade To Black display more of a mid-tempo. This shows off a more mature, improved sense of song writing that the band acquired in the year between the releases of this and their debut.

The other musicians here are much improved as well. Cliff Burton's only real highlight on their debut was his bass solo track Anasthesia whereas here he puts on a stellar performance throughout. The low-end rumbling on For Whom The Bell Tolls and the title track holds down a solid rhythm whilst the guitars are ever-changing and impressing listeners all the way through. The drumming is also well performed here, with Lars playing some great quicker beats on Trapped Under Ice whilst keeping a nice groove on the slower Escape.

This album contains the first real instrumental that Metallica would write. It was The Call Of Ktulu and contains some marvelous song writing skills. The way it progresses from start to finish with some awesome build-ups and dreamy sections makes this a strong contender for song of the album. Metallica would do two more instrumental tracks on the two albums that would follow but neither really touches this.

Production values are also a million miles ahead of what they were on the first album. Replacing the fuzzy and funny tones that the guitars had and the awful mixing job on Kill Em All are crisp, great-sounding guitars and well mixed instruments.

Metallica's second studio album is a fantastic release that anyone who hasn't heard it should invest in. It was on this album that they met their peak with some of the best riffs in all of thrash metal, a much improved vocal performance and even a solid production job.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 23rd 2013



15802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hi skele

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

Gwyn.
July 23rd 2013



14913 Comments


1 review per day [2]

Digging: Grief - Come to Grief

DrHouseSchuldiner
July 23rd 2013



5643 Comments


Best Metallica

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
July 23rd 2013



4921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

" his bass solo track Anasthesia "
The only mistake I caught. It's spelled Anesthesia and the song is called (Anesthesia)--Pulling Teeth. Besides that, great review man.

Digging: Integrity - Those Who Fear Tomorrow

Friday13th
July 23rd 2013



2192 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They used Mustaine's riffs for the title track and Ktulu and credited him for it. lol @markopolis

Digging: East of Eden - Mercator Projected

johnnydeking29
July 23rd 2013



9001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pos'd, but I can't stand the hype this gets

Digging: Naked City - Radio

johnnydeking29
July 23rd 2013



9001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It really doesn't...it's still solid though, I just can't stand how Metallica (especially AJFA) are perennially overrated (although I do love MOP)

wacknizzle
July 23rd 2013



12639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best metallica album

Digging: Systems - Ghost Medicine

KjSwantko
July 23rd 2013



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"A massive improvement from their debut to make for one of the best thrash metal albums ever recorded"

1 thrash song on the album = "one of the best thrash metal albums ever recorded"?

Friday13th
July 23rd 2013



2192 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Why are people still debating whether old Metallica is classic or not? Name one thrash album around in '84 that's half as good aside from KEA. One thrash song? FFWF, Trapped, Creeping Death...which two aren't thrash? The title track is at least thrashy.

Inveigh
July 23rd 2013



24800 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah idk this album is pretty thrashy. At least half the album is true thrash, and the other 4 songs all have thrash elements.

KjSwantko
July 23rd 2013



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fire is the only thrash song on this album.

Inveigh
July 23rd 2013



24800 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

then you're using a pretty narrow definition for thrash

KjSwantko
July 23rd 2013



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What because there's a sort of fast riff and some drums it's thrash?

Inveigh
July 23rd 2013



24800 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

last time i checked that's all you needed for thrash so pretty much

KjSwantko
July 23rd 2013



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah when I think thrash I think of Fade to Black, Escape, Call of Ktulu and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Great job inveigh

KjSwantko
July 23rd 2013



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry that was kind of a dick thing to say. But seriously, this album isn't thrash.

Inveigh
July 23rd 2013



24800 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you're right we should probably classify this album with other traditional heavy metal acts of the 80s like Scorpions and Ozzy Osbourne

Inveigh
July 23rd 2013



24800 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ok it's cool let's be friends

KjSwantko
July 23rd 2013



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://youtu.be/jqNPBbf_R80?t=30s

Well actually by your definition Ozzy is thrash.



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