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Ride the Lightning v Master of Puppets

A blow-by-blow comparison between Metallica's two best and most famous albums. Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below!
1Metallica
Fight Fire With Fire / Battery

Each album opens with a rip-roaring, take-no-prisoners calling card, designed to get heads banging straight away. But while Battery is a timeless thrash anthem, Fight Fire With Fire is somewhat more mundane, and one of the weakest songs in a nearly flawless album. Master takes the early advantage.

WINNER: Master of Puppets
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 0 - 1 Master
2Ride The Lightning / Master of Puppets

The battle of the title tracks is only a contest because of how good Ride the Lightning (the song) is. Up against arguably the best-known thrash metal song of all time, however, it hardly stands a chance. 2-0 Master.

WINNER: Master of Puppets
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 0 - 2 Master
3For Whom The Bell Tolls / The Thing That Should Not Be

The two Track #3's each slow down the tempo and aim for something a little more atmospheric, with stellar results. Which one wins in this particular battle ultimately comes down to preference - but while Thing That Should Not Be is a very good track in its own right, Bell is just that little bit more memorable, allowing Ride to claw one back and get back in the game.

WINNER: Ride the Lightning
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 1-2 Master
4Fade to Black / (Welcome Home) Sanitarium

The toughest-fought round in this blow-by-blow battle sees two of the best metal ballads ever written duke it out - and the results are unsurprisingly inconclusive. There is just no separating these two tracks in terms of quality, and any choice will come down to mere preference. Round #4 ends in a tie.

WINNER: DRAW
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 2-3 Master
5Trapped Under Ice / Disposable Heroes

Track #5 is the first point at which the albums differ in terms of structure. Where Ride offers another basic, catchy, neck-breaking thrasher, Master adds to its list of long, involved epics with a song about the horrors of war. But while Trapped is perhaps the most underrated of all Metallica songs, Heroes is objectively the better song in all regards, and ensures Master stays in the lead in this close-fought battle.

WINNER: Master of Puppets
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 2-4 Master
6Escape / Leper Messiah

Ride's weakest song goes up against one of Master's weakest...and just narrowly edges the least memorable round in this battle, to give Ride a lifeline.

WINNER: Ride the Lightning
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 3-4 Master
7Creeping Death / Orion

Orion is a very good instrumental. Creeping Death is the best song Metallica ever wrote. This one is barely a contest. Ride the Lightning comes from two behind to tie the scores for the first time in this battle.

WINNER: Ride the Lightning.
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 4-4 Master
8Call of Ktulu / Damage Inc.

Roles reversed from track #5, as Ride closes with an atmospheric instrumental while Master opts for a straight-up, fast-paced thrasher...and is all the worse off for it. Damage is a good track, but as a closer, Ktulu is a lot more memorable, and gives Ride the Lightning a surprise upset win right at the buzzer.

WINNER: Ride the Lightning
TOTAL SCORE: Ride 5-4 Master
OVERALL WINNER: Ride the Lightning
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