Ride the Lightning



by metalforthemasses666 USER (2 Reviews)
October 24th, 2007 | 15 replies

Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Excellent album with some amazing moments, taken aback by the terrible moments.

Metallica’s first release, the aptly titled Kill Em All, turned the metal world upside down, kicked it in the balls and then let it fall on its head, laughing as the poor little metal world cried for mercy rolling on the floor in painful submission. Sure they weren’t the first thrash band, nor where they the first thrash band to release an album, but hell you can’t argue with the fact they were the most important. Thrash bands played fast and heavy, Metallica played fast and heavy while showing off their technical and songwriting skill. Thrash bands were angry, Metallica was not just anger, but a whole palette of deep dark emotions could be found in their music. Everyone expected Metallica to make a smart move, another round of fast short songs in the wake of Motorhead and Venom, but oh, the surprise people were in for…

FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE: Everyone who heard Kill Em All popped this into their record player and just waited for everything to blow up and madness to ensue all around. But suddenly they got a nicely calculated acoustic intro with hints of folk influence. The song then turns into an incredible riff soup, pure thrash goodness, with harsh vocals, thudding drums and an overall coordination and exactness worthy of a ***ing machine gun. When Metallica stops they all stop together at exactly the same time, not a millisecond apart, when Metallica starts the same rule applies. This song is yet another example of Metallica’s amazing chops and skill, yet some people, the moment they heard the acoustic intro started crying sellout as loud as possible. They say curiosity killed the cat, but I prefer to blame it on ignorance. 3.5-5

RIDE THE LIGHTING: The title track offers yet another precious gem of pure thrash, good riffs, somber lyrics and crushing drums, the average day for Metallica. Also this one contains songwriting contributions from good old Mr.Mustaine. 3.5-5

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS: This is when Ride the Lighting starts distancing itself from a great thrash record and into a whole different level. With an amazing bass part courtesy of Cliff (R.I.P) great power chord riffing and even a ***ing church bell this song breaks down the walls of any sort of expectations. This song doesn’t rely on its speed to be heavy, nor does it rely on its heaviness to be good. Great guitar harmonization passages, reminiscent of early Iron Maiden with an epic touch, decorate the bridge sections between verses, beautifully tying it all together. Just a ***ing unforgettable song. 4.5-5

FADE TO BLACK: This one is another song that goes beyond just being a great song. It’s ***ing other-worldly. Kirk Hammett shows off all he has here delivering some incredibly powerful soloing, that might not consist of 64th notes at 400 beats per minute yet it manages to make you FEEL something, which in my opinion, is what music is all about. Some deep lyrics about the contemplation of suicide accompanied by beautiful guitar passages lead impeccably into one of the heaviest and most pummeling riff rains have ever delivered, changing back and forth between heavy and melodic in a sort of slow uphill climb full of obstacles and setbacks, which takes the listener through an incredible journey, of beauty, madness, and despair. 5-5

TRAPPED UNDER ICE: This is one of those songs that just sets a record back. Sure it’s a nice thrash song full of riffs and speed, but after the last two delivers you just expect a LITTLE bit more from Metallica. Filler in its purest form, a mediocre song that was probably rush-written simply to fill up space. 2-5

ESCAPE: After the disappointment that is Trapped Under Ice a cool intro gets our hopes up, maybe this one’s gonna be good! Well not really… It suffers the same as Trapped Under Ice, dumb filler song, just this one’s worse than its predecessor, boring, with nothing special and a chorus that reminds me more of Whitesnake than Raven. Only the solo saves this song from complete total suckiness. 1.5-5

CREEPING DEATH: By this time I had begun to lose hope on this album, (I ***ing HATE filler songs on great albums) maybe it wasn’t the incredible masterpiece I was beginning to think it was. Fortunately I was happily proven wrong by the next track, Creeping Death. From the intro you know it’s gonna be a good song, when the voice comes in with its sheer aggressiveness and lyrics about the plagues that will be delivered upon the sons of God you know its gonna be a great song, but by the time the chorus hits you know its gonna kick ass. A brutal musical delivery, accompanied by great lyrics and a ***ing amazing solo is a great way to get back on track for Metallica. Not only that but it also offers the opportunity to chant die, die, die at the top of your lungs without feeling stupid. 4.5-5

THE CALL OF KTULU: There good ways to end an album, such as using a catchy single type track or maybe a cool epic with a great story. But this is far beyond good; this epic atmospheric track brings all kind of demential feelings to mind, while evoking an uneasy air that is too strong to fight back. This song has you crumpled up inside, dissonant arpeggios combined with great soloing, power chord variations and lead bass lines that seem to speak for themselves, all backed up by thudding drums with enough strength to bring down a ***ing building. It has Mustaine written all over it. Yes though it is definitely a Metallica track, sorry Megadeth fans but Vic Rattlehead and company wouldn’t take their chances with this one, Dave’s mark is visible everywhere, ( as well as Cliff’s, whose lead bass plays a crucial role in this song) from the riffs to the structure. And I (personally) think THAT is what takes this song to heights Metallica alone would not have been able to reach at that time. 5-5

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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

It's really obvious what songs you like off of this not because of their rating but because of how detailed their description is. You should write a decent amount about every song even the ones you don't like. I'd recommend another attempt at a T-b-T review and see how it goes. Then you might want to start trying to do an overall. Also sentences like this

When Metallica stops they all stop together at exactly the same time, not a millisecond apart, when Metallica starts the same rule applies.

are not at all necessary. This should describe any band in the studio. Not a terrible first effort overall.

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

^ Âgree

On another subject, why does people with metal names and stuff like that feel the need to add 666 to their names? It means nothing and doesn't make you cooler or more hardcore than everyone else.

October 25th 2007


Yes it does you silly boffin. You're just jealous 'cause you could only ever reach 21. Welcome to Sputnik reviewer man.This Message Edited On 10.25.07

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

lol, 21 is just my fav number.

Oh and yeah welcome to the site. I will suggest that when u pick your next album to review, try that it doesn't have 10 other reviews.

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

thanx for all the comments. constructive criticism always helps I guess. an cesar is just picked this album because I knew it very well and I thought it would be good for a first review... I will try to review more obscure albums from now on...

south_of_heaven 11
October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

For Whom the Bell Tolls actually sucks IMO. Vastly overrated.

Digging: RAM - Rod

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review for a classic metal album

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I heart this album so much

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

great review for a great CD!

(my personal favorite album, actually, although arguably 'tallica's weakest from their golden age).

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

although this album does have several reviews...this is the only review in which the rating is a 4!

October 27th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

this is their best

January 20th 2008


Album Rating: 5.0

amazing album ok review

January 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

I wouldn't say there are any TERRIBLE moments on this album.

January 20th 2008


I'd say there are. Trapped Under Ice and Escape aren't great at all.

January 21st 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

escape is quite terrible, but i must confess to not minding trapped under ice at all.

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