Kill 'Em All may have revitalized heavy metal's underground, but Ride the Lightning was even more stunning, exhibiting staggering musical growth and boldly charting new directions that would affect heavy metal for years to come. Incredibly ambitious for a one-year-later sophomore effort, Ride the Lightning finds Metallica aggressively expanding their compositional technique and range of expression. Every track tries something new, and every musical experiment succeeds mightily. The lyrics push into new territory as well - more personal, more socially conscious, less metal posturing. But the true heart of Ride the Lightning lies in its rich musical imagination. There are extended, progressive epics; tight, concise groove-rockers; thrashers that blow anything on Kill 'Em All out of the water, both in their urgency and the barest hints of melody that have been added to the choruses. Some innovations are flourishes that add important bits of color, like the lilting, pseudo-classical intro to the furious "Fight Fire with Fire," or the harmonized leads that pop up on several tracks. Others are major reinventions of Metallica's sound, like the nine-minute, album-closing instrumental "The Call of Ktulu," or the haunting suicide lament "Fade to Black." The latter is an all-time metal classic; it begins as an acoustic-driven, minor-key ballad, then gets slashed open by electric guitars playing a wordless chorus, and ends in a wrenching guitar solo over a thrashy yet lyrical rhythm figure. Basically, in a nutshell, Metallica sounded like they could do anything. Heavy metal hadn't seen this kind of ambition since Judas Priest's late-'70s classics, and Ride the Lightning effectively rewrote the rule book for a generation of thrashers. If Kill 'Em All was the manifesto, Ride the Lightning was the revolution itself.
1 Fight Fire with Fire
2 Ride the Lightning
3 For Whom the Bell Tolls
4 Fade to Black
5 Trapped Under Ice
7 Creeping Death
8 The Call of Ktulu
Metallica: James Hetfield (vocals, guitar); Kirk Hammett (guitar); Cliff Burton (bass); Lars Ulrich (drums).
Recorded at Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark in Spring 1984.
Metallica turned the metal world on its ear with their debut album, KILL 'EM ALL and then blew its mind with the follow-up, RIDE THE LIGHTNING. The riffs and arrangements are more intricate, the lyrics are more intelligent and biting and James Hetfield's growl is meaner. The set starts out with two tunes that would have been right at home on KILL 'EM ALL, but the next two are slower and more involved. "Ride The Lightning" is a slow (by Metallica's standards) dirge about the futility of war. "Fade To Black" is a ballad (!) that builds to an instrumental coda featuring the guitar melodies that the band would later base their sound around. It's also Hetfield's first attempt at singing in tune. The most ambitious song is a dense instrumental, "The Call Of Ktulu," that starts with a single arpeggiated guitar and slowly adds layer upon layer, building in intensity until it all comes crashing down nine minutes later.
Q (Summer/01, p.127) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Reaffirms their status as the pre-eminent metal band of the modern era....They broke with the conventions of thrash metal to record the genre's first power ballad in 'Fade To Black'..."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.50) - "[The album included] melody, maturity and musical intelligence. It was these traits which helped them broaden metal's scope..."
Uncut (magazine) - "[T]he songs here display the firepower, dexterity and drive to innovate that prevailed before 'Enter Sandman' introduced a more broad-strokes variety of bombast."
ride the lightning by metallica is one of their greatest albums.
this includes eight great songs which you can listen to over and over again. it is worth every cent and reccomend it to any metallica fan.
all the songs off this album are great but the best song off this album is fight fire with fire.
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