Metallica - Ride The Lightning review
|Album:||Ride The Lightning|
|Release date:||July 1984|
01. Fight Fire With Fire
02. Ride The Lightning
03. For Whom The Bell Tolls
04. Fade To Black
05. Trapped Under Ice
07. Creeping Death
08. The Call Of Ktulu
1984. Talk about a band and an album being so far ahead of their time that they would be hallmarks in the history of metal...
Ride the Lightning was nothing less than a nuclear bomb dropped in American metal laps. We'd heard Judas Priest and Sabbath, but nothing could have prepared anyone for what was coming full force out of San Francisco in '84. Since Kill 'em All had limited success in the underground, most people still hadn't heard of the Bay area thrashers who were busy forging a new metal scene stateside. With the launch of Ride the Lightning and heavy touring, Metallica were set to take stage as one of the more brutal premier metal acts.
Although Mercyful Fate had the black metal scene covered over in Denmark, and Judas Priest were busy taking us Beyond the Realms of Death in the UK, nobody stateside had really stepped up to claim the rights as heaviest, loudest and fastest in North America. Metallica were more than willing and had plenty of that young, in-your-face raw energy which was needed. Jaded early on by what were being called sellouts and bands that weren't taking the music seriously enough, Metallica shoved Kill 'em All in everyone's face which was just raw fury. Now it was time to tighten the screws, refine the music a bit more, and create an album which would showcase their talents along with their already raging, furious speed.
Ride the Lightning is an experience in raw, fast and furiously played music which holds few if any punches. Fight Fire With Fire is a musical onslaught. They filled our ears and rooms with their blasting guitars and relentless drumming from song 1. As a 14 year old kid I had to stand up and say, "HOLY SHIT!!!" out loud a few times. That's not to say Ride the Lightning isn't without a musical flaw. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a standard musical affair without much to offer the more advanced musician, but the rest of the cd is headlong into chunky, fast e-chords and double bass drumming. The themes are great, the ambiance is perfect, and the timing spot on throughout. Had the band not had one of Joe Satriani's prodigal sons in Kirk Hammett, I think the music would have been severely lacking and forgettable.
Metallica would soon peak with their next offering Master of Puppets which would showcase all of their skills as budding progressive metal musicians, and see the end of an era for a band that was built on rage and fury. The untimely, tragic death of Cliff Burton on the road in Europe would be a major catalyst in the direction the band would go afterward. Their mounting popularity gave them a chance to finally make some money and with the money came all the trappings of a secure life which unfortunately came out in their music after ...And Justice For All. The band and their music would never be remotely close to the raw intensity of Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. I'm grateful to have grown up musically during this era and to have had the chance to witness it all firsthand.
|With this album Metallica confirm their total control on Thrash Metal and their consolidation like an international band. In this album the band members were fully adapted to each other and make a more mature and considerably better musical album. The lyrics of this album are also better than in the last one, they do not speak now about headbanging, blood, and those things, in "Ride The Lightning" they speak about personal problems like in 'Fade To Black' . Other tracks are inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and the movie 'The Ten Commandments' like 'Creeping Death'.
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