Well, what could you write about an album that every Metalhead already knows... Especially an album that had been recorded by a band like METALLICA. You can think about METALLICA anno 2001 whatever you want, but the class of their old albums remains undisputed. Their second epos "Ride The Lightning" is no exception.
1984 the Metallicats still played pure Thrash Metal. Still it was not as rough and uniformed as on "Kill Em All". "Ride The Lightning" contains some of the best known and most probably also best songs of the band. For the first time, and that fairly early in the band-history, METALLICA managed to induce melody and atmosphere into their Thrash-songs. The intro to the opener "Fight Fire With Fire" is legacy to that. The mentioning of the song-title alone should be enough to make some people's neck twitch in anticipation. The following title-track and the live-favourite "For Whom The Bell Tolls" for sure are receiving similar reactions. These songs are just immortal classics that this band won't ever top off again, I fear. With the famous "Fade To Black" the first semi-ballad has found its way onto the album, just as much of a highlight as the first three songs. If it had not happened before, this song should finally have convinced every Metal-fan of what the band is capable of. For the first time METALLICA showed that they are able to play calm, atmospheric and emotional, too. Just listen to these great melody-lines and solos and you will sink to your knees and thank the Metal-god.
The second half of the songs is started out with "Trapped Under Ice" and "Escape". These songs are somewhat forgotten jewels. If ever they are played live only very rarely and in general don't receive too much recognition, which is a shame, because both are very good songs, which have some nice variety in them. With "Creeping Death" we get another fat kick in the ass towards the end, this track again stands for all the positive METALLICA-trademarks. A real steam-hammer. And the whole party is rounded up by the superb instrumental piece "The Call Of Ktulu".
Like I had said before, what should you say about this album nowadays. In short, "Ride The Lightning" is just an immortal classic of Metal-history. Everything fits, sound, songs and atmosphere. And all of this just can mean one thing, just like hundreds of other Metal-journalists have done before: give this album the full rating. Let's just hope that METALLICA sometimes might be able to release another hammer like this one, even though I have my doubts...
Check-out-tips: each and every song.