|Mmmm what does Ride the
Lightning mean to me...everything. This is probably my favourite album.
In my opinion their dirtiest and grittiest to date, but at the same time
melody and feeling is abundant on this release. The first song 'Fight
Fire with Fire' is the song that got me into Metallica and opened my
eyes to Thrash Metal. 'Til then Guns'n'Roses was the heaviest thing I
had enjoyed. I was 14 and on holiday with my family. My sister had
brought along her Discman and a few Metallica CD's, she is older and got
into them before me. I heard Fight Fire with Fire and I couldn't get
over the way the nice classical intro blew up into the thrashiest riff
in history. I kept rewinding the intro again and again. Later I fully
appreciated that song for the great soloing and intense drumming. With a
lot of flair Lars throws in tight licks and fills. I love the small but unbelievably
intense double bass drum breakdown in this song, and it was the first
time Lars had shown his new found drumming talents, and his amazing
double bass pedaling ability (Lars had drum lessons after Kill 'Em All
to iron out some flaws. This is when he started to truly develop his own
style). The monotone vocals on this track are incredibly menacing and
add so much to the song. One of James' best vocal performances.
The thunder of this first track rolls
straight into the intense grind of Ride the Lightening. The first riff
is like an evil march straight into a groovy grinding fury of a song.
Guilty as charged... Another classic Metallica song. The vocals again
sound so pained and distressed. The song then breaks down into the
sweetest guitar solo you could imagine. The solo spans 1min32sec, about
22 bars of music and 6 different riffs, truly showing Kirk at his best.
Dong . . . . . dong . . . . . . hear
the bell that starts a whole new generation of Metalheads banging their
heads. Their first chunky song on record and it doesn't disappoint.
Simple but effective drumming lays down the law and allows plenty of
room for kick ass chord changes riffs, and lead from bass and guitar.
Here there are spaces for Lars to lay down some fat as hell meaty drum
Fade To Black is another first, their
first Ballard. About suicide, the song seems to have two halves breaking
into a more positive feel half way through. Is it positive though? At
the end of the song your not sure to be honest and it leaves you
wondering, but it sure has been an emotional trip.
Trapped under ice is another blistering
journey, and again some sad sounding bluesy soloing over fast riffing.
Great and what really defines this album.
Escape well what can you say...life's
for my own to live my own way. That means sooo much to me and although
many class this as an album filler, I disagree. It was said by the band
that Lars and Kirk wrote it but made a pigs breakfast of it, so James
had to intervene. Well still a very important song "see them try to
bring the hammer down, no damn chains can hold me to the ground".
Creeping Death is another real classic.
One of the favourites live for the crowd interaction, DIE DIE DIE it
really defines Metallica as a band that can write crushing stomping
riffs and mix it with fast innovative sections and great solos.
The Call of Ktulu was yet another
first. Not including Pulling Teeth it was their first instrumental. Lots
of great intelligent music. The music builds up and swirls around with
crazy whahh bass filling in spaces in the guitar. It is a true musical
journey and a great great piece. There are changes of speed and feel
around every corner. It builds you up to a point with drums, guitar and
bass beating out the rhythm which is a great ensemble figure. Then a
break with an acoustic haunting guitar, the intro repeated, and a big
classical drum announces the final crescendo and it builds and builds
and you reach what is the end of a phenomenal album. PHENOMENAL.
Edward Glenn (Ed)