Album Review: “Ride The Lighting” By Metallica
Metallica live in 1985 - Metallica / Youtube
Metallica’s sophomore entry, 1984’s Ride The Lightning, had the heavy metal act assume creative maturity at an early stage in their career. This was partly due to former bassist Cliff Burton’s contributions, especially when the taught the members the basics of music theory. Metallica assumed a fuller and more thorough creative process as a result, opting for more variations in the instruments and arrangements.
“Fight Fire With Fire” has Burton’s penchant for classical music greet you, then proceeding to barrage you with a thrash attack that provided the band with their much-needed acclaim in the first place. “Ride The Lightning” is the perfect epitome of Metallica’s sound at the moment, combining speed, grit, and musicality in one maddening yet indulgent arrangement. “For Whom The Bells Toll” slows the adrenaline surge with its brooding arrangement, with a heavy bass riff and a complementary guitar job to go together. “Fade To Black” closes the first side with a gloomy theme wrapping around the ballad’s arrangement for an indulgent listening experience.
“Trapped Under Ice” is a bit underwhelming when compared to the strength of the earlier tracks, but still makes up for it with a unique combination of riffs and solos. “Escape” deviates from the overall theme of the album with its slower pace, but has a catchy structure nonetheless. “Creeping Death” follows next, with its mercurial timing demanding the interest of the listeners. “The Call of Ktulu” ends the record with an allusion to an H.P. Lovecraft creation, with heavy, dripping instrumentation and ethereal effects in the slew of sounds.
While Metallica has had more successful records following this album, Ride The Lightning is a testament to the level of maturity the band achieved early on in their career. The organization was top-notch, the writing hit the spot perfectly, and the band took root with the sound they had in the album. (aardvarkisrael.com) What’s not to love?