Ride the Lightning was the first album to feature contributions from Kirk Hammett, however there are still songs that were partially written by Dave Mustaine. (This would be the last album to feature any of his material) The album spawned three singles ( “Fade to Black” , “Creeping Death”, and “For Whom the Bell Tolls”) and was certified Platinum 6 times as of 2012. The title is a reference to the electric chair, inspired by The Stand by Stephen King.
James Hetfield: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Kirk Hammett: lead guitar, backing vocals
Cliff Burton: bass, backing vocals
Lars Ulrich: drums and percussion, backing vocals
- “Fight Fire With Fire “: This is another song that contradicts its title. It actually condemns the mentality of its title. I like the frantic percussion and acoustic intro.
- “Ride the Lightning” : the title track criticizes the death penalty. Hetfield’s driving rhythm is excellent, making it one of my favorite songs. This is the final song that was partially composed by Mustaine.
- “For Whom the Bell Tolls “: I love how ominous this sounds.
- “Fade to Black” : The acoustic guitar and slow tempo are a great approach. It’s another favorite song.
- “Trapped Under Ice” : This song is based on a song that Exodus demoed called “Impaler”. While I like the rhythm, I can’t say I like this one much.
- ” Escape” : This song was an early attempt to make a radio-friendly song and feels half-hearted. Hetfield says this is his least favorite song. I don’t like it either.
- “Creeping Death”: This is an excellent song about the tenth plague of Egypt, the killing of their first-born children.
- ” The Call of Ktulu”: The album closes with an epic instrumental showcasing great rhythm from Ulrich.
Final Verdict: This album shows a marked improvement from the previous album. I have to wonder why 1001Albums You Must Hear Before You Die skips it, because I think it’s much better than Kill ‘Em All.