My ears were conditioned to enjoy the Tom Werman, Keith Olsen, Bruce Fairbairn produced albums, so when I heard the chainsaw sounding guitars I wasn’t sure what I was hearing or if I liked it.
But liked it I did and I still contend that “Ride The Lightning” is the album that should define Metallica. It’s original, progressive and it set the track list template for the albums which followed.
A bell tolls, like “Hells Bells”.
And there is a pause.
A bell tolls again.
And there is a brief pause.
Then the staccato F#5 power chord comes crashing down, before it goes to the E5 power chord to ring out.
Then the bass solo.
Then the descending chromatic riff which mimics the bass solo.
And when you think the first verse is about to come in, a harmony guitar lead happens, which is repeated over and over again, until the riff which underpins the Chorus comes in.
But there is no singing. Just bone crushing music. And after 2 minutes, we are finally rolling with the first verse.
And we are marching to the hills to make our fight, running through the endless grey to kill for a hill and we don’t even know why.
After the first chorus, there is another little lead break, which is a variation of the harmony lead in the intro.
And now we are looking at the crumbling sky before we die, as all is gone, except the will to be.
Suddenly it’s over, with the whammy guitar mimicking the screams of those poor dying soldiers.
For the “fans” who criticised the “Black” album, they should not forget tracks like “For Whom The Bells Toll”, “Escape” and “Leper Messiah” from “Master Of Puppets”. Slower tempo songs that would not be out of place on the “Black” Album. Even a song like “Jump In The Fire” is a slower tempo song.
Time marches on and Metallica marched on to take over the world.