Another game changer track, a progressive 7 minute instrumental, with a title taken from the works of HP Lovecraft and his mythical monster.
And death was the unifying theme on “Ride The Lightning” except for “Escape”, a Thin Lizzy like cut which had defiant social lyrics like “Life is my own to live my own way”. The same message could be heard on songs like “Stand Up And Shout” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.
“The Call Of Ktulu” has got a bit of everything, written mostly by Dave Mustaine in his Dux of the Year contribution however the publishing will show Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Mustaine.
And it’s got the embryonic riff of what will become “Hanger 18” in Megadeth many years later, based around a chromatic ascending riff similar to “Kashmir” from Led Zeppelin.
The songs structure is orchestral like and it’s full of ascending and descending scales, chromatic lines which give the song an air of menace and time changes.
The intro alone moves from a classical inspired Dm arpeggio riff to the Am Tritone arpeggio riff and back to the Dm “Hangar 18” riff.
And the “Ride The Lightning” album was the first time that Cliff was really writing with the band, and this partnership would come to fruition on the follow up album “Master Of Puppets” album.
Rumors existed that Hetfield didn’t write any lyrics because he never actually read any of Lovecraft’s works or that the song that appears on the album was a throwaway jam from the Mustaine era, with Mustaine actually playing, because the album was over budget and needed an extra track.
And the various companies printing the LPs kept spelling it wrong on various pressings. “The Cat Of Ktulu” and “The Call Of The Ktulu”.
Regardless, enjoy a brilliant track which was made even more menacing when Michael Kamen wanted to open the “S&M” show with it many years later, which gave the song a new lease of life and people once again became interested in Metallica’s back catalogue.