Monday, July 28, 2014
Metallica - Ride the Lightning
Side one starts with “Fight Fire With Fire”, a Biblical approach to ever-building vengeance that yields to a worldwide Armageddon. The opening guitar has a solid harmony to it, musically, before shifting into a thundering all-out storm. The explosive ending is the perfect capper.
“Ride the Lightning” tells the tale of a man on death row, facing death by electrocution. This one appropriately crackles with a raw energy, and the guitar solo about two-thirds of the way through is cool.
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s 1940 novel of the same name. Both deal with the subject matter of war and aspects of the shear violence and dishonor that can appear during it. This track was released as a promotional single. I really got into the extended instrumental opening on this track.
The ballad “Fade to Black”, also a promotional single, touches upon thoughts of suicide.
Side two opens with “Trapped Under Ice”. The song has a sci-fi/horror spin as a man wakes from a cryogenic sleep only to find he is alone and helpless.
“Escape” is up next. Compared to what came before, this one actually has a bit more of a commercial sound to it. That is not a bad thing; I just not it because it makes the track stand out from the rest. I like how they incorporated the siren effects in the background near the end.
The only commercial single from the album was “Creeping Death”. Its roots are in the Bible, from Exodus 12:29, with lyrics telling of the plagues that besieged Egypt.
The nearly nine minute long instrumental “The Call of Ktulu” closes the album. It gets its title from horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu short story that appeared in Weird Tales magazine in 1928.
This was my first listen to Ride the Lightning, and I rather enjoyed it. Metallica, and metal in general, is not something I listen to with much regularity (though we have hit a bunch of metal albums this past month from 1984, eh?). However, it is something that is good to shake things up with every now and again.
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