Megadeth’s album Rust In Peace is a tremendous record. It’s definitely one of the best metal albums of all time. The guitar work on the record is beyond superb. In fact, the first song on Rust In Peace, “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” is one of the quintessential metal songs of all time. As a first song on an album, this is one of the best. The song itself has an interesting background. It was inspired by the Northern Ireland conflicts at the time. Holy Wars, since the release of Rust In Peace, has been a live staple for over 30 years now. It truly is one of the greatest track one’s of all time.
We all know the story of how Dave Mustaine was once a member of Metallica. I don’t need to go into that. Instead let us focus on when Metallica did their 30th anniversary shows at The Fillmore in San Francisco. During those shows, Metallica played a ton of songs they haven’t in years and it featured many guests including, Ozzy, Jerry Cantrell, Danzig and especially, Dave Mustaine. The mini set they played with Mustaine was pretty awesome. It’s definitely one of those moments that should be celebrated. Who knows, maybe we’ll get to see it again one day or even one more “Big 4” show.
It’s been a while since I really sat down and listened to Megadeth. So the other day I put on their new album Dystopia and found I quite enjoyed it. To me it sounds like Dave was trying to recapture the feeling he and the band had during Rust In Peace. So much so, that Chris Adler’s drumming on the album has a Nick Menza feel to it. Anyways, I realized that Megadeth has 15, yes 15 albums, and I felt the need to rank them.
30 years ago, Metallica stepped up their game following their debut album and released Ride The Lightning. The album was recorded in Denmark by Flemming Rasmussen, who would go on to produce their next two albums. Ride the Lightning is the last Metallica album to credit former guitarist Dave Mustaine, with co-writing any songs. He is credited on the title track, “Ride the Lightning”, and instrumental track “The Call of Ktulu.” Though only eight songs are on the album, the 47 minutes of sheer intensity is very prevalent. Starting off the album is “Fight Fire With Fire.” This song opens with a very classical melody then jumps right into the thrash madness. The title track “Ride The Lightning” balances the harmony of dueling guitars with a crunchy churning riff. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” has one of the best bass parts ever. This song is beyond recognizable and is still a crowd favorite at Metallica shows. Cliff Burton really shines on this song. “Fade To Black” wasn’t well received upon first listen, but this song really showcases the ability of the band to write great songs. The entire arrangement of the song from the melody, lyrics, and riffs are spectacular, not to mention the closing solo. “Trapped Under Ice” is a very underrated thrash song. The speed of the playing on this song is intense. “Escape” is a wildcard on the album. This song has a more melodic sensibility to it. Though it does show what kind of range James was starting to develop. “Creeping Death” is my personal favorite Metallica song, it was also the first song of their I learned to play, so there is some sentimental attachment to it. The riff on this track is heavy as hell. The interesting part of this song is the lyrics as they are all about the biblical exodus and the plagues of the Jews leaving Egypt. Closing out the album is the instrumental “The Call Of The Ktulu.” This song is epic, melodic, and heavy, all the things that Ride The Lightning represents.
Ride The Lightning was definitely a step in the right direction for Metallica. James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett really started to come into their own as a great guitar duo. Cliff Burton was a beast on the bass. Lars actually played with a passion. For many Master Of Puppets is considered their best album, I for one am in the minority in thinking that Ride The Lightning is. Not to take anything away from Master, I just have more of a connection to this album.