PHOTO CREDIT: By Tony (Flickr: Metallica_46) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsEarlier this week, we set out to settle a debate . Which of Metallica's First Four Album's is the best one? In this age of digital downloads and streaming, full albums aren't really a thing anymore. So, much like the internet, we're comparing the albums song by song, track by track. You can see the results of our Track 1 comparison HERE. _____________________________________________________________________________
If Track 1 sets the tone for an album, Track 2 is the one that let's you know that your first impression was no fluke. This band means business.
Kill 'Em All - "The Four Horseman"
'Dat riff. One of Mega-Dave Mustaine's credited contributions to the album, "The Four Horsemen" is so killer that it became a Megadeth song too . The lyrics are vivid. You can practically see the apocalyptic quartet riding roughshod over a cursed earth when listening to the song. The mellower middle section also offers a preview of the more progressive-leaning Metallica that would come later in the band's career.
Confession-time. I would always skip past "Hit the Lights" just to get to "The Four Horsemen".
Ride the Lightning - "Ride the Lightning"
Another composition with a Mega-Dave Mustaine credit, Ride the Lightning's title track is a harrowing journey through a prisoner's last moments in the electric chair. It has all the makings of a Metallica classic. A killer riff, a groovy chugging part, a thrashy part, killer solos, lyrics that paint a not so pretty picture.
Master of Puppets - "Master of Puppets"
There are few live metal experiences that compare to yelling, "MASTER! MASTER!" along with a sea of other Metallica fans. This song features several killer sing-a-long parts. Hooks everywhere. A mellow bridge showing off Metallica's prog-leanings. That crunchy part at 5:06 (pit time)! Intense lyrics about the pitfalls of addiction. The laughing at the end. The song clocks in at over 8 minutes and every...minute...is...awesome.
"Master of Puppets" has been pulling our strings since 1986 with no sign of ever letting up.
...And Justice for All - "...And Justice for All"
On this song, Metallica cranks up the prog factor to 11, adds a ton of socially conscious lyrics, and delivers a crushingly heavy song. So grim, so true, so real.
Scary FN Terry's Pick: "Master of Puppets"
No freaking contest here. As great as all of Metallica's First Four "Track 2s" are, the only one that can instantly whip a crowd into a frenzy with its opening note is "Master of Puppets".
Of course, that's just me talking. Make your pick for 'Tallica's best Track 2 in the poll, and join me later this week when we compare the Track 3s!
*In addition to making Metallica songs fight to the death, "Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest Communications. You can Book Face with him here.