Metallica-Ride the Lightning
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Released: 1984 Elektra

Metallica is the band that truly popularized thrash metal. Ride the Lightning  is their second album but was really second to none. It was a close race between this album and Master of Puppets (1986), though, but I believe that "Fade to Black" was the tie-breaking song. This album also contains "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Fight Fire With Fire" and an excellent instrumental called "The Call of Ktulu".  I rate these two albums above the rest mainly because the mix, performance and songs were the best. I love the And Justice For All album (1988) but the mix was not as good as the mix on Master of Puppets or Ride the Lightning. I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Metallica album (1991-also called the Black Album) ) due to the fact that their songwriting abilities had really expanded by that point. It lacks some of the intensity of their earlier albums but compositionally, was better. I'd recommend Kill 'Em All (1983-their first album) for those who seek pure attitude and intensity.

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