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Which Classic Metallica Album is the Best? A Track By Track Battle! Pt. 6

by Terry Stevens

PHOTO CREDIT:  Marcelino Portfolio, Creative Commons License

Welcome back to our track-by-track battle between Metallica's First Four.  We're already 6 tracks deep.  If you want to see how the other battles shook out, you can see the results of the Track 1 , Track 2 , Track 3 , Track 4 , and Track 5 fights by clicking the appropriate link.

So far, the scores are as follows:

Kill 'Em All:  Reader Points = 0, Scary Terry Points = 1

Ride the Lightning:  Reader Points = 1, Scary Terry Points = 0

Master of Puppets:  Reader Points = 2, Scary Terry Points = 2

...And Justice for All:  Reader Points = 2, Scary Terry Points = 2

So far, Master and Justice are in a dead heat.

Only a few tracks left.  The winner is up to YOU!

On with the show.


Track 6


Kill 'Em All - "Whiplash"

Written in the same vein as "Hit the Lights", "Whiplash" is another song about Metallica being Metallica with Metallica fans.  The lyrics remind me of those 50's/60's sock-hop dance songs, "The Pony", "The Twist" etc., that are all about what you're supposed to do when you hear the song.

Adrenaline starts to flow
You're thrashing all around
Acting like a maniac

That's not a diss.  "The Twist" still gets love to this day.  Is "Whiplash" one of Metallica's most advanced compositions?  Nope.  Is a classic in its own right.  Yup.

The band still breaks it out in live shows, changing the famous line...

But we will never stop
We will never quit
cause we're Metallica 


But we will never stop
We will never quit
cause YOU'RE Metallica 

Indeed we are.  (But only the first four albums.)


Ride the Lightning - "Escape"


This song (along with "Fade to Black") made "...Lightning" one of my go-to albums in my troubled youth.  If "Fade..." was my depths of depression song, then "Escape" was my get back up and get back to living song.  Anthemic, inspiring, heavy.  "Escape" never gets mentioned in the same breath as "One", "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and the like.  Whether you're a casual or long-time fan, "Escape" warrants another listen.


Master of Puppets - "Leper Messiah"


Dat riff.  Seriously, is there any part of this song that isn't awesome?  Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge.  Not a single wasted note.  How many of those sections would become the basis of entire Pantera songs in the future?  Answer.  All of them.

Then you have the lyrics.  Every time I see luxury car-driving, grip full of gold rings-flashing, bleached white smile grinning, mega church TV preacher, this song's in the back of my mind every time.  (Along with this one.  Also, watch this.  It's funny.)


...And Justice for All - "Harvester of Sorrow"


First that stomping measure at the beginning, then that spooky acoustic riff.

Chills, man.  Pure chills.

It only gets more chilling when this harrowing tale of a person slowly losing their grip on sanity ends the journey with...you know the line...

All have said their prayers 
Invade their nightmares 
To see into my eyes 
You'll find where murder lies 

Damn, Metallica.  That's freaking DARK.


Scary FN Terry's Pick:  "Harvester of Sorrow"

Without a doubt one of the darkest songs in the Metallicatalog.  One of the most metal and memorable too.  As much as I love "Leper Messiah" and its criticism of cash-based faith, "Harvester of Sorrow" is a far more gripping song.

Of course, that's just me talking.

What do you have to say?  Make your pick for Metallica's Best Track 6 in the poll below.

Join us tomorrow when the Track 7s take the stage.

*In addition to being afraid of listening to "Harvester of Sorrow" with the lights off, "Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest Communications. You can Book Face with him here.