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Which Classic Metallica Album is the Best? A Track By Track Battle! Pt. 2

by Terry Stevens

PHOTO CREDIT:  By Tony (Flickr: Metallica_46) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 
Earlier 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. _____________________________________________________________________________

Track 2

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.  

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...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.

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Scary FN Terry's Pick:  "Master of Puppets"

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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!

Which Metallica Track 2 do you think is the best?




*In addition to making Metallica songs fight to the death"Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest CommunicationsYou can Book Face with him here.