7. Fight Fire With Fire
The almost neo-classical acoustic intro that gives way to the teeth-rattling pace of its central riffage, Ride the Lightning's opener served as a teaser for what was to come across the rest of the record, namely in its harmonic complexity and the arrival of more nuanced instrumentation into the band's sound.
Culminating in the wonderfully unsubtle sound of a nuclear explosion, it's effectively a concise mission statement for the soundscapes et to be conjured up over the remaining seven tracks and showed the group's progression from simple thrash merchants into something with a greater sense of light and shade in their musicality.
Its distinct, gentle counterpoint first breath came around from an melody plucked out by Burton while its central riff hailed from the band's Kill 'Em All tour, where it had been taped. It's not Metallica's best first track out of the gate when it comes to their LPs, but it's still one of their most effective at conveying what it wants to.