Adam 12

11am - 4pm

July 27, 1984. Metallica releases their second album, which ends up being a more impactful debut then their actual debut.


Last week, I wrote a bit about Metallica’s debut, Kill ‘Em All, which was released on July 25, 1983. So let’s do the math: Metallica debuts on record in July of ’83 and, within a year, they’ve toured, written a new batch of songs, recorded them, and released a new album. Why can’t bands still operate like this?


Here’s the most impressive part, though: the speed at which Metallica’s sound evolved over the course of a year. Kill ‘Em All was straight-up thrash metal. Those elements were still present on Ride The Lightning, but they now resided alongside a more nuanced approach to melody and arrangement (credit bassist Cliff Burton for introducing the rest of the band to rudimentary music theory).


So what do you end up with? A metal album with, dare I say it, balance. And the first step Metallica would take toward the mainstreamed, commercially-successful sound that would manifest on 1991’s The Black Album. Get an idea of some of that balance below.