Over the course of the eight tracks on Ride the Lightning the listener can detect the beginnings of the cataclysmic shift occurring in metal. Opening with the punishing combination of “Fight Fire With Fire” and “Ride the Lightning,” Metallica provide an immediate reminder of why they are the reigning kings of thrash metal, but with the slow, steamrolling riff of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” it becomes clear that the band is growing beyond the speed metal parameters of Kill ‘Em All. Their ambition is confirmed by “Fade to Black,” a ballad that refuses to sacrifice attitude for sentiment. To reiterate for their fans that they weren’t going soft, the second side of Ride the Lightning is lined with three of the band’s most devastating jolts: “Trapped Under Ice,” “Escape,” and “Creeping Death.” The album ends with “The Call of Ktulu,” an intricate eight-minute epic that points the way towards Master of Puppets and …And Justice For All. Ride The Lightning proved Metallica were more than the American metal movement’s brightest stars — they were now its leaders.