Love them or hate them there’s really no middle-ground when it comes to one of the Big Four of thrash metal. You either love the band even through their dabbling into hard rock and the Bob Rock-era or you hate them for the perceived selling out and the Bob Rock-era. You ask any Metallica fan and they would pretty much agree that their third album, Master of Puppets, was the band at it’s peak. There would be some debate on whether the Black Album was where the band began to alienate some of it’s earliest fans, but that’s not what we’re here for.
We are here for the latest “Song of the Day” and it’s from their second full-length album, Ride the Lightning. The song is the band’s very first power ballad and follows the album’s theme and exploration of death. Where the album’s title took on the concept of death by electric chair the song chosen this time around is about the band’s exploration of the concept of suicide.
Yes, this was the song that the band had gotten into hot water for it’s suicidal lyrics which purportedly led to teens offing themselves after listening to it constantly. What critics of the song failed to realize was just how much teens at the time the song came out saw the song as therapeutic. They related to the song and used it as an outlet for their own alienation and depression.
Just like it’s subject matter it begins with a melancholy melody that gives a glimpse into the singer’s mindset. It’s not the typical fast playing many have associated with thrash, but that arrives soon enough as the song finishes off it’s vocals with a fade out that leads into Kirk Hammett’s 2-minute guitar solo that ultimately fades out as well…
The song that critics of metal gets wrong then and continues to even now is the classic “Fade to Black”.
Fade to Black
Life it seems, will fade away
Drifting further every day
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters no one else
I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free
Things not what they used to be
Missing one inside of me
Deathly lost, this Can’t be real
Cannot stand this hell I feel
Emptiness is filling me
To the point of agony
Growing darkness taking dawn
I was me, but now he’s gone
No one but me can save myself, but it’s too late
Now, I can’t think, think why I should even try
Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death Greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye
Great Guitar Solos Series