Fan poll: Top 5 METALLICA album-opening songs | Revolver

Fan poll: Top 5 METALLICA album-opening songs

See what beat "Enter Sandman" and "Battery"
metallica live HUBBARD, Jimmy Hubbard
photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

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Metallica know how to start an album. There's plenty of discussion to be had about the overall quality of their catalog, and when it comes to delivering a fully great record from start to finish, there're definitely a couple duds in their repertoire. But if you wanna look at the songs that kickstart the LP they're on, almost every Metallica full-length tees off with a bang. We asked our readers to pick the single best album-opener in their whole discography — the top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.

5. "Hit the Lights"

The one that started it all. "Hit the Lights" is everything the first shot on a debut album should be — punchy, energetic, catchy and brazenly confident. James Hetfield busts out boasts about Metallica's "insane" fans and their music's lethal power, while the rest of the group delivers on their own precocious promise — especially Kirk Hammett's five-star shredding.

4. "Fight Fire With Fire"

The very first sounds on Metallica's debut record are molten feedback and tumbling drum fills. Their second, much more refined opus begins with a classical guitar passage — and then the thrash comes ripping in. Tighter, harder and more focused than they were the year before, Ride the Lightning is an enormous leap forward from Kill 'Em All in scope and scale, and "Fight Fire With Fire" is a perfect encapsulation of how far Metallica had come in that short time, and also a glimpse at how far they would take the thrash genre writ large.

3. "Enter Sandman"

Even if you've heard this moody stomper a million times as a standalone single in sports stadiums and MTV rotation, the thrill of "Enter Sandman" never really gets old. And as an album-opener, it sets a high bar for the rest of the tracklist (one that's amazingly cleared by at least five other songs, according to our readers) while also curating the vibe for what's to come. The "Black Album" wasn't the same Metallica who conquered thrash in the 1980s, and "Enter Sandman" ushered in their new era.

2. "Battery"

Could a metal album-opener be any better than this? Well, our readers think so, but the votes were extremely close, and "Battery" still racked up an imposing slew of supporters who think this is the superior 'Tallica intro jam. It's hard to argue against. "Battery" bottles up all of the band's raw, virtuosic talent when they were operating at the peak of their speed-metal years, and it sounds like they use every second of its five-minute runtime to show that they're the genre's top dogs. There's only one song that could possibly rival it in the playbook of Metallica album openers ...

1. "Blackened"

"Blackened" beat "Battery." As a record, ...And Justice for All had huge stakes, being it was their first without iconic bassist Cliff Burton, and their first LP with new addition Jason Newsted. Of course, the new guy's playing is notoriously inaudible on these recordings, but there's no denying the ferocious strength of "Blackened," which sets the slightly proggier musical tone of the record, and is also what many fans consider to be one of Metallica's best songs — ever. It's objectively a momentous statement packed with savory riffs and fascinating sonic turns. It's also just a total smack in the head — exactly what you want for the opener on a fucking metal album.