The 25 Greatest Acoustic Songs In Hard Rock
Guitar World presents a guide to the 25 greatest acoustic songs in hard rock.
"FADE TO BLACK," METALLICA
Ride the Lightning (1984)
Recorded way back in the early days of thrash, "Fade to Black" is rightly acknowledged as the genre's first "power ballad."
A seven-minute rumination on despair and suicide, the song is built around singer and guitarist James Hetfield's mournful, arpeggiated acoustic picking, over which Kirk Hammett adds some beautiful and soaring electric leads.
Of course, this being Metallica, things remain sweet and mellow for only so long. Midway through, the song builds in intensity, shifting rhythms and adding plenty of heavily distorted six-strings, culminating in an extended and explosive Hammett solo.
While hardcore metalheads at the time accused Metallica of selling out by recording a ballad, "Fade to Black" remains one of the group's most well-known and beloved songs, and it is a concert staple to this day. Besides, as Hetfield has said, "Limiting yourself to please your audience is bullshit."
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