Sound — 8
...And Justice For All is a very interesting album from one of metal's greatest bands. This was the album that had a very progressive feel to it. Long songs (two of them are almost 10 minutes), odd time signatures, and very complex song structures. This album features Kirk's playing ability at his finest, as he really shreds it up here (hey, he did take lessons from Satriani). Although never a truly great drummer, Justice features Lars Ulrich at his best, such as the double bass drum in "One" or his intense work on "Dyers Eve". For the rhythm work, James does an absolutely fantastic job. The thrashy rhythm on some tracks such as "Blackened" and "Dyers Eve" show why he is easily one of the best rhythm players ever. However here comes the problem. Jason Newsted plays bass on here, but funny, where is it? Well for some reason, it is very quiet! I can only hear it once in awhile, but for that you got to listen to it carefully. The production on here is also quite strange. Besides the very quiet bass, the guitars and drums just have some odd sound to them that's hard to describe. If you listen to their older stuff and even their newer stuff, you'll know what I mean. It's a real shame that Newsted was neglected, because he is really a great bass player. If it weren't for the bad production and the neglected bass, this would've easily gotten a 5.
Lyrics — 10
I think this is the peak of Metallica's lyric writing. From political injustice (title track), to war (the epic "One"), and parents (Dyers Eve), this album is full of hate to all the things wrong in the world. Hetfield's voice was at his best here in my mind. No more of the schreechy voice that was on the previous records. Here, it's quite a growly manly voice, which he would keep using until this day.
Overall Impression — 10
...And Justice For All, in my mind, is the perfect example of a flawed masterpiece. Some disliked the album, blaming it on the use of long songs and bad production, while others praised it for the high level of musicianship. I think that songs such as Blackened, ...And Justice For All, One, and Dyers Eve, and To Live Is To Die were the best tracks. I felt that the others songs (Eye Of The Beholder, Shortest Straw, Harvester Of Sorrow, Frayed Ends of Sanity) were good, but not outstanding like the other tracks. It's a shame that Newsted didn't really contribute to the album, and to this day I wonder why they seemed to leave him out and have the bass really quiet. I didn't mind the length of the tracks at all, since I prefer them to shorter ones. I would buy this album again if it were stolen, and I would recommend this to the more hardcore Metallica fans. If the production on the album was better, if Newsted could contribute his bass work, and the songs in the middle of the album were better, then this would've easily passed anything else that Metallica had ever done. For that, Justice will always remain in my mind as Metallica's flawed masterpiece.