Sound — 8
Many Metallica fans put down "...And Justice for All" because it is like the "middle album". It was after their extremely famous and critically acclaimed "Master Of Puppets" and before their unbelievably mainstream self-titled album, known by many as "The Black Album". I'm not quite sure what happened here, but the sound quality is a little grungy. Nothing bad, it's just different from most Metallica albums and metal albums for that matter. The guitar work is extremely heavy and fast, and Lars really smashes those drums out on this album. It's probably the only album ever that can serve up heavy metal, thrash, speed metal, and acoustic work all in one and make it work as beautifully as it did in "...And Justice for All". It's simply amazing. There is one complaint I do have and it's about Jason Newsted. I know he plays bass on the album, but you can't really ever hear it. I guess if you crank up the bass you could feel it a bit, but it's so quiet I wasn't quite sure if there was even bass being played on the album. It is still a great album, and aside from the grungy, weird production job, it's destined to be a classic.
Lyrics — 10
I've always known Metallica to write great lyrics, but this is the album where that talent really shines. Anywhere from pollution to injustice to just plain mean parents, Metallica can take the simplest of subjects and warp them into brilliant metal masterpieces. This is also the album where James's voice is deeper than the earlier three ablums. It's no longer that high thrash and speed metal voice, it's a much more "Metallica-ized" heavy metal type of voice. And James's voice with those razor-sharp lyrics and brilliant works of guitar and drums, the songs come out at you and attack you. It's great. I think that the album has some of the most brilliant lyrics ever written. The lyrics are no longer needlessly obvious, like "Flash before my eyes, now it's time to die" ("Ride The Lightning", 1984); the lyrics are much more vague and they make you really think. They're dark and mysterious, and that's what metal is about, my friends. Check these brilliant lyrics out from "The Shortest Straw" (3rd verse). The way the lyrics are written is just one way out of many that make a great album, and the lyrics on this album deserve a 5. In fact, a 5 would be an understatement, but that's as high as this rating system goes.
Overall Impression — 10
Whenever I think of Metallica and their albums, this album will always stand out to me. In my mind, it's possibly the greatest album ever made by any artist ever. The combination of guitar work, drums, lyrics, and just the ideas of the songs, makes the album a certain classic. Some of the songs on this album are of considerable length; 2 songs are nearly 10 minutes long. This is not a bad thing and I think that Metallica's earlier songs were too short and could have had some nice interlude or bridge that would have given the song some more life. "...And Justice for All" delivers that perfectly, and it's got everything most metal bands will do in 20 years all in one album. Fantastic. I would strongly recommend this album to nearly anyone, Metallica fan or not, who recognizes good music when they hear it. Simply put, this album is music as an art at its very finest.