...And Justice For All review by Metallica

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  • Released: Aug 25, 1988
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (1,750 votes)
Metallica: ...And Justice For All
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Sound — 9
Metallica entered the studio at the height of their power, so to speak. With the success of Master of Puppets behind them, they knew they needed to create something to top it. And they did. But a key ingredient was missing: original bassist Cliff Burton, whos tragic death still shocked and effected Metallica. When they left, they were armed with their heavyest, most complex album to date. But within the heavyness of... AJFA, lie the centerpiece, so to speak. "One", the power ballad based upon Venom's "Buried Alive" and the gruesome lyrics upon the novel "Johhny Got His Gun." It scored major success, and landed Metallica's first video. The guitar work on... AJFA is phenomenl. And it had to be, because with very little to no bass, it had to carry the album, along with the drums. It makes you wonder, "What would this sound like with more bass?" The answer would be the heavyest alvum ever known to man. Speaking of drums, Lars Ulich proves on this album that he may well be crowned the king of double-bass. Instead of rapid-fire bass drum fills, they are fast-paced, but not the the extented that the drummers legs will collapse. They are well written, and helps prove that Metallica pioneereed the thrash metal movement, and Lars pioneered the art of double-bass. The solos on this album one this album also represent the sheer ability that Hetfield [and Lars Ulirch] possess when it comes to writing solos. The intro solo to "One" is one of the most beautifully written solos of all time. With the clever use of hammer-ons and pull-offs, there isn't much to hate. And the instrumental "To Live Is To Die" is an instrumental that rivals, if not overcomes, Orion. The acoustic drenched intro fades into a more Metallica like thrash metal, with powerful kick drumming from Ulrich, and the usual distorion-ridden riffs.

Lyrics — 9
James Hetfield is one of metals, and musics, best lyricists. Every one of the songs is layered with metaphors, and has a meaning. And... AJFA takes his writing to a new level, by dicussing issues that plauge the world still, like greed. They are also nihilistic, and apoalyptic as they come [Blackened], meaningful, [Dyers Eve], and and the late Cliff Burton provides a very true statement in To Live Is To Die. However, the is one flaw in the gem that is..AJFA. It would have to be the way Hetfield sings Dyers Eve. When the vocals kick in, they are too fast compared to the song, and they would have suited better against a instrumental, or a acoustic ballad. Lyrically, Metallica is, and always will be, at their height. J. Hetfield is one of music's most underrated guitarist, andhe is also the most pleasent [imo] frontman to listen to whilst singing.

Overall Impression — 9
The impression is simple, and is mentioned before. It is one of the heavyest albums introduced to mankind, even without the power of a bassist, so to speak. The raw, jittery time changes, and songs that lack any direction at all, really, make up this masterpiece, with few flaws. One would think that with such a powerhouse bassist Jason Newsted, why they didn't use him, and if Cliff Burton was still alive, what the phenomenal bassist would have brought to the table. The most impressive songs on the album are a hard thing to choose, out of the 9 marathon-length masterpieces. But a definat choice would be "One", a song that I've already explained a little much for one review. To Live Is To Die is also a perfect addition, with switches from acoustic to electric, and complex time changes, and the addition of Cliff Burton's underrated short phrase also helped majorly. Their is much to love and little to hate whlist talking about... AJFA. It is ideal for every Metallica fan, and thrash metal fan. I would not let this album be stolen, or out of my sight for that matter when it leaves the saftey of my room, for it is that important.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    stidhamdan
    dyers eve is one of the fastest songs metallica did and has a awesome solo,also the timing on shortest straw at the begining is pretty cool.to live is to die has a cool bass line in the middle of it by jason if you can hear it!!!!it does suck though that a little think like recording the bass better has such an effect on musicians .But its definitaly one of thrash metal's greatist albums.
    metalreaper450
    All right kids, let's all agree that Metallica kicked ass up until the Black Album, which was alright, then went downhill from there. P.S. they still can rock when they play live.
    RainbowGuitar42
    This is definitely their most complex work ever. Blackened is one of their greatest songs! AND I CAN PLAY IT! This is my first comment, by the way. A little welcoming comment may be nice... :fart:
    ledzppln1969
    FYI, "harvester of sorrow" is about a man who goes insane and kills his family. good stuff, no? haha, this album kicks ass. hope the new ones good. rock on mates \m/ \m/
    -spayed-
    what r u all talking about? have any of you even heard the black album? its really ****ing good. and this album is PROBABLY old metallicas worst one. It has nothing on KEA, RTL, and MOP. eat it! but uh....it does have some of their best songs....which is odd. ( blackened, frayed ends of sanity, and one) oh...and the chorus in And Justice For All is so gay...its not even funny.
    Metal_Militia15
    I am 100% with Hailthrashmetal. I don't know why people don't think so. This is what Metallica is(or should I say was) all about! EVERY SONG on this album has something amazing about it. Sure black album was good but that was to appeal to the public. -spayed- ...make up your mind dude. You said "This album is probably old metallicas worst one" and then at the same time you wrote "but...it does have some of their best songs". AND you also included Frayed ends of sanity in there, which is supposed to be the worst song on the album(not that it's bad).