Sound — 8
The only negative of this album is the poor sound production, the bass is missing for the most part, it got mixed in with the guitars I believe somehow. Anyways, the drums make a slightly annoying clicking noise instead of thud, it really can be hard on "One". As far as the rest of it goes, some of the riffs are generic but get the job done, nothing too innovative about the sound, though "To Live Is To Die" is a really amazing song, structured like an orchestra, just a great metal instrumental an amazing ode to the Cliff Burton who had died before this album.
Lyrics — 10
Now this is where the album shines, some of the greatest lyrics can be found on this album, every song except for the instrumental has well done and complete set of lyrics, especially Eye of the Beholder, where it makes up for a generic riff with just amazingly catchy lyrics. The subject of the lyrics range from a lot of things like a man who can't communicate with the outside world after being handicapped from war "One" and the abuse of justice and what not "...And Justice For All". As far as the singing goes, Hetfield gets the job done and that's about it, though he does a remarkable job on "One."
Overall Impression — 10
This is up there with Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets as Metallica's best album and if I must say, it is their last true metal album. Some song standouts would be the opener Blackened, the title track, One and the thrash ender Dyers Eve, but really, all the songs are really awesome full with classic riffs and complete with some of the best lyrics you'll ever hear sung. The only problem I have with this album is the production, somehow things got messed up as far as the drum "clicking" and "invisible" bass goes. It is a long album too and yes, that is a good thing, you'll want to hear each second of it, or atleast I always do! Anyways, so if you don't have this album and you like Metallica or just metal in general this album would be a great pickup.