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Metallica - ...And Justice for All (Cover Artwork)

Metallica

Metallica: ...And Justice for All...And Justice for All (1988)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: the_ghost_of_el_ducethe_ghost_of_el_duce
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's been exactly 20 years since Metallica released their highly acclaimed fourth album, ...And Justice for All, which could have been an absolute killer. Not only was it the followup to their 1986 classic, Master of Puppets, but it was also the first album recorded with new bassist Jason Newsted, r.
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It's been exactly 20 years since Metallica released their highly acclaimed fourth album, ...And Justice for All, which could have been an absolute killer. Not only was it the followup to their 1986 classic, Master of Puppets, but it was also the first album recorded with new bassist Jason Newsted, replacing the late Cliff Burton. I remember waiting very patiently for this record to come out, and saving the last of the money I had on me so I could buy it. I finally bought it sometime back in the fall of 1988 along with the Suicidal Tendencies record, How Will I Laugh Tomorrow, and I was hooked when I listened to it for the first time.

The death of bassist Cliff Burton was definitely a blow to Metallica, and likely affected the writing process of their next album. But they survived the ordeal and in 1988, looked to release ‚?¶And Justice for All. Predictably, the album had nothing on their previous works. Though by no means a terrible offering, Metallica's fourth album is quite unlike both Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, as it is a difficult album to both get into and enjoy.

Justice contains Metallica's most sophisticated, heaviest riffs yet. A lot of changing tempos, a lot of weird rhythms, a lot of palm-muted guitars and a lot of excellent solos courtesy of one Kirk Hammett, specifically "One," "Blackened" and "Dyers Eve." What 's interesting about this record is how most of its solos are actually divided in two, with a small break in between. A pure example of that is opener "Blackened." The solo comes in after an impressive guitar harmony and at first, it's pretty measured. The riff in the background isn't the thrashy riff that's so characteristic of the song but a very heavy one, and the solo builds on it very well, only getting faster and faster until finally making a screeching halt, giving way to Hetfield's powerful rhythm guitar to show its face one more time before Hammett finally goes berserk and bombards us with perfectly placed, lightning-fast notes backed by fast riffing and drumming, eventually throwing the song's trademark riff right back at your face for the final blow. Justice is filled to the top with moments like this of songs building up, just like a hammer being swung backwards before it's flung forward to crush the rock below it. The drumming on Justice is also very good and definitely showcases Lars Ulrich's best, most inspired work, specifically on the title song.

Justice also includes an instrumental piece called "To Live Is to Die." This instrumental, unlike the mysterious "Orion," is very sad and desperate, though it does have a very similar structure: heavy guitars, a solo, a soft bridge and finally back to the heavy for one more moment of power and a fade-out ending. Worthy of special mention is the melodic section in the middle of the song. This depressing riff is divine on its own, but when it gets the company of James and Kirk's guitars it becomes the most powerful moment on the album. The ending of the instrumental, based around a poem written by the late Cliff Burton, only gives the piece more power and keeps making me feel bad that it actually ends with these lyrics:

When a man lies
He murders some part of the world
These are the pale deaths
Which men miscall their lives
All this I cannot bear to witness any longer
Cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home?
"One" may actually be the most overrated song here, with the highlights including "Blackened," "...And Justice for All," "Harvester of Sorrow," "Frayed Ends of Sanity" and "Dyer's Eve" -- all very good thrash-metal songs.

Bottom line: I recommend you buy your own copy of ...And Justice for All, if you don't own it. Check it out. Buy it. Listen to it. Whatever.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Metallica - Master of PuppetsMetallica - Kill 'Em AllBad Religion - SufferMetallica - Ride the LightningOperation Ivy - Operation IvyRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeBad Religion - Stranger Than FictionBlack Flag - DamagedMinor Threat - Complete Discography

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
dordon (August 31, 2008)

i wrote and submitted a review for this album about 2 weeks ago...

why wasn't mine posted?

johndz (August 29, 2008)

greatest metal album of all time

album that made me want to play guitar

people who don't like this are wrong, listen to bad music, and are probably bad people

johndz (August 29, 2008)

greatest metal album of all time

album that made me want to play guitar

people who don't like this are wrong, listen to bad music, and are probably bad people

johndz (August 29, 2008)

greatest metal album of all time

album that made me want to play guitar

people who don't like this are wrong, listen to bad music, and are probably bad people

johndz (August 29, 2008)

greatest metal album of all time

album that made me want to play guitar

people who don't like this are wrong, listen to bad music, and are probably bad people

johndz (August 29, 2008)

greatest metal album of all time

album that made me want to play guitar

people who don't like this are wrong, listen to bad music, and are probably bad people

blackmetal666 (August 29, 2008)

I can't say this tops any of their first three records, but I think it's as good as the others and I find myself listening to this one the most. They definitely peaked as far as creativity with this album. Also, how can you review this album and not mention the Shortest Straw???? That song is fucking incredible. Anyway, this is an excellent album by an excellent band (yeah we all know the new shit sucks). Metal up your ass!

jesuschrist (August 29, 2008)

20 years??? fuck I'm old

spec (August 29, 2008)

Fox82, your right nobody could actually appreciate this album.
The biggest trend going is to love 20 year old Metallica albums.

TheMike (August 29, 2008)

Mezzy's comment would have been hilarious if we were talking about death metal and not thrash. But thrash can be pretty irresistable.

Anyone else here have the new Motorhead?

Mental_Decay (August 29, 2008)

"Okay, so there's the Harvester of Sorrow. Where's the Tractor of Terror, the Combine of Cruelty, or the Plough of Panic?"

There's actually a local metal band here that's called Terror Tractor.

mezzy (August 29, 2008)

Prob my favourite Metallica album...

love it.
Seriously if you don't like thrash you need to suffer a horrible death... prefferably killed by broken Slayer and Kreator cd's

xote (August 29, 2008)

I think fox whatever and mommys little monster are the same person. I don't like Metalica. As i've always said there are the kids who like Metalica then the kids who like Slayer. I liked Slayer. But I can't deny that this was a pretty good thrash album.

fox82 (August 28, 2008)

This band is a fucking joke. This record is a fucking joke. I'd go so far as to say that the Exploited are less of a fucking joke than this band of assholes are. Like mommyslittlemonster23 said, stop pretending you like this crap.

TheMike (August 28, 2008)

I actually kind of liked Load. But I can't listen to it for long. But let's be honest, "Ain't My Bitch" is a terrific opener.

deadxlast (August 28, 2008)

I just listened to this album last night, right after Blessed Black Wings by High On Fire. I've been on a weird metal kick.

It's amazing how awful this band got, but the first three albums at least were pretty sweet.

sugarfull (August 28, 2008)

Great metallica album...it's a shame how much worse they got after this.

tmfxjohn (August 27, 2008)

in my opinion, tops master of puppets. hands down.

better on every level

"blackened" and "...and justice for all" have got to be two of the greatest songs ever.

lushj (August 27, 2008)

Okay, so there's the Harvester of Sorrow. Where's the Tractor of Terror, the Combine of Cruelty, or the Plough of Panic?

spec (August 27, 2008)

" that's right cassette. this album rules."
I can relate old man. I wish I had kept all those old cassettes.

necktattoo (August 27, 2008)

i wonder if i still have this cassette somewhere. that's right cassette. this album rules.

grownfromthecold (August 27, 2008)

In fact, I'm going to go listen to this right now. I'm sorry if it's cool to hate Metallica now.

grownfromthecold (August 27, 2008)

Wow, mommyslittlemonster23, are you fucking serious? Not only is this Metallica's best record, it may just be (ARGUABLY) the best thrash album ever made. It's super heavy, pretty complex, melodic without being overproduced or mainstream, the lyrics are deep, the solos are amazing, and it's enjoyable from start to finish. How you can say what you said is just...beyond me. Maybe it's because you listen to Social Distortion.

mommyslittlemonster23 (August 26, 2008)

sucks. period.
dont even pretend you like this.

quit sucking up to kid who beats you up every day after school.
this is terrible.

after 25 listens, im still wondering why i wasted money on this.

grownfromthecold (August 26, 2008)

Perfect album. Definitely their best. A true classic.

Angiepants (August 26, 2008)

I grew up listening to this album. I need to dig it out again...

ollywood (August 26, 2008)

My first metallica album as well

Dyers Eve possibly my favorite Metallica song

cheesetits (August 26, 2008)

The first Metallica cd I bought (obviously not when it came out, I was 5). Such a classic and epic album.

Torgo (August 26, 2008)

Dyers Eve is absolutely amazing. In NJ duing their 04 tour they opened with Blackened.

Sliced-T (August 26, 2008)

I used to looooove all the classic Metallica albums, but now when I listen to them all I can hear is Lars' shitty drumming and the experience is ruined.

SCjames (August 26, 2008)

If this album was a dog, I'd have sex with it.

TraumaSponge (August 26, 2008)

The production on this album is pretty bad, the snare drum is weak and the bass is inaudible. However, Blackened, One, and And Justice For All are the three best songs Metallica ever produced.

King_Rodney (August 26, 2008)

Great album. Blackened has one of the catchiest riffs I've ever heard and one of Kirk's finest solos. I still prefer Master of Puppets and still prefer Megadeth though.

alex101 (August 26, 2008)

Yes, you should, TheMike.

TheMike (August 26, 2008)

I've really been getting into metal lately. I should probably get this.

alex101 (August 26, 2008)

Yay! More Metallica on the site. AJFA is one of the greatest metal albums ever!

misterspike (August 26, 2008)

Not as good as Master of Puppets but "Dyer's Eve" is still one of my favorite Metallica songs.

bryne (August 26, 2008)

This record still blows my mind.

andrewg (August 26, 2008)

score is for ride the lightning.

mikexdude (August 26, 2008)

This is the only Metallica album I love. It's a classic.

BarleyPat (August 26, 2008)

Ummm......? Shortest Straw?

weffjebster (August 26, 2008)

Nice timing with the Metallica review. :P

I really like this album, but I don't think it's a perfect ten. Harvester of Sorrow is probably one of my least favorite Metallica songs... Something about it just bores me.

Also, the production on the album's kinda bad-- I'm surprised you didn't even make a mention of the quite noticeably turned down bass. And on a punk website, no mention of the suddenly politically charged lyrics? Sheesh.

But yeah, it is a really good album. Not my favorite, but it's solid.

Make_Way (August 26, 2008)

While no doubt this is one awesome album, I have to agree with the reviewer in the fact that this particular album does not mesh with the listener upon first listen like Master of Puppets does. After a few listens though, the excellence becomes more and more apparent. And not to worry, the listener will welcome additional listens to this album. Great stuff.

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