Metallica
...And Justice for All


3.5
great

Review

by LaughingSkull USER (32 Reviews)
January 16th, 2014 | 94 replies | 2,341 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Seeking no truth, winning is all, find it so grim, so true, so real...

5 of 12 thought this review was well written

If I had to choose one word with which to describe Metallica's fourth offering, it would have to be "overwrought". I don't know whether it was because the band lost the compositional insight that Cliff Burton possessed, or because they were at a "How do we progress from here?" type of quandary after the beastly Master of Puppets, but the fact remains that, musically, ...And Justice for All has some glaring shortcomings.
Most importantly, for an album that tries to be metal, it simply doesn't rock. While Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning were suffused with rich melodies and grooves, Justice is somehow more monolithic, more one-dimensional. The songs, or should I say "compositions", have sacrificed most of their straightforwardness and catchiness in favor of (over)complexity and lengthiness. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, the album occasionally makes the listener wish for more orthodoxy: briefer and more to-the-point numbers, with a better sing-along factor.
Another issue is the album's production -- it is a bit dry, losing that mid-range reverbed twang that gave attitude to Metallica's previous releases. There is no bass, but that is a perfectly condonable fact.
Still, despite these oddities, the band has to be congratulated on their effort and ambition to push the boundaries and take metal to a new level, even if their formula isn't that successful.

Among the collection of complicated arrangements, one song does stand out -- Harvester of Sorrow is the most concise effort on here, as its utilisation of simple, yet incredibly evil riff and vocal lines, combined with a shorter duration, make it more concentrated, more hard-hitting, more effective than the rest of the songs. Blackened also delivers, cleverly shifting gears between several distinct motifs, thus avoiding falling in the trap of repetitiveness like other songs on here. The title track could use some trimming, but I still regard it as one of the record's high points, thanks to its great riff and smart lyrics, as well as narrative construction with well-defined exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action. And I do think that To Live is to Die is Metallica's finest instrumental, being classes above Orion and Ktulu, with its brilliant amalgamation of acoustic passages and heavy plodding motifs, plus that short spoken poetry providing for an excellent musing on life and death.

As far as lyrics are concerned, the band is at its finest here. Take a look at some of the lyrics of the title track:

Lady Justice Has Been Raped
Truth Assassin
Rolls of Red Tape Seal Your Lips
Now You're Done in
Their Money Tips Her Scales Again
Make Your Deal
Just What Is Truth I Cannot Tell
Cannot Feel


And some from Eye of the Beholder:

Do You Need What I Need?
Boundaries Overthrown
Look Inside to Each His Own
Do You Trust What I Trust?
Me, Myself and I
Penetrate the Smoke Screen I See Through the Selfish Lie


Lyrically, the band excellently describes a society on the verge of collapse due to environmental factors, limitation of personal freedoms, loss of faith in public institutions, and the hypercontrol and paranoia imposed by modern technology. There is certainly a very strong thematic center to this album, and it is underlined even more by the awesome cover art, depicting Lady Justice being deposed. Brilliant.

Notes:
The intro to Blackened is actually a reversed recording. If you want to hear the (pretty cool) original recording, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKqTPDMHeoE




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user ratings (4897)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
RunOfTheMill
January 16th 2014



1428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is pretty good, though a bit messy. The way you ended your review didn't really feel like an actual conclusion

Kalopsia
January 16th 2014



926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"..for an album that tries to be metal, it simply doesn't rock"



Dyer's Eve doesn't rock?

Kalopsia
January 16th 2014



926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'The songs, or should I say "compositions"..'




this review, or should I say "string of sentences", is baffling.. but to each their own

KjSwantko
January 16th 2014



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wonder if I would still like this.

tempest--
January 16th 2014



12599 Comments


another day on sput another shit review from laughingskull

Mister Twister
January 16th 2014



1493 Comments


how does he keep fucking up with such consistency

tempest--
January 16th 2014



12599 Comments


for a reviewer that tries to be cool, he simply doesn't be cool.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2014



4793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Most importantly, for an album that tries to be metal, it simply doesn't rock.

Is any reason to bold that? Is that just the main argument of your review? Is that what I'm supposed to take away from this review after I read it? That the album doesn't rock and therefore should be given a 3.5? Is that what you're telling me? Or are we just bolding random words for the sake of bolidng? Because if so I think that is quite pointless. Thank you for your time.

Digging: Integrity - Those Who Fear Tomorrow

InbredJed
January 16th 2014



5605 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you have just been Judio-ed!











you're welcome!

Dunpeal
January 16th 2014



3595 Comments


it's laughingskull dude, c'mon

MeatSalad
January 16th 2014



14190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I remember when I was a kid reading archie comics, I started noticing that they would just bold like three words a sentence for absolutely no reason and it bugged the shit out of me

Digging: Love - Forever Changes

Dunpeal
January 16th 2014



3595 Comments


that's how illuminati communicate. thought u knew bro

MeatSalad
January 16th 2014



14190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn dude I had no idea!

InbredJed
January 16th 2014



5605 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol, good call

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2014



4793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol Jed

Mister Twister
January 16th 2014



1493 Comments


I swear, some people are gonna develop a habit of bolding random words in their sentences because of this.

MeatSalad
January 16th 2014



14190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gonna words of

What could it mean???


Dunpeal
January 16th 2014



3595 Comments


u need the illuminati key, otherwise it's all giberish. they give one out upon initiation

thought you knew bro

titanslayer
January 16th 2014



1476 Comments


Who else came here just to laugh at laughingskulls bad writing?

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2014



4793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, titanslayer, I came here to hail the writing of laughingskull, who may as well be the Satan of Sputnik. This isn't to say this is the worst review I've ever seen, but if I had a ruler that could measure the badness of a review, I imagine this one would be roughly one foot. What the hell am I talking about? Not sure.



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