Metallica - And Justice For All
The Band: James Hetfield- rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Kirk Hammet- lead guitar, back up vocals
Jason Newsted- bass guitar, back up vocals
Lars Ulrich- Drums
…And Justice For All. This album is far from small. Every song, is rather long. In my opinion this one of Metallica’s best, putting its predecessors to rest. This was Metallica’s first album after Cliff Burton was killed. So, onto it the bands emotion spilled. James’ vocals left me in awe, on tracks like “Blackened” and “The Shortest Straw”. The guitar work was also superb. Lots of credit Kirk Hammet does deserve. This is one of few albums where I enjoyed Lars’ drumming. It went well with the rest of the albums extremely fast strumming. I usually like Metallica’s bass, but not in this case. The volume was turned down far to low. Perhaps as far as it could go? This most likely was because of Jason Newsted joining the band. He was probably unsure of whether or not he could out do Cliff’s legendary hands. So, he kept his volume quieter than even that dullest of roars, until he was sure that he could fill the shoes of the bassist the band had before.
Now I would like to dissect the instrumentals one at a time, and while I do so I’ll continue to rhyme. I’ll start with the guitar, which in my opinion was Metallica’s best by far. I really enjoyed the overall sound of the guitar on the album. I don’t think I’ve ever such an interesting sound come from them. I think James used some sort of FX along with his distortion to give it that sound. Although, some of the guitar work did make me frown. I felt that James relied to much on power chords which made the overall sound a little plain. I wonder if it would be different if they still had Dave Mustaine. Kirks solos were nothing short of excellent. You could feel the outpouring emotion coming from the strings he bent. Also, he used a lot more finger-tapping than he does with his usual work. Which I personally loved, it even occasionally made me smirk.
As I previously mention the bass was nothing short of a joke. You couldn’t here it at all, not even one note. Which is unfortunate because a fair amount of it was well written. I must admit when looking at tabs for it I was pleasantly smitten. If only Newsted had a shred more confidence. They bass could’ve really added to this albums dominance. I must say I liked Metallica a little more when Jason was there. Robert Trujillo is a adequate replacement, but what’s with his hair? Yes I will always look back at the days when Jason was there with a smile on my face. He’s probably the only bassist who could come close to taking Cliff’s place. Luckily for Metallica the lack of bass didn’t take too
much away from the album. But I still will always wonder what this album would be like if Jason at least played louder than the drums.
Now onto the drums, for which I put up both of my thumbs. The snare had sort of a different sound that is difficult to describe, but it definitely helped to create this albums interesting vibe. Yes, the drums definitely did more than just keep the beat. The marvelous fills kept the listener at the edge of his/her seat. All in all Lars is no Neil Peart, but this is undeniably some of his best work. Although, I think his very best is from St. Anger. Mostly because of the crazy double kick, wonderful stuff for any head banger. But this albums drums are indeed a close second. Perhaps even a tie I reckon.
Overall this album has a very angst feel. No, this is not for anyone who watches Alley Mcbeal. The lyrics are violent, the riffs are fast, it truly makes you want to kick some a
ss. To be more specific a lot of lyrics were pretty much insulting our countries leaders. You can here the really feel the aggression in James’ vocals as they flow through the speakers. Just thought I’d mention there was also a song on here called “To Live Is To Die”. It’s one of the best tracks on the album, no lie. And you can be certain, it’s dedicated to Cliff Burton
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Instrumentally very sound
Unusually good drumming
Cons: Tends to run together after a while.
And so concludes my review. I hope that enjoyed it too. This album is truly great. So look into it, don’t hesitate. I’ve heard some people refer to this as kind of bland. To those people ‘Meet the back of my hand’. Now I must depart. Another review I must start. But before I do I’m going to watch Miami Vice. So, until next time keep your stick on the ice.