Metallica - …And Justice For All
Metallica did two things for certain on this album, maybe subconsciously, but they did. The first was creating some of their most memorable riffs and solos, and overall most technical album. The other one is, they backed themselves in a corner with this record, as said by many peoples before me. So what was to become of their last greatest Thrash Metal effort" Many different people are on many different sides. Some say its blasphemy to produce such a record with too many riffs, sub-par production, the irritating lengths of most songs, and how, as famous as it ever was, ‘Kirk uses the same scale over and over again’. Others, however, are very proud of Metallica for making this LP, as it is very technical and complex, interesting and thought-out, impressive and shocking, all at once. That is how I feel, and I have come to defend my statement.
THE LINE UP-
– Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
– Lead Guitars
…And Justice For All
– The Musicianship and the Music Itself
The musicianship is outstanding in the guitar department. Riff over riff, solo after solo, bends after hammer-ons, it all adds up to complete astonishment to the listener of average music. The parts Hammet and Hetfield pull off absolutely shred, to catch a glimpse, see ‘Blackened
’. The tone of the guitars is crushing, by far their most raw tone ever, but it adds a low note too. It overpowers everything sometimes, even some parts of the leads, and that just can’t happen. That is the first flaw, but to make it up, we have the powerhouse Kirk Hammet. From Jazzy (beginning of ‘One
’ and the middle of ‘To Live is to Die
’) to melt-the-flesh-off-faces (‘…And Justice For All
’ as well as MANY others) solos, this man does it, and he does it well. Speed and complexity are the game here, and both guitarists in their field accomplish. Theres also a variety of tones, including acoustic, clean, flange, and others, wich provide a soothing aural pleasure, and though they use them sparringly, but effectively. But, as any record, there is repetitiveness, but on this record, with the 7+ min. songs, there’s LOTS of it, and that’s a major drawback from the album. Just like in the second sentence, it seems to be riff over riff. In this case, though, it might be same riff over the same riff.
The vocals are by far (in my case) the best on any Metallica record. Deep, menacing, James had gone thorough major changes since Ride the Lightning (excellent record too, might I add), he seems more in control and can change his mood in one song, take ‘One
’. A highlight in the vocal ‘aggressiveness’ business is ‘The Shortest Straw
’, where James literally takes it to the limit, as well as ‘Dyers Eve
’. Speaking of having more control, James’ sound is very distraught, raw (as with the guitars), and very recognizable on this record. But the third flaw is…umm…nothing. There is nothing I think James shouldn’t have done, his vocals are excellent here.
The drums and the infamous no-show bass. We’ll start with the bass, as it is the lesser of the two. As many many many people agree, there is but a hair of bass to be heard on ‘…AJFA
’. Some people have stated that they heard some on songs, but I haven’t, and goes to show that the bass on this record is a desert with no oasis. Very disappointing, as I like Newsted, but that is the third flaw. But on a lighter note, the drums here are above average, and variety is the key here. The title track provides toms, providing an ominous feel to the ominous message the song is sending. Double kick here is prominent and plentiful, and very fast. Props to Lars! But, mentioning double kick, it
sometimes seems to be a bit muddy. I like it sharp and precise, on the ever-so-inspiring ‘One
’, and some others, it gives off that sound.
…And Justice For All
– The Lyrics, Production, and What Should’ve Been Done
The lyrics are all very good in descriptiveness and imagery, but it all surrounds two central themes—the corruption of the government and overall politics. This can become quite boring for some, but that isn’t to say the whole album is just that. ‘One
’ (four times now) is about a man who steps on a landmine during war, and just wants to die because he can no longer feel or do anything anymore. ‘Dyers Eve
’ gives us a taste at James early life, about the Christian Science Foundation. So while the political thing may
become dry, there is very intelligent lyrics to be heard (or read) here.
Production. To put it blunt, its very interesting how they did this. Bass turned way
low, guitars overpowering, vocals and drums in the middle of everything…only a handful of people could listen to this album everyday and not be sick of the production. It’s a step
down to Master of Puppets in terms of production, everything in this production is
practically dry. The drums click, and all the bass is conducted from the E, A, and D
strings from the guitar. Whatever the reason they did this to such an album, only time will
What would I have done if I were in control of everything on this record" Well,
heres a list…
1.A little more variation in lyrics
2.Shorten some songs
3.Turned up the bass
4.Written 1-2 more songs
…and there you have it. Overall, this is an exceptional record, but not a 5 or a 4.5. If some things were done differently, it’d be right up there with Master of Puppets, but alas, it is not. If you are an average MetalliFan of old Metallica, definitely get this, but if you like the simpler, more accessible Metallica, stay away with caution. Hails to the last great Thrash record created by Metallica!
Pros and Cons
+ Musicianship, variety of riffs
+ James voice fits nicely with the dark mood of this achievement
- NO bass, a disappointment because Jason is good at what he does
- Long songs drag on, repetitiveness
--…And Justice For All
--Harvester of Sorrow
RATING FOR METALLICAS ‘…AND JUSTICE FOR ALL'- 4.0/5