on 28 April 2006
When i first heard this album after being used to the previous ones it was a shock. The gravelly guitar-work has a harsher purity which takes a listen or two to understand but its totally brilliant! It chugs along unmercifully, hard and very metal, while still beautiful in parts...it must have been a shock to many 'one' lovers who didnt know what Metallica was about. Well they would find out pretty quickly...
It is blunter and hard-hitting with rigid structure while being typical freeform classic Metallica so varied in style. It also hints towards their softer commercial (boring?) albums.
To the hardened speed-metallers who like rolling guitars free of such structure:
So what if Ride the Lightning is more freeflowing and inventive and is worth 5 stars, so what if Master of Puppets has songs of definative Metallica genius worthy of 5 stars...And Justice For All should be as well!
Its up there with the best metal albums of all time. Bravely uncompromising and original it still surprises me now years later, unlike their later work which is too predictable, too mainstream and you can only pick a few songs out of them.
Experimental in its own right, with sharp metal classical rigidity but it still it has the best essence there. It is a classic too!!!
on 4 January 2005
I bought this album about 5 years ago and have been listening to it a lot (along with the rest of Metallica's back catalogue) ever since. I find it's one of those albums where your favourite songs can change with time. For example, when I first listened to it, I wasn't fussed on 'Dyers Eve' and 'Harvester Of Sorrow' because I was more interested in 'Eye of the Beholder'. But now I love 'Harvester...' and '...Eve' and tend to skip '...Beholder'.Obviously songs like 'One' are always going to be one of your favourites but you know what I mean.
Some reviews have said that the production isn't an issue, but I believe it is. Although the guitars and drums are loud, they don't have the same intense power that 'Master of Puppets' had. The drums should've sounded like they were being beaten to death. 'Vulgar Display of Power' by Pantera is a great example of a very 'metal' album having great production. You'll notice the difference. I still don't get why Jason's bass playing was 99% unheard. Basically, the album desrved better production because the work itself is (mostly) superb.
-Blackened: A progression from thier opening songs like 'Fight Fire With Fire' and 'Battery', thanks to that great, mid-tempo riff half way through. Kirk's solo work here is amazing.
-And Justice For All: Has it's moments but flounders here and there. Works better as a song which adds to the 'concept' of the album, rather than a stand alone song.
-Eye of the Beholder: Not that memorable a track really.
-One: A stone-cold metal classic, one of thier greatest songs. Metallica's melodies, progression, lyrics and musicianship all working at full throttle.
-The Shortest Straw: A good, angry, energetic song.
--Harvester of Sorrow-A fine slice of menacing, creepy metal. Disturbing lyrics. Like 'One', works perfectly. BUT, all the live versions in the 'Binge and Purge' box show how much better the studio version could have sounded (sorry to be a killjoy!).
-The Frayed Ends of Sanity: Like '...And Justice For All', has its moments, especially the riffs half way through, some impressive guitar work. And what a solo (again)!
-To Live Is To Die: Great, Cliff Burton-esque intro/outro but takes a little too long to get to it's better parts. 'Orion' from '...Puppets' was better paced. Still a really great track. Those few Burton lines spoken by James are still chilling (some of you no doubt know what I mean).
-Dyers Eve-A good ol' fashioned super fast, pissed off Metallica thrash out with some of Lars' best drumming. A punishing pace throughout. Featuring yet another blinding solo from from Hammet.A blistering high point to end with.
Overall, this features technically some of James' best rhythm work as well as Kirk's most jaw dropping solos, mixing very well with the epic song structures. For the newbies out there, get the 'Black Album' first. Then get the first three albums. 'Justice' should be the last one you get because by then you'll be used to thier epic song structures. If you get the 'Black Album' last, you may be shocked by the simplicity of the song arrangements and may never like it which would be a shame. But then again it may not work out that way for you, so to each his/her own. Just let this be a guideline from a certain point of view. Anyways, I've gone on long enough. Despite it's flaws, this is still essential. Let yourself be pulled into it's world and see for yourself.
P.S.This is REAL metal, not the current crop of nu-metal/emo clones and drones cluttering up the market at the moment. You know who you are!
on 1 September 2003
Almost everyone who comments on this album has to bring up the production issue...Does it really matter?
From start to finish this is easily one of their best albums.
It may not have the stroke of guitar genius like MOPs but it has stronger lyrics and is a joy to listen to. The intro to the album is brilliant: So build up to a lightning fast song.
Blackened 4 / 5
The title track , even though it is a long song , is never boring. This song somes up the full album , incredible.
..And Justice For All 5 / 5
Eye of the Beholder is probably the worst on the album but is still good to listen to. The chorus is good listening it just doesnt have the power which songs like ...And justice and Blackened do.
Eye of the beholder 3 / 5
Now we come to Metalllicas most famous song. A classic of a song with a video to match. This is no doubt the best song on the album , a slow melodic intro bursting into a power chord frenzy of a chorus and with the finale of a double bass drum massacre of an outro
One 5 / 5
Shortest Straw has an excellent solo and excellent Verses but its the chorus im not a big fan of...I think it's the way James says the word "straw" it gets annoying. Anyway this song is still a good listen an I would never dream of skipping this track
Shortest Straw 3 / 5
This intro is fantastic , the chilling guitar and the powerful smash of the power chord. This song has a great solo which stands out from songs like Frayed Ends of Sanity and Blacekened which are mega tapping freak solos. This solo reminds you of Metallica classics such as Welcome Home and Fade to Black.
Harvester of Sorrow 4 / 5
Now this is another song which has a moderate length - for Metallica - fo rany other band this is a long song. Another amazing intro with an equally amazing guitar duel near the end. This song is a must hear from the album
frayed Ends of Sanity 4.5 / 5
This song with no lyrics except the words of Cliff Burton spoken by James is a classic even played by Joe Satriani in memory of Cliff. It has an acoustic classical intro which is incredible and a Solo to match. The part in the middle of the song where the tune just suddenly changes is brilliant and one of the best songs Metallica have made...
To Live is To Die 5 / 5
A powerful, Double Drum Mega Frenzy of an outro to a great album, Dyers Eve is one of the shortest songs on the album, and is not th best pick to finish this album, disappointing but still good.
Dyers Eve 3 / 5
on 26 September 2005
Despite many people saying how this album is weak and badly produced, they forget that just a year and a half earlier Metallica's bass legend Cliff Burton was tragically killed in a bus accident. Not only was he a phenomenon in the way he played, but was also a great friend of the other band members, and had been for a long time.
I find it completely amazing and inspiring that they could pick themselves up from this, and still be able to write a truly classic, incredible album as '...and Justice For All'.
An overview of the songs:
'Blackened'- an epic, thought provoking song, with a moving guitar harmonising intro, an immense main riff, and awesome lyrics. 10/10
'...and Justice For All'- a classic, with a soft acoustic intro, twin guitar pieces, more thought provoking lyrics, and an unbelievable solo. 10/10
'Eye Of The Beholder'- A less well known song, but fantastic nonetheless. Fades in with galloping riff, and goes on to harmonising guitar, and more awesome lyrics. 9/10
'One'- Do I Need To Say Anything About This Song? An absolute musical triumph, and a complete classic. Starts with moving acoustic intro and solo, and goes on with James' lyrics, showing the horrors of war. The song progresses into heaviness, with tapped solos curtesy of Hammett, harmonising, stacato riffage, and an epic finish. 23/10
'The Shortest Straw'- More lyrical genius from the mighty Hetfield, along with one of the most awesome riffs I have ever heard. 10/10
'Harvester Of Sorrow'- starts with heavy intro, with followed by brooding acoustic part that returns throughout the song. Proceeds with one of the heaviest riffs known to man, sinister lyrics reminiscent of 'Leper Messiah' on Master Of Puppets, another incredible solo, and super- fast harmonising. 10/10
'The Frayed Ends Of Sanity'- another less well known and played song, but still with all of the impact. 9/10
'To Live Is To Die'- A beautifully written song, with a mind blowingly complicated acoustic guitar intro, powerful riffs, interludes, a fast solo, more acoustic parts, harmonising, a heart- wrenching slow solo, more harmonising, and lyrics spoken by James, and Written by Cliff before his death. One hell of a moving track. 10/10
'Dyers Eve'- The most frenetic and mind blowing in terms of speed on the album, with an extreme solo, and even more extreme main riff. More amazing harmonies in the solo, and a great finish for a phenomenal album. 10/10
James Hetfield writes some of the best lyrics ever in this album, along with fantastic riffs, acoustic parts, and a slow solo in To Live Is To Die.
Kirk Hammett pulls off some simply unbelievable solos, proving his magnificent guitar playing, with fast sequences, two hand tapping, and epic harmonies.
Lars Ulrich, true to form, shows his fantastic drumming, with unbelievably fast double bass pedalling.
Metallica's astounding ability to create the best, most epic sounding, heart wrenching, and beautifully moulded songs ever written never ceases to amaze, and the fact that they did it after such personal tragedy makes this album all the more special, and shows their true genius, and commitment to music.
I'm tired of people slating this album for its 'bad production' and 'thin sound', and hope that in the future people will listen to it for what it really is: Damn good music.
on 14 June 2004
genius. utter genius. massive riffs, provokative lyrics, emmense vocals and solos so great its got hendrix quaking in his grave. the most outstanding metal album ive heard and i grew up with the stuff. a mention has to go to 'One' without which i would never had been scared of metallica as a six year old, 11 years on, ive seen the band perform 3 times and they continue to blow EVERYONE away. the first real 'mainstream' album tallica produced showed their fans that the tragic death of cliff would not hold them back, and it showed the world that metal wasnt all about spandex after all! fanf**kintastic. and enough about the production! imagine if it was produced as well as the 'black album'...
on 14 January 2006
I may be slightly outspoken here when i say this, but this in my opinion is Metallica's best album.Why? 1)Heaviest(due to the production,sounds like about 100 guitars playin at once) 2) Thought Provoking lyrics 3)ONE!
I agree that production could have been better.If it was, i AM sure this would have surpassed Master Of Puppets as best Metal Album!You can hear the bass,namely on title track, but not that well.BUT Its sooo heavy,and the quality of songs make you forget that instantly!!!!
I have to say,this is definatley a grower,and all the best albums are,because you want to discover something new everytime you hear it!! I am still listening to it weekly,where as i am absolutely sick of Master Of Puppets album!It is the best Metal album ever,but it hasnt got as much depth,or darkness as And Justice does!
Blackened (best album opener,makes you want to lose your mind!)
Eye Of The Beholder (fantastic solo,use of tremolo bar!)
One ( solo anyone?? EPIC!)
Harvester Of Sorrow (The lyrics and when james growls!...Fantastic)
Shortest Straw( WHAT A SOLO!!!! WOWOWOWOW!!!Impossible to play!Hammetts Best Solo,Better than ONE's famous tapping solo!)
To Live Is To Die (definately the best Metallica instrumental,heart wrenching)
Dyers Eve (Metallica's last ode to Thrash metal!super fast,super heavy,super lyrics,SUPERB!)
on 6 November 2007
I was a fan of Metallica when they were the good ol' no-frills street kid, skateboarding, sneaker wearing leaders of thrash metal and in those days I had my big Nike basketball boots, ripped jeans and black t-shirts with "Alcoholica" or "Metal up your Arse" spread right across the front just like every other kid into thrash metal at the time.
This is for me was without a doubt the best Metallica album ever. It's a shame that all the albums since couldn't have followed on. The black / un-named albums that many like (probably because it was the album most newer fans got into due to its commercial success) had far too many ballads and lacked the raw power and fast thrash riffs of the Metallica albums predating it. Nothing else matters should have been a classic sort after song found on the b-side of `Enter the Sandman' and should have stayed off the albums as it wasn't heavy enough for what the Metallica's fans expected from their heroes.
I was always a fan of Ride the lightning and Master of Puppets and they had some of Metallica's best songs on them such as `Seek and destroy' and `for whom the bell tolls', but for me this album was Metallica's best album.
Why I think this album tops them all is because to me it sounds tighter and fuller and the technical ability of the band seem at their greatest. From the intro of `Blackened' to the end of `Dyers eve' there is so much energy and in your face pure Thrash. On this album Metallica certainly gain the title as the 'fathers of Thrash'. The song `One' breaks the album up well and is an absolute classic with the great double bass drumming at the end. There are so many little extra things on this album that add to the wholeness like the classical bit at the beginning of '...and Justice for all', the way `Eye of the Beholder' slowly comes in getting louder, the helicopter and bombs at the beginning of `one' (plus the drumming at the end), The chanting at the beginning of `the Frayed Ends of Sanity', The voice speaking over `to Live is to Die'.
The album has a good solid feel to it giving a sense of fullness. For me it is definetely the greatest Metallica has ever done and I wish they could make more albums like it. Imagine Metallica producing albums as powerful as this but containing songs like the classic ones of the first three albums all with this same technical ability. I'm sure 99% of their fans would be more than content. If you were raised on Motley Crue or Guns 'n' Roses then remember this is the mighty Metallica as they were which when coming out took the world by storm with their new in ya face fast and powerful sound that triggered a new scene from the bay area, LA and New York in USA which soon spread across the globe.
on 1 March 2004
First thing you notice when you press the play button with "...And Justice For All" in your CD player will be the production. Although it suffers slightly from lower quality of sound then say "The Black Album" after one minute of the introduction song Blackened you forget all about it.
The only consistently poor thing about this album is the rather quiet bass guitar provided by Jason Newstead who replaced the legendary Cliff Burton. But you really shouldn't let that put you off buying a masterpiece such as this. The drawbacks still can't hide Metallica's flawless playing.
Of course this album contains a certain song entitled One. The album is worth buying for that song alone. Detailing a limbless soldier and his growing despair, the song and its video are genuinely disturbing. A certain Kerrang journalist recently admitted that the video still gave him nightmares, although perhaps a slight exaggeration. Listen to this song and the artillery and helicopter sounds that open the song will instantly become synonomous with Metallica. The more you hear this song the more you will grow to love it. It just proves that Metallica are about more then just heavy guitar riffs (although the song does progress and become faster and "thrashier" towards the end and easily their most ambitious song so far.
Other astounding songs include Blackened, which is very merorable and is one guarrenteed to start mosh pits and headbanging. Harvester Of Sorrow details a drunk and drugged up father murdering his children i.e infanticide. Although I make this sound more unpleasent then the subtlety of Hetfield's lyrics actually conveys.
Other notable songs include the title track And Justice For All, Eye Of The Beholder and To Live Is To Die but I think I'll let you listen to their meanings yourself.
Overall this stands out as one of Metallica's best albums let down only by slightly poor production and lack of bass, both of which are more then made up for by the sheer quality of the album.
on 23 July 2007
For me Metallica peaked on Master of Puppets. The follow up (this) should have been and so nearly was even better. The songs as a whole are better, the lyrics better, the whole album is ...well I want to say better. But I cant, and I cant for one reason, the poor bass sound on this album. The music is just let down by an absence of a really strong bass line. The whole thing sounds a little hollow to me, which is a shame as in every other way it is superior to its predecessor. Its not enough to deter me listening to and thoroughly enjoying this album, but every time I do I am left with a slight feeling that it isnt all it could be. Having said that it is far superior to St anger where the bass is there, just no guitar solos or bass drums! Buy it and you wont regret it, for me its the last true Metallica opus.
on 20 July 2005
There is no doubt that Metallica are now a shadow of their former selves. I was listening to ...And Justice for All on the way in for the first time in years and it struck me just how much they have actually slipped. I'm no fan of the production on that record (sounds like a cheap demo). But the performance, songwriting, ideas, riffs etc are on that album showcase a band on fire and at the height of their powers. Granted Newstead can hardly be heard in the mix and Hammett only seems to make a cameo appearance here and there when there's a solo required but the interplay between Hetfiled and Ulrich it truly something to behold. The album was a joy to listen to but also serves as a reminder of how the mighty have fallen...it's a shame.