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Metallica – …And Justice For All (1988)

July 17, 2013

[Album 213/1001]220px-Metallica_-____And_Justice_for_All_cover

Need speed? Ample here to satisfy.

Craving structure? Skip to Metallica studio album #5.

The riffs here are as powerful as the songs are seemingly aimless.

Making this an intriguingly divisive entry in the group’s discography: an underdog-prog record to be applauded or a bloated follow-up to the superior Master of Puppets?

As a typical Canadian, I say both.


From → 1980s

  1. nicksalbumreviews permalink

    “…And Justice” I find one of the better (and more underrated) Metallic albums. Yes, everyone says Puppets or other albums are their “best”, but for me “…And Justice” is really a masterpiece for me. Now, let’s not forget One.

    • There should be no controversy with One at least – it is unquestionably spectacular!

      • I do remember reading a letter to the editor in a 1988 issue of Hit Parader magazine, where a reader complained about Metallica selling out on this album, and looking and sounding like Bon Jovi in the video for One.


      • nicksalbumreviews permalink

        Ah man, there i go. Listening to it again!

      • The only possible Bon Jovi parallel I could think of would be the character in One is clinging to life (Livin’ on a Prayer?) – but then he doesn’t want to live, so not sure what the reader saw! And if selling out involves writing complex arrangements completely unsuitable for radioplay, that’s a new definition to me!

  2. I came to Metallica later than most people in my age group (I’m 47), so my opinion on their albums will differ from longtime fans. I think this is the pinnacle of their career, at least on a song-by-song basis (with Master Of Puppets being just about its equal). It gets docked a few points for the lack of bass, though. Still holding out hope for an authorized remixed version. There’s a version on the internet where someone added the bass parts, but they were newly recorded and not Newsted’s.

    • I’ve been foolishly limiting myself to 60 words per review this month – but no rules about the comments section! I’m glad you brought up the lack of bass in the mix, as that definitely was a strike against ‘and justice.’ I’d be very interested in hearing a proper mix as well.
      Perhaps after a few more listens I’ll agree about its ranking in the Metallica catalogue – I find a song suite (like One) per album is fantastic, but when all 9 songs drift past the 5 minute mark without much structure, I just get exhausted!

  3. Sigh, I guess I prefer Master. I find Justice really difficult to finish in just one sitting. Of course the mix could be to blame for that, too. This is a listen that still challenges me today. A lot of classic tunes, but also a lot of depth and heaviness and complex thrash.

    • I’m by no means an audiophile and I could tell the mix was off – so for those with the really trained ear for levels, this one must be somewhat cringe-worthy

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