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Metallica ... And Justice for All album cover
3.96 | 423 ratings | 32 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blackened (6:40)
2. ...and Justice for All (9:45)
3. Eye of the Beholder (6:29)
4. One (7:26)
5. The Shortest Straw (6:35)
6. Harvester of Sorrow (5:44)
7. The Frayed Ends of Sanity (7:42)
8. To Live Is to Die (9:47)
9. Dyers Eve (5:14)

Total Time 65:29


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- James Hetfield / vocals, guitar
- Lars Ulrich / drums
- Kirk Hammett / lead guitars
- Jason Newsted / bass

Releases information

CD Elektra (1988)

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METALLICA ... And Justice for All ratings distribution

(423 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

METALLICA ... And Justice for All reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by CCVP
5 stars After the mountaintop, the only way to go is downhill, and ... And Justice for All is Metallica's mountaintop

Unbelievably, i am the first person to rate (or at least to write a review about) this Metallica masterpiece and, quite possibly, one of the firsts progressive metal albums ever. At ... And Justice for All, Metallica goes far beyond then they have ever been before and after in musical complexity and quality, since their releases since the Black Album can be called many things but metal, prog or both, and the band could not reach the same level as before the Black Album so far, though Death Magnet is a step in the right direction.

In ... And Justice for All, Metallica consolidate what they started to build in Master of Puppets and definitively reach the prog metal standard. To do so, they made their music more elaborate and complex, but without changing their style too drastically, just like the pioneers of progressive metal in their transition album, like Queensr˙che, Death, Fates Warning and Savatage, and the metal bands of today that became prog when they became complex, like Symphony X and Blind Guardian. Maybe the band that is closer to Metallica in this sense is Death, because, like Metallica, their music is riff-to-riff based, with occasional solos. The complexity and elaboration can be also proved by Lars Ulrich, who said that they don't like to play the songs from this album because they are to difficult and demand lots of rehearsals.

Also, this Metallica phase (Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and ... And Justice for All) is incredibly influential among the progressive metal bands, specially the duo MoP and AJfA. Dream Theater, for example, said many times that Metallica is one their biggest influences (that can be seen even more clearly in Mike Portnoy's drumming style).

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

The instrumental work in ... And Justice for All is exceedingly good for thrash metal standards and very good for any kind of metal or prog metal standards. All the instrumental work is just very good, including the bass by the newcomer (at the time) Jason Newsted. The only problem here, in my opinion, is the James Hetfield pronunciation, which is far from perfect.

The highlights go to Blackened, ... And Justice for All, One, To Live is to Die and Dyers Eve.

The lyrics are the usual Metallica lyrics, criticizing things from the family lifestyle to government, justice, war, and society.

Grade and Final Thoughts

With breakthrough compositions, for thrash metal, clear prog influence and awesome songs, i do think this albums deserves to be rated as a masterpiece, after all, this is Metallica in its finest hour (literally, because the album is almost one hour long).


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Send comments to CCVP (BETA) | Report this review (#185506) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 13, 2008

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars One of the most revered metal albums of all time is also one of the first forays into progressive metal.

Metallica excel on this album both musically and lyrically. Each track is given a progressive treatment unlike anything before. Some of the tracks run for over 9 minutes and this was not a regular occurrence in metal during the height of its power in the 80s - the metal years. Metallica proved themselves as musical virtuosos and every band member absolutely shines on this release. From screaming intricate lead breaks to complex bass and drum arrangements that set the metronome off the scale, this is a work of pure genius, and the pinnacle of Metallica's meteoric rise to metal power. It is impossible to find one standout track as each track holds its own compelling authority as classics. With a running length of an hour the album became legendary as a metal epic. The tracks have become part of history as the most influential and dynamic in the genre. And yes, there are enough progressive elements here to quench the appetite for the most insatiated prog metal fanatic. We have the blistering power metal of 'Blackened' which starts this metal journey.

Then the band launch into '...and Justice for All', with all its time shift changes and themes of social injustice, is reminiscent of the best of prog from the 70s, but injected with an edge of chaotic pentameter rather than iambic, with its metrical pattern changes and large scale construction, at over 9 minutes long.

'Eye of the Beholder' is a frenzy of pounding drums and booming bass that drive the track relentlessly to scintillating lead work and crunching guitar riffing.

'One' became a single, albeit a 7 minute one that begins very slowly and with moments of tranquil acoustic melancholy. This leads the way to the awesome brutal riffs in the instrumental section and then Hetfield screams:

Darkness imprisoning me All that I see Absolute horror I cannot live I cannot die Trapped in myself Body my holding cell Landmine has taken my sight Taken my speech Taken my hearing Taken my arms Taken my legs Taken my soul Left me with life in hell

The lyrics has appeared on the back of Metallica T shirts and reinforces the power of the track that remains an absolute classic - the topic is simple - the disposable heroes of the war, the men who suffered without a cause, are the victims and their life is useless once they return from the horror of war. A theme that surfaces again and again in Metallica and other metallers. These are heavy handed themes to be sure, but the point was to sell it as fast and as brutal as necessary. Metallica were not interested in making a difference to history, they were revitalising the injustice of history in the minds and hearts of rock devotees worldwide. The film clip that accompanies it is honest and powerful and worth checking out.

Where do you go from here? Catchy riffs and big ideas in 'The Shortest Straw'. What is it about?

Shortest straw Challenge liberty Downed by law Live in infamy Rub you raw Witchhunt riding through Shortest straw This shortest straw has been pulled for you

'Nuff said. Liberty and injustice for all was Metallica's main drive behind this album. They continue wonderfully with 'Harvester of Sorrow' with one of the best riffs you are likely to hear. An undisputed classic, with a huge wall of sound that drives headlong to its ultimate conclusion. The structure of these tracks are incredible.

Next is the 'The Frayed Ends of Sanity' another long track accentuated by a remarkable lead break from Hammett.

'To Live Is to Die' is another 9 minute treasure with more prog aspects and a very inspiring instrumental section. It all ends with the pacey 'Dyers Eve' and when it is all over you want to play it again.

This is an irresistible album, full of the drawing power of brutal riffs, that crawl at some points and build velocity and momentum at others, and it is all complimented by compelling lyrics. One of the best prog metal albums you will hear.


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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#185536) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 13, 2008

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having been amused to Metallica's "Death Magnetic" album, I tried to spin another album. Thanks to all of you who have mailed me about the recommendation on which Metallica album I should explore further. There was a strong recommendation that I should continue with "Ride The Lightning" but unfortunately I have not got yet the CD. So I draw "..And Justice for All" from my CD shelf and tried to spin it last night. This was not the first spin because I did try long time ago to understand the album that most of metalheads consider as the best album by Metallica. Unfortunately the album turned me down at first spin because I hate the way Ulrich played his drum on the opening track "Blackened" - it's so bad and annoying. So I did not continue exploring the entire album - merely due to the opening track! But last night was different. I have been exposed deeply into Death Magnetic which I really love and I till keep playing it until recently. And for your information, when I listened to Death Magnetic, I used "prog" ears instead of metal ears. The result was impressive: I considered the album masterpiece.

When I played ".And Justice For All" last night, I used "Black Sabbath" ears and I could understand that the music of AJfA is basically the further development of Black Sabbath with heavier riffs (instead of using power chords), rough drumming, and faster tempo. And you know what time did I play the CD of AJfA? It was 2 AM in the morning, with relatively loud volume to get the music subtleties. The result of last night listening was that: yeah . finally I could digest the music and I consider this album is truly an excellent metal album with a bit of prog elements. The elements of prog are not as intense as Death Magnetic but there are still a bit. Even though I still have some reservation about "Balckened" drumming, but I really enjoy the album in its entirety. My favorite tracks include ".And Justice for All" and "To Live is To Die" (most favorite). I can understand why I love "To Live is To Die". It's basically about the song that is being instrumental and it's music flow from start to end which I really love. Of course, I do enjoy Kirk Hammet's solo and Hetfeld's rhythm guitar.

I understand also why I did not notice this album at the time of release in 1988 .. it's merely by that time, since 1983, my ears and my mind were full with Marillion's music. And 1988 saw the darkest period of Marillion since Fish left the band. But I still played the music of Marillion and stop purchasing rock music because I was so disappointed with the departure of Fish. If my friend introduced me with " ..And Justice for All" I definitely refused the music because it was not the right momentum. And now I am getting older, but I am much more interested with heavier side of prog music.

Overall, this is an excellent album that suits those of you who love the heavy side of music. You will enjoy the guitar solo backed with drumwork. Unfortunately, bass lines are not quite tight throughout the record. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)


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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#186362) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2008

Review by ProgBagel
3 stars Metallica - '.And Justice for All.' 3.75 stars

The last of Metallica's thrash/prog period.

Although this album holds most of their longest songs, and have some of their more complex compositions, I still wouldn't say this is the most prog. That would still have to go to 'Master of Puppets'. One of the reasons is because this album's speed is like a snail compared to the last two. The first song is a good example, and check out Lars Ulrich's terrible drum sound, and as a matter of fact, the entire production on this album is pretty bad.

None of the songs are too bad besides the lackluster opener 'Blackened', but some just carry on and become quite samey and just stretched beyond their grasp. Although there were some great tracks like 'One', '.And Justice for All' and 'To Live is to Die'. These songs were as prog as Metallica got. None of the other tracks quite lived up to the for mentioned ones.

This was a very good album, just didn't have a lot of punch to it like the others did. Well worth it for the three or four great tracks.


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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#190513) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
5 stars Magnum Opus

Anger, anger and anger...!!! For sure, the best Metallica's album so far (and probably forever;followed by Ride the Lightning)! ... And Justice for All is at the same time the most agressive and the most completed album by the band. It's the most progressive and at the same time the most thrashing album by Metallica. The compositions are completed and created with superb songwriting and musicianship. I think this is true progressive metal album in terms of everything - length, composition, time signature, changes in the tempo etc. ! I regard this release as one of the first progressive metal album. and believe it's much better than Operation Mindcrime by Queensryche.

All that agression comes from the death of Cliff Burton. And all other band members descended their fury on the release in magnificent way. For me their full potential, because of the lost of their friend. There're not weak moment on the album.The album contains crashing sound with garage tunes implemented in opposition to Master of Puppets, where the sound is refined and not so cutting! There is acoustic guitar works that help the album to become some more progressive, than it would be without it. Lars Ulrich on drums is at his best performance here! The garage sound of the album helps every instrument to be outlined against the music as whole!

In spite of not being Metallica's big fan I acknowledge ... And Justice for All as classic gold treasure for the music. There are many influences on the progressive metal genre taken from this album! 5 stars!


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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#192158) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 07, 2008

Review by crimson87
5 stars Since I am far from being a prog metal guru I just wont title this review : THE BEST PROGRESSIVE METAL ALBUM OF ALL TIMES because I know there are lots of great records for me to discover. However being better than this record is quite a challenge. There was a time when this was the only music I heard and after I discovered prog , Metallica was one of the few metal bands I could stand.

If metal is about riffs , then AJFA is king. You will find them in spades on here song after song , sometimes is the same riff but being developed on the song. This reminds me of Keith Emerson's definition of Progressive Rock. And Justice may not have the breakneck speed of previous releases but is heavier and darker than them. The angst put on the tracks is genuine , this guys were really pissed off at the time and it shows in their lyrics which by the way , never will be the same after this record.

All nine songs are outstanding so it's hard for me to find a favourite. One day it may be the title track , other Blackened , other One , and so on. If I were to find a weak point on this record I must say that the production is muddy ( this has some charm in my opinion) and that those looking for bass virtuosos , they may check another albums since the bass guitar is lost on the mix.

Anyone interested in progressive metal must have this record. Let And Justice prevail! !


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Send comments to crimson87 (BETA) | Report this review (#199065) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review by Negoba
4 stars The One....that may indeed be Prog.

I remember when everyone in my dorm came home with this album. Metallica were at their peak of hipness, though far from their richest or peak of popularity. This is the last Fleming Rasmussen album and is also the last album with the classic Metallica sound. On it the band tried to be as complex and brutal as they could possibly be. In fact, after playing the tour for this album, the band felt like they had exhausted what they could do with their signature sound and went a new direction.

Reactions were mixed at first. New member, bassist Jason Newstead, was inaudible except for the very small harmony vocal part on the single One. The songs certainly weren't as headbangingly groovin as on Master of Puppets, though the album was if anything heavier. It was more complex, more clinical, more technical. Everything that makes Metallica in any way prog reached its peak on Justice. It is here that you will find extended compositions, complex time signatures, themed lyrics, and clinical precision reach their peak.

Interestingly, the guys in the class above me (class of 89) liked Justice, went to the concert, wore the shirts, but Puppets and Lightning remained their first love. The kids a year younger (91) however worshipped Justice. And so it was that I joined a group of them the fall after they graduated in a Metallica cover band. They had this album memorized. We played all of it, though I never learned some of the harder pieces well enough for performance. The highly precise Eye of the Beholder is a perfect example of what some dislike about this album, and yet I learned more as a guitarist bringing that song to performance level than perhaps any other song. The very fast downstroke 2 on 3 chorus is Hetfield rhythm guitar at its best and was one of my intros to polyrhythm.

My personal favorite song both to play and listen to is Harvester of Sorrow. One of the songs that actually moves, it evokes a, well sorrowful, feel and has great riffs. A few rhythmic surprises, some harmony leads (which can be played by one guitarist BTW) and one of the better classic Hetfield choruses if any song could be considered to have one at that time.

I could bore you with intricacies on many of these songs, but while other albums were part of my education as a guitarist, this is the album that was my education as a bandmember. And what an album to learn from. Try getting all the free time hits at the beginning of Shortest Straw together, or the thrash polka beat of Blackened to groove right.....enough of memory lane.

This is not the best Metallica album, but it's certainly the most complex, the proggiest. They've come along way from their accelerated NWOBHM debut, and probably were trying just a little too hard. But for lovers of complex music, this is the one to sample. Though many extreme bands pull on these elements now, it took quite a few years for anyone to truly follow the suit of this album. It is essential for anyone truly compiling an extreme prog metal collection, which the tastier Ride the Lightning certainly is not. Puppets of course was the balance point, and IMO is their peak. But much of what made Metallica great had nothing to do with prog.

But this album has quite a bit to do with prog. This is the album the makes the argument for what the hades is this band doing on this site.


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Posted Saturday, February 21, 2009

Review by J-Man
5 stars I've heard far too many times that "Master of Puppets" is Metallica's greatest album. While that is an excellent album fully deserving of a four or five star rating "...And Justice for All" is Metallica's finest (and most progressive) hour by far. Sadly, this was the first album not to include previous bassist Cliff Burton after his tragic death. As a result, this was the first album to include Jason Newsted on bass.

This is Metallica's fourth album released after the highly acclaimed "Master of Puppets". This is the last album in Metallica's classic thrash and borderline progressive metal years. This is my favorite album by Metallica, and this is essential listening for any prog metal fan. There isn't one weak spot here, and this is a great album that I'd recommend to anyone who likes prog with a heavier edge. If anyone is questioning Metallica's addition to PA, listen to this and then you will surely understand why this band is on ProgArchives.


"Blackened"- After the short guitar feedback opening we have an intense riff with nice drumming from the double bass pedal master Lars Ulrich. After the proggy opening there are two distinct sections in the rest of the song. The guitar solo near the end progresses very nicely into the main riff and chorus. This is a great way to start off an album.

"...And Justice for All"- This starts out with a beautiful guitar melody and suddenly the whole band comes in playing the same melody except a whole lot heavier. This song is about a broken legal system, which proves these guys aren't your typical thrash metal band simply writing about death and hate. The chorus is awesome, and this is possibly the best song on the album. This should appeal to any prog metal fan.

"Eye of the Beholder"- The main riff of this song sounds very unlike Metallica. The singing is distorted in a weird way during the verses. I can't quite describe what these moments sound like, but it certainly doesn't sound like thrash metal. However, the chorus has that classic Metallica feel that only they can capture.

"One"- This is a classic Metallica song that most people recognize. Now, just because this song is famous doesn't mean you should be expecting something mediocre like "Enter Sandman". This is actually one of my favorite Metallica songs. It has a nice acoustic opening that just keeps building and becoming heavier and darker. At the song's climax it goes into a speed metal section with a technical shredding guitar solo from Kirk Hammett. Prog or non-prog, this has one of the best builds in modern-day music.

"The Shortest Straw"- This is much more standard metal song than some of the other songs here. After a nice opening you have a typical verse-chorus-verse. It has a great guitar solo near the end, and is one of my favorites from Kirk. It's less progressive, but very good anyway.

"Harvester of Sorrow"- Yet another song with a very strong opening. This doesn't have really any speed metal sections, and progresses well between the choruses and verses. The drumming is very good during the guitar solo, and the rest of the song.

"The Frayed Ends of Sanity"- After a very dark and almost doom metal opening we have a heavy riff and excellent drumming. This is one of the best songs on the album, and I highly recommend it.

"To Live Is To Die"- This is the proggy instrumental that can only be described by listening to it. This sounds a lot like Dream Theater's "Stream of Consciousness" .

"Dyers Eve"- Metallica usually ends their albums with the heaviest and most thrash song on the album, and they definitely did it here. This isn't very proggy, but is VERY VERY heavy. This is a straightforward metal song that I personally like, but someone expecting prog won't like this song as much.

Well, there you have it. One of the first prog metal albums ever, and is an essential album in any prog metal fan's collection. If you just like Yes, Genesis, ELP, Jethro Tull, etc., you may not be a fan of this, but anyone interested in Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Queensryche, etc. may be pleasantly surprised from what they think of as a typical metal band.

5/5 stars.


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Posted Friday, July 24, 2009

Review by jampa17
4 stars ... I have to make them justice... they were good indeed!!!

Putting aside the controversy about Metallica been a prog-related band, back in the 80's they really push out the revolution of metal to mainstream, and was progress to a time when only pop-metal hairy band can be on the top of all lists and charts. And they came with pure adrenaline and attitude and bring again the pure rock feeling back there, until the 90's. But before they came complete commercial and mediocre they brought out this impressive masterpiece of metal, and an excellent addition to any rock music lover. OK, maybe it's too heavy for some, but comm'n, Rock is about attitude and strength, and Metallica understand it very well.

I don't like to go checking song by song so lets say they put everything good in there: heavy and wonderful riffing, aggressive and fasts guitar solos, great drumming, swift in time signatures, dramatic introduction and melancholic soft parts matched by a complete "in your face" metal that is ideal to lift your body and feel OK. Another great thing is the improve on the sound quality. Over the end of the 80's, Metallica really brought out a great achievement in songwriting and sound quality together. Just great.

The bads: a very selfish one, Hetfield voice do not appeal too much to me, but the music worth it, it really makes everything sound nice or at least bearable. The inclusion of Newsted is bad for the band, this guy is really not a flexible bass player and is not even a shadow from the great Cliff Burton.

I believe their truly masterpiece was Master of Puppets, but this one is really there for the matches. Only for the inclusion of "One", one of my favorites songs from them, it worth the listen. If you are a metal fan and you don't have this album, you are wasting your time. If you don't really enjoy Metallica from the 90's, you should check this out. There are really prog elements there. An excellent inclusion indeed. 4 stars.


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Posted Monday, February 01, 2010

Review by Bonnek
3 stars And Justice For All continues Metallica's progressive ambitions and though there's evidence aplenty of strong writing, few songs manage to equal the abundant riff assault and endless sequence of memorable hooks that the previous albums had plenty off.

A first aspect that will put off many non-fanclub listeners is the horrible production. The cardboard sound makes it hard to actually enjoy this album. To my ears this is one grubby mess of lacklustre drums that must have been recorded with the mike standing in the next room. Also the powerless blurry guitars, the undistinguishable bass and the upfront vocals don't help. Lots of demos sound better.

Another weakness is obviously the drumming itself on this album. A few blasts beats on his kick drums and a rare fast-paced moment not withstanding, Ulrich makes this album into an almost continuous mid-paced non-event that lacks dynamics, energy and power. A good example is the tedious pace of Eye of The Beholder. Just imagine Dave Lombardo of Slayer on this one. Now that would have been meteul!

Of course there are gems like One and Harvester of Sorrow, and there's plenty of enjoyable technical guitar riffing and soloing, but I sure miss some heartfelt power here as well. Metallica must have chosen for brutality over emotion and melody on this album. An unlucky choice if you ask me, the album is still far behind the really brutal death metal of those years and in giving up their emotive and melodious qualities, they lost something essential in the process.

It's solid thrash metal album but no match for the masterpieces in that genre by Slayer, Megadeth and Nevermore. So I will have to settle for 3.5 stars. If they ever decide to remix and probably produce this album I might have to round it up. Which reminds me that I urgently need to downgrade Death Magnetic with another star, as that one is obviously not even half as good as this.


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Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010

Review by Epignosis
2 stars Progressive Metallica is one of those things that sounds like a good idea, but for me it doesn't work here for several reasons. In all fairness, my Metallica experience was a backwards one, as I began with later albums and eventually moved into their earlier works, but I feel that even were that not the case, I would still prefer Metallica as a straight-up metal act, with their collection of catchy-as-hell post-1990 rock tunes. One of the biggest problems I have with this album is how it almost all sounds the same- few of the pieces show any originality in terms of sound, as the band rarely deviates from their stale, skeletal metal. I use the term "skeletal" to illustrate another major issue I have with the album: The bones of great progressive metal are there, but there is little flesh or meat to fill out the sound. This is because of something that should have been a series of easy fixes that weren't dealt with in the studio. For one, why do the drums sound like a beginner's trap set? The snare is flat, and the hardware is barely audible. Perhaps some reverb or "room" would have helped. Worse than the drums, however, is the absolutely nonexistent bass. Without anything in the low end (and by this, I mean anything- it is almost as if newcomer Jason Newsted wasn't involved whatsoever), the bass drum sounds even feebler, and there is absolutely no power to the metal mania that could have been incredibly engrossing. In all honesty, this album is like a couple of seasoned guitarists answered an advertisement to jam with a drummer using a toy kit and bassist with a busted amp.

"Blackened" The overdriven riffing and the aggressive, almost barked vocals is the best thing this opening track has to offer, since the bass and drums departments fails incredibly. The lead guitar is a highlight, exhibiting dexterity and mindfulness of the accompanying riffs. This is one of the best songs on the album.

"...and Justice for All" The dual clean guitars of the introduction, interspersed with powerful metal interruptions, makes for an amazing beginning. Without a doubt, this is one of Metallica's most progressive efforts, as the composition moves from place to place, using the opening theme as something of a home base. Also, the difference between the two guitar solos is like night and day, both in sound and composition, but they are both impressive and contextually well-crafted.

"Eye of the Beholder" Heavy metal emerges from the ether and materializes into this solid track, which has some interesting rhythmic shifts throughout. Following pleasing dual guitar lead, there's a whining bit of shredding.

"One" Simple, reflective, and shimmering clean guitar allows for some delightful and likewise clean solo. This is the one song where the lifeless drums actually work to the advantage of the sound, but unfortunately, the metal refrain and extended bridge don't really flow or work well in the larger context of the piece. The solo involves quite a bit of two-handed tapping and several repetitive phrases. Still, Metallica's one shot at injecting versatility into the album is a success.

"The Shortest Straw" At this point, the album starts to feel like a one trick (or is that "track?") pony- this one is flooded with the same rapid, overdriven guitars, empty drumming, a shredding solo, and more barked, angry vocals- nothing most of the other tracks don't offer.

"Harvester of Sorrow" At least the use of the clean guitar adds some dimensionality to this one-dimensional metal-fest, but it doesn't last long, and soon it's back to business as usual. However, I quite like some of the riffs used, and the guitar solo isn't bad at all.

"The Frayed Ends of Sanity" The introduction is like tribal heavy metal, but it soon moves back into familiar territory, and by now it's incredibly boring- just more of the same.

"To Live Is to Die" For the first time on the album, there's acoustic guitar, which would have probably been better suited alone (instead of the lazy drumming alongside it- well, at least the snare sounds better here, but it won't for long). That acoustic bit is just an unfitting introduction tacked onto the same formulaic sound the band had been churning out for most of this record. Over monotonous riffing, there's some spoken word and occasional lead guitar. It ends with the incongruous acoustic music.

"Dyers Eve" The final track is the most wrathful, both vocally and musically, as a barrage of heavy guitar and those cheap-sounding drums rain down over a hellish, vitriolic lead singer spouting angst-ridden, my-parents-screwed-up-my-life verse that's so cheesy it would make the emoest of teenagers burst out laughing right in the middle of their poetry slam.


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Posted Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Review by JJLehto
4 stars While most say that "Master of Puppets" is Metllica's Magnus Opus, I'd say it is "...And Justice for All". My favorite Metallica album, while MoP is their most progressive, AJFA is their most technical. There is less diversity, and even acoustic guitar, then is heard on MoP and the album is alot thrashier and unrelenting. However, it is Metallica's most complex work, and features some great musicianship, songwriting, and technicality. This is in the intricate guitar work, the drumming is again only merely solid. One final note, the sound quality of this album is odd. Not bad, just odd. The guitar and drums sound kind of strange and its well noted that the bass can not be heard. It's not a big deal to me though, the quality is not bad, the music is great and I almost like the very very tight sound of the album.

Every song is good, and there is no really weak one...so I will touch of some highlights.

Blackened is a good way to start the album, relentless and thrashy. The middle is quite melodic and complex with some great guitar work!

And Justice for All is a good song, and actually has some decent drumming from Lars! A bit on the long side, can be difficult, (especially for a straight up metal head) but for us prog minded listeners its no issue.

Eye of the Beholder has a great groove to it. Really cool feeling. It does, however, get a bit sluggish over the second half.

Just like their prior two albums, the fourth song on AJFA is a ballad type song. The famous "One" deserves its fame, great song. Though as mentioned, it has the feel of Fade to Black and Sanitarium before it.

Dyer's Eve is a great way to end the album, the way it started. Thrashy! It's a pretty thrashy song that is quite unrelenting and you will hear what may be Lars' most intense drumming.

Great album, a must for any metal head/prog metal fan/prog fan who can take metal. More technical then progressive in my opinion there is some top echelon guitar work in "...And Justice for All". The quality is a bit odd, and the overall feel and progression of the album is not too different from their last 2. Not for the standard prog fan, however as mentioned above those that like metal or have large pallets should pick up this album. Metallica's best work.

Four Stars


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Posted Thursday, May 27, 2010

Review by Rune2000
4 stars This album is a bit controversial among the fans which probably isn't saying much in comparison to the discussions related to its followup releases!

To most Metallica fans ...And Justice For All is usually either the last great album from the classic era leading up to the Black Album or an inferior followup to Master Of Puppets. Surprisingly this inferiority doesn't come from the quality of the material but rather from the terrible production values. First off, the bass sound is almost nonexistent, so no need to adjust your subwoofer level, while the guitars and drums come off sounding very dry in comparison to the juicy sounds that were depicted on the two preceding releases. Just listen to these albums back-to-back and you'll see what I mean.

Being a fan of '70s music, one generally gets accustomed to the sound production that would make anyone who only listens to the mainstream of today to turn it off. I know that production has become a huge deal in this day and age but I'm not the one to disregard excellent songwriting just for the lack in the sound department. This holds especially true if an album isn't recorded during the last twenty-something years.

Blackened is easily my favorite Metallica album-opener and unlike Fight Fire With Fire and Battery it tries to push things forward without abandoning the heavy opener-blueprint of the past. The rest of the material is not too shabby either. Among these compositions Eye Of The Beholder definitely gets an honorable mention from me for its very groovy style that shows that Metallica liked to experiment with other styles than just their usual straightforward Thrash Metal sound.

This one was my favorite Metallica album for a very long time until I eventually passed on the crown to Ride The Lightning, even though ...And Justice For All is still the more consistent of the two albums.

***** star songs: Blackened (6:41) Eye Of The Beholder (6:30)

**** star songs: ...And Justice For All (9:47) One (7:27) The Shortest Straw (6:36) Harvester Of Sorrow (5:46) The Frayed Ends Of Sanity (7:44) To Live Is To Die (9:49) Dyers Eve (5:13)


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Posted Monday, August 23, 2010

Review by zravkapt
3 stars You will never hear Metallica as 'progressive' as they are here. Not until St. Anger will you find a worse sounding Metallica album. That's the pros and cons of this release. The music here is complex and technical; the mix is horrible, no bass at all. Ex-Flotsam & Jetsum bassist Jason Newstead joined the group after former bassist Cliff Burton died in a tour bus accident. He must have had the flu, so the other three recorded this album without him. That's what it sounds like.

"One" is one of the best songs here. It was the bands first video. At one time they swore never to make music videos. "One" was a great video however. But then on their next album they make 5(!) videos. Some of Kirk Hammett's best guitar playing can be heard in this song. The neo-classical playing at the beginning is nice and is more tasteful than anything Yngwie Malmsteen was doing at the time. The song builds and builds to a great climax. There are a couple songs here where the compositions and playing is very prog. The title track and "Frayed Ends Of Sanity" are great examples. "Blackened" and "Dyer's Eve" could have fit on Master Of Puppets, while "To Live Is To Die" is one of the band's best instrumentals. The latter was co-written with Burton and has a good spoken section. This album has some of the band's best lyrics.

The album was mixed by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich so it's all drums and rhythm guitar. I don't know if mixing Newstead so low was done on purpose as some kind of inside joke because he's the 'new guy'. But it was an awful idea and it ruined this album's reputation. All their 1980s albums have been remastered and re-released. But ...And Justice For All should have been RE-MIXED. It still should be. The music here deserves at least 4 stars, but the production ruins everything. So I'll give this 3 stars.


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Posted Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars Metallica are highly regarded as very important thrash metal pioneers, and it'd be hard for me to disagree with that notion. They are a very important and popular band even today, but since the release of "... And Justice for All" they've not created such a fantastic thrash metal album of the progressive variety.

I personally am not a big Metallica fan by any means, but I do feel that his is their most creative album and definitely their most progressive and complex. The music here is heavy, fun, bouncy and full of galloping riffs. The songwriting here is much more fluid than on their other albums, though they've never had a problem with that. It just seems that the longer tracks like the title track and the hit "One" are full of emotion that has before never been present on a Metallica album.

Anyone interested in hearing what early progressive metal sounded like with a strong thrash base should definitely check out this album, and anyone already a fan of progressive metal should experience this album at least once.


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Posted Monday, April 11, 2011

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars As you undoubtedly know, Cliff Burton died in a bus accident after the release of Puppets. Needless to say, the impact of this was enormous - not only had the band lost a major talent at the bass position, it had also lost (arguably) its only true musical genius and, really, the heart and soul of the band (and I stand by that; the others may have done just as much work in writing the riffs, but the relative lack of "finishing touches" on this album as compared to before can't just be a coincidence). The bass functions would technically be filled by Jason Newsted (though he's virtually inaudible, thanks to a last minute decision to minimize the bass as much as possible, probably in tribute to Cliff), but the latter could not be so easily replaced.

The thing is, many people view this album as a culmination of Metallica's career - the songs are lengthier and more complex than ever, with acres and acres of solid metal riffs. As far as song structures and melodies go, this could easily be considered Metallica's "progressive peak." So isn't that enough to give this album consideration as Metallica's best? Well ... to be quite honest with you, no, it isn't. Ultimately, the fact is that this is primarily a transitional album (heck, even the members' appearances are in transition - doesn't James' picture look like a perfect splicing of his faces from the Lightning and Load eras?) and like any transitional album, it's got its problems.

To better explain myself, I'd like to propose the following idea - this album can be considered the Metallica equivalent of Genesis' A Trick of the Tail. Short version: Peter Gabriel left the band after what many considered the band's best album yet (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), and the remaining members did everything they could to convince the world that the band could put out a good Genesis-style album even without its main creative force. So it is with Metallica on this album - the band members obviously realized that the factor that seemingly made the band most effective was the epic, multi-part structure of many of their songs, and so the band went out of its way to make the songs on Justice as long and as complex as they possibly could.

I know it may seem obnoxious to have heaped such praise upon Metallica's more "progressive" tracks in the last couple of albums and then condemn them for their "progressive to the max" approach on this album, but you have to understand the following: I don't like music solely because it's complex and multi-part. The individual parts not only have to be fairly interesting on their own, but they HAVE to fit in well with each other. On this album, too often the multitude of riffs simply do NOT mesh well and flow well into one another. The title track is the greatest offender - the riffs are mostly very good, but the manner in which they are mixed together make the song seem horrifically overlong. And the same can be said, to a lesser extent, about most of the other tracks - most of them are overlong by as much as a third, and the ending result is a 65 minute album when we should have at most a 45 minute or so one. It's a very, very good 65 minute album, don't get me wrong; it's just that that's the result of having an amazing 45 minute one smothered in excess.

But again, I'm not knocking this album that badly (this is still a very, very high rating). The lyrics are bitter and pissed with life to an extent never before seen in this band (though maybe a little more banal than some of the metaphorical bliss of the last two albums), and James actually sounds fully grown up on this album (though my guess is that a lot of the maturity in the voice is a product of a ton of drinking after Cliff's death). And some of the songs are just fabulous - "Blackened," while essentially a rewrite of "Battery" (which, in turn, was a rewrite of "Fight Fire with Fire"), still has an ominous intro and a great main riff (and a cool midsection with Hetfield doing a call-and-response with his own vocals). Meanwhile, "Eye of the Beholder" is one of the tracks that does a good job of being lengthy while still feeling compact and not rambling, as the fabulous riffs flow in and out of each seamlessly. Same goes for "Harvester of Sorrow," the closing "Dyers Eve" and, of course, the instrumental "To Live is to Die," with a spoken word tribute to Cliff (and some of the most interesting Hammett work on the album). The rest of the songs, though, are mostly weaker versions of the others (even "Frayed Ends of Sanity," which mostly wastes its fabulous intro). Also, you'll notice that I'm not going into elaborate descriptions of these tracks like I did on most of the last two albums; there comes a point where you just run out of ways to say "great guitar interplay, good riffs, where in the hell's the bass."

But really, who cares about all those songs? This album has "One" on it, and that's all that really matters, isn't it? Any Metallica fans who think it's a crappy song because it produced their first music video can pucker up, because there's some mistle-toe in the small of my back just for you. All of the songs on this album have some flaw, but not this one, no sirree. It's PERFECT, and one of the (if not THE) absolute greatest metal songs ever written (at least, that I've heard). The construction is flawless, from the forboding, ringing opening riff through the introductory section, through the SICK switch to a major key before entering the genius vocal melody, and as the intensity of the song gradually builds, the track demonstrates that James and co. still had a solid dose of inspiration of their own in the wake of Cliff's absence. Plus, the intense, rigid drum and guitar lines that come before the final vocal coda out-Knife "The Knife," while the guitar-interplay that comes afterwards is just beyond anything they'd done to that point, and that says an awful lot. And the lyrics - I'm sure you know them already, no need to say anything about them except that they are absolute genius in their ability to inflict terror on a listener.

So yeah, when you add it all up, it's a very, very good album. That said, it does demonstrate one thing to me; the "progressive" version of Metallica had used up virtually all of its creativity, and while fans may cringe at this, I say that it was actually a good thing that they switched into more of a pop mode. But that's for another review.


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Posted Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Review by Warthur
2 stars Sorry guys, I just can't do it. No matter how much I try, I can't get over the horrible production this album was afflicted with. In principle I should love this album - the most technically advanced songwriting of Metallica's thrash career, and for that matter the last hurrah for thrash in Metallica's repertoire before the Black Album and the decidedly controversial twists and turns their career has taken subsequently.

However, whilst there's decent material on here, the album is horribly compromised by the production. Of course, new bassist Jason Newstead is often literally inaudible in the mix, but that's just the start of it; the sound of the album is paper-thin and lacks the thick, meaty sound of Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets. This might be excusable in an up and coming unsigned band recording a demo, or even a band signed to an impoverished and cash- strapped record company, but we're talking Metallica here - the most mega-successful of the Big Four of thrash, making the followup to one of the biggest-selling metal albums ever, for a major record company like Elektra Records.

The idea that Metallica didn't have access to the talent, studio equipment, or expertise to give proper treatment to the material on And Justice For All is, given all the above factors, absolutely absurd. There is simply no excuse for the album to have been issued in the state that it is in, even with the last-minute substitution of producers towards the end of the recording process.

In retrospect, the downfall of Metallica's career wasn't Lulu, or St. Anger, or the Loads, or the Black Album. It was the moment when the band, producer, and record company reviewed the final product of the And Justice For All sessions and decided that this was an album worth issuing to the general public and a decent followup to its predecessor. Nobody who put a high priority on selling a high-quality product worthy of the band's legacy would have approved that decision, but approved it was, and the precedent was set: from then on, it became a-OK to foist any old [&*!#] on the band's fans. The path that led inexorably to Lulu was laid.


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Posted Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars This was a new era for METALLICA. Hardly recovered from losing their bassist, Cliff Burton, they were finding sudden popularity after the success of MASTER OF PUPPETS. On this release they upped the progressiveness making this one of the earliest prog thrash metal releases and certainly one of the most successful in terms of sales. They went from being a slightly successful band to one of the biggest in the biz.

Although I hear a lot of complaining about the production of this album, I have to say that I quite like it and I think it gives it a unique sound unlike any other album. It's important to remember that there was a backlash to overproduced albums in the late 80s with the success of slick studio albums from Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison etc.

I believe that Metallica intended this to have a more lo-fi sound that would keep them sounding underground even if they were becoming one of the biggest names on the planet. Something about the theme and lyrical content about the lack of justice that lend an oppressive sound to the whole thing. The sounds of the guitars and bass as one super-instrument somehow imply that when justice is denied none has his own voice. I may be digging deep here but for some reason it really works for me!

While it's really hard for me to pick a favorite album from METALLICA (only 3 contenders), this one may be the one i've listened to the most. It was the first album I actually owned from them and I have listened to this more times than I can count to the point of being sick of it years ago!


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Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review by Chicapah
3 stars 'And Justice for All' was Metallica's fourth studio album so they were no longer the new kids on the block but a proven band that was steadily building up a huge, loyal fan base that the music industry couldn't afford to ignore. By pure stubbornness and grit they'd stayed true to themselves despite the popularity of the New Wave, Glam and subsequent Big Hair movements that were supported and nurtured by MTV during the 80s. Their dogged determination alone garnered them a lot of respect among free-thinking musicians whether they liked metal or not. While the fat cat executives didn't necessarily understand Metallica's broad appeal they certainly recognized a golden egg-laying goose when they saw one and were, accordingly, putting more money into advertising, promotion and tour support for the group to maximize their investment. I also guess that the band's success made their label decide to leave well enough alone so the boys were pretty much left to their own devices as far as producing their music was concerned and that freedom had an up and a down side to it. The positive was that they were unhindered in what they wrote and arranged. The negative was that they weren't being guided by an experienced, seasoned producer who could capture what they created with an ear bent towards fidelity and finesse. The result is another darn good record that should've sounded a whole lot better.

They open with 'Blackened,' where a slow fade-in leads to a fierce riff that grabs the listener like a steel claw. Right off the bat, though, the glaring fault line running through the studio control room is the lack of a bass guitar. I have no doubt that it's in there somewhere but it shouldn't be something you have to search for. Lars Ulrich's drums are up front where they should be but they sound naked and somewhat thin without a rhythm section companion to establish a killer groove with. That dearth aside, Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield's guitar work is intricate and the overall arrangement is engaging as they take you through various tempos and feels. 'And Justice for All' is proof positive that they belong on this web site. It begins with a quieter guitar intro that's interspersed with flashes of hot metal. I applaud their willingness to take risks and challenge their followers by delivering a host of unorthodox twists and turns involving tricky mixtures of odd time signatures. This cut is what I hear in my head when I think of prog metal. 'Eye of the Beholder' is another courageous track. After they fade in from nowhere they adopt a military-styled beat to build upon and I'm very impressed by the remarkable tightness they retain while moving from one distinct passage to another. Hetfield's gruff vocal approach grows old but that's what he sounded like and at least it's not overly distracting. 'One' is next and it was the first song I ever heard from these guys via the arresting MTV video that accompanied it. While it didn't exactly knock me out I could tell that there was some imagination and forethought going on in their craft, not just mindless head-banging. This tune has held up rather well over the decades, too. It's dark but very effective.

'The Shortest Straw' marks a turning away from their prog leanings as they go in a more straightforward direction from here on out. They dispense with the clever detours and go for the jugular by pounding the listener's ears with jackhammer blunt force. No doubt this number was a bonafide crowd-pleaser in concert but, other than Kirk's hot guitar solo, it only gives me a headache. 'Harvester of Sorrow' sports the closest they come to laying down a groove but a growling bass line would've solidified it in an instant. Maybe it's there and we just can't hear it. Hetfield and Hammett throw in some intriguing harmony guitar melodies but unfortunately the song fails to evolve into anything spectacular. I love the start of 'The Frayed Ends of Sanity.' Any band that pays homage to the Wicked Witch of the West's security detail's droning anthem without apology is cool in my book. Alas, they immediately return to their comfort zone by grinding out more unadorned heavy wrecking ball rock that most likely thrilled their congregation to death but leaves me in the cold. The instrumental, 'To Live is to Die' is a slight move in a proggier direction, though. The onset is more subdued than what's come before but it doesn't last long before another skull-crushing attack ensues. Yet rather than taking the easy way out they offer up a myriad of different sequences and musical ideas that restored my faith in them. I'd like to think that they were trying to stretch themselves and avoid resting on their laurels. They close with 'Dyers Eve.' Their full tilt metal onslaught is staggering only because of its sheer intensity, blinding speed and unending ferocity. It makes me tired just listening to it. I know what you're saying. 'Hey, you old fart; if you don't like hard core metal then stay away from it! Don't rain on my parade.' I gotcha. But if they're going to be considered prog then I feel obligated to tell it like it is, at least from my point of view. These guys are immensely talented musicians but, like any group, when they get predictable their music can get monotonous and that's what happens a few times in the course going through this album. I don't mind loud but I do mind tedium.

Released on August 25, 1988 this record furthered the legendary rise of Metallica by topping out at the #6 spot on the LP charts. The genre of metal was beginning to crossover into the mainstream and there wasn't a downside to that trend. Somebody had to shake the music biz up and these fellas were more than willing to take on that task. If there was a low end presence on 'And Justice for All' I'd like it a lot more but I figure they had their reasons for keeping new bassist Jason Newsted buried in the mix. I read on Wikipedia that it was part of the group's harsh 'hazing' regimen designed to keep him humble but I seriously doubt that they'd intentionally degrade the quality of the final product to punish the rookie. You never know, though. I get the feeling they had a crazy streak to beat the band. Nonetheless, Metallica was getting better with each release and, at least in my mind, the best was yet to come. 3.4 stars.


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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#1093147) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 20, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars And Justice For All... is almost Metallica at peak performance. For my money, Master of Puppets takes the gold medal. Only a couple of songs on And Justice For All... hold it back. Therefore, this release is a 4 star album for me. One of the complaints often made about And Justice... refer ... (read more)

Report this review (#1074033) | Posted by thwok | Friday, November 08, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Hated the first, liked the second, hated the third. I don't know that I felt much like reviewing this album. "Blackened" - Dang the drums sound like a guy smacking away on paint tins and the bass thrums so that my sub woofer doesn't understand what it's being fed.. Aside from that this is ... (read more)

Report this review (#1010283) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, August 03, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The basis of this album review is from cassette. The cassette was repaired but sounded fine. The tracks are heavy metal and as so many of these heavy metal acts way too big for their britches. The video for one was a to most a groundbreaking video in metal. The allowing of a group to reflec ... (read more)

Report this review (#613364) | Posted by thewickedfall | Thursday, January 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me, Justice is Metallica's greatest album. The riffery included is just genius without being overly complex. This is definitely their most proggy album with all of the odd time and long epic songs. It is like taking Master of Puppets, and adding more of what made that album great, highly ... (read more)

Report this review (#268074) | Posted by cyclysm748 | Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ...And Justice For All, in all its glory, could best be described as a slightly flawed masterpiece. A thrash metal album with progressive metal tendencies, it blends complex arrangements with speed and aggression, and sections of melodic bliss. The songs are perfectly crafted and you can tell ... (read more)

Report this review (#266660) | Posted by Iron Nate | Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ...And a classic album for all. This is Metallica's fourth album, and their last good one, so says the crowd. Thrashing harder than ever, and doing it with a renewed sense of complexity. While Metallica is a prog-related band, this, to me, is a complete progressive metal album. Where MOP thrash ... (read more)

Report this review (#246333) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, October 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me personally, this album is where my musical 'progression' began. Everything I listen to in this day and age all goes back to Metallica's 'And Justice For All'. When I was new to the world of Heavy Metal, I was instantly hooked on two particular bands, Megadeth and Kiss. After coming across ... (read more)

Report this review (#203602) | Posted by Valarius | Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album was the last pure thrash metal album by Metallica (unless you count DM), and their most progressive album. This album shows off some of their most impressive musicianship, with all audible instruments performing exceptionally (I say audible because the bass is almost nonexistent, possibly ... (read more)

Report this review (#202117) | Posted by estes | Sunday, February 08, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ...And Justice For All is another master piece from one of the greatest bands ever. Almost every track is frickin sweet and the guitars are amazing. When I first got hold of this album, I didn't like it much. I only bought it for the fact that One was one of my favorite songs. This is the first ... (read more)

Report this review (#200967) | Posted by IvanK | Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Being that this is progarchives, I give this album a 4 for it's progressive effort. Because despite being one of my least favourite Metallica albums, this album clearly has one of the most progressive influences out of Metallica's entire career. As a Metallica fan though, I wad disappointed in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#199769) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Monday, January 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In late 80's I was huge fan of Metallica. First album I got was Master Of Puppets and it was something different than the stuff I listened to at the time. It was far more aggressive than Iron Maiden and Helloween. In the other hand same melodic. So I became a fan. ...And Justice For All is fourt ... (read more)

Report this review (#198511) | Posted by LSDisease | Monday, January 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I regard this as Metallica's finest hour, although Master Of Puppets are a close number two. For new fans of Metallica; this is an album you will not understand or even hate. Twenty years ago; Metallica was a brutal thrash metal band. Incredible, but true. Metallica started in the beginning o ... (read more)

Report this review (#187701) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, November 02, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Finally Metallica in the archives... ... And this album has to be the reason. After the trash metal masterpiece Master of Puppets and the devastating death of Cliff Burton, another masterpiece could be hard to think, but Hetfield and co. did their best album, ... And Justice for All. This und ... (read more)

Report this review (#185538) | Posted by Yeidí | Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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