Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Metallica - ... And Justice For All CD (album) cover

... AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

Metallica

 

Prog Related

3.94 | 617 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
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.

Epignosis | 2/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this METALLICA review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives