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Metallica - ... And Justice For All CD (album) cover




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3.94 | 617 ratings

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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 shit on the band's fans. The path that led inexorably to Lulu was laid.

Warthur | 2/5 |


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