Thrash Talk #7 - And Justice For All (Metallica)

Today, we conclude the four 80s Metallica album reviews with probably their greatest album, And Justice For All.

The band's two previous albums, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, had started focus on the more progressive side of Metallica, with songs that were slightly longer and had more sections. And Justice For All would completely show the talent Metallica had that proved that they were more talented than most metal bands of the 80s, with songs featuring unusual time signatures, those melodic riffs during the middle of the songs, and little-to-no verse-chorus structure, while still thrashing around. This Progressive Thrash music would create their greatest work yet, even after the death of Cliff Burton in 1986. The songs would also contain some good lyrics, mainly found in And Justice For All, One, The Shortest Straw, and The Frayed Ends of Sanity. These songs would deal more with personal struggles, discrimination, and corruption, which would make the songs more meaningful.

The opening track, Blackened, would be their best work they've done to start off a good metal album so far. The song had an intro which sounded much different than the intros from the opening tracks previously, putting in a heavier sound, along with a decent solo. The Title Track would be their most complex song musically, with lyrics dealing about corruption, but was too complex for the band to play live as after the band finished the song once, one of the members went and said that they would never play that f***ing song ever again. The album's ballad, One would be based on the movie Johnny Got His Gun. It would start off slow and melodic, but slowly transitions to heavy thrash and eventually Kirk Hammett's most mindblowing solo in existance. A more underrated song, Eye of the Beholder is a slower song, but contains some more unusual time signatures, including a 12/8 time played during the best part of the song, the chorus. The song's lyrics are about the limitations of the first amendment, and that America is not as free as you think. The Shortest Straw would have a more uneven beat than any other song in the album, and shorter sections and shaky harmonies. Harvester of Sorrow is a more overrated song in the album, and probably the weakest song since it's slow but it's still a heavy song and better than Sad But True.

The Album's Instrumental, To Live is to Die would honor fallen bassist Cliff Burton after he died in the car crash and he would even be credited for writing the spoken word at the near end of the song. The song would be overly long, but still a great instrumental, probably the third best one they've done only behind Orion and The Call of Ktulu. The two best tracks from the album are The Frayed Ends of Sanity and Dyers Eve. Both of them had great lyrics, one about someone going insane, and the other being Hetfield's rant to his own parents. They also had great solos and The Frayed Ends of Sanity had that one melodic part before the riff that begins the solo. Dyers Eve however would have the better drumming and the solo was one of my favorites.

Overall, the album is probably the best work Metallica ever did. The progressive music they made in this album worked out really well, and it contained some of their greatest works, including two of my favorite Metallica songs. The only downside about this album would be the production, which sounded very dry and you couldn't hear the bass in the album.

The Verdict: 97/100
Best Song: The Frayed Ends of Sanity

This concludes the four 80s Metallica album reviews.

Comments

I would like to hear your thoughts on the Black Album.

I love the Black Album (After all, it does contain some of Metallica's best songs), although I will admit I personally prefer Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets over Justice and Black.

Great review by the way :). - CrimsonShark

The Black Album isn't really that great, and I'd probably put it around 7th or 8th on a ranking including Garage Inc. However, Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven, Nothing Else Matters, and My Friend of Misery are all good songs. - visitor

Sorry about the flagging. That was a total mistake :(. I actually tried to comment back :/. - CrimsonShark

This album has my favorite song One on it but to be honest this album feels a bit to long
... And Justice For All is Actually longer than the Black Album by 3 minutes
The Black Album has More Songs yet it's 3 minutes less than AJFA - christangrant

Try listening to A Passion Play by Jethro Tull, which is one song that's 45 minutes long. - visitor

Oh god that's longer than the whole album of Reign in Blood and many others - christangrant

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