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Metallica ...And Justice For All

Track List:

...And Justice For All 
Eye Of The Beholder 
The Shortest Straw 
Harvester Of Sorrow 
The Frayed Ends Of Sanity 
To Live Is To Die 
Dyer's Eve

Release Date: August 25th 1988

Recording Location & Date: One On One Recording Los Angeles, California January-May 1988

Producer: Metallica & Flemming Rasmussen
The Band: 
James Hetfield - Guitar, Vocals
Lars Ulrich - Drums
Jason Newsted - Bass
Kirk Hammett - Lead Guitar

Eye Of The Beholder
Harvester Of Sorrow

...And Justice For All
Eye Of The Beholder

The album suffered problems with it's production and mix due to the last minute decision of choosing Flemming Rasmussen as producer. Mike Clink was originally the producer but the band parted company with him in favour of Flemming Rasmussen once the backing tracks were laid down. According to Lars Ulrich, this had always been the plan but the result ended up with poor sound. The Japanese version was released with 1 bonus tracks "The Prince".
Jason Newsted: "Jason: A lot of the songs that were written for "...Justice For All" were written on the "Master Of Puppets" tour when Cliff was still in the band and stuff."
James Hetfield: "There was a lot of urgency to that material, but a lot of it was just wank - just us showing off. But that's where we were at that time."



ÖAnd Justice For All, referred to as Justice in this review to save my typing hands is without question a fucker of an album, a monster without apology, without remorse or repent. Marking the beginning of an era with new bassist Jason Newsted in tow, Justice had to make a name for itself. 

Kicking off with the perfectly crafted Blackened you know that this album is not to be crossed, still a track that is frequently played live and still very much a fan favourite. Justice, the song is an epic, verging on progressive metal takes you through a full on metal journey, lyrics very political, lengthy guitar solos, a band really showcasing their talent. Eye of the Beholder follows this up with style although not perhaps the strongest track on the album a belter, regardless. A song quite honestly that found its home cut down in length on the Justice Medley played on the Black Album tour. 

One is probably the track that stands out from the album the most and Iíd imagine many peoples favourite track. The video made for the song helped consolidate that position even more. Featuring footage from the film Johnny Got His Gun. Essentially a song about war, inspiring vocals, a perfectly moulded song, with the right amount of quiet parts, heavy as fuck parts, the infamous double kick section and of course Kirks amazing solo. 

Shortest Straw up next, one of my favourites off the album, a great thrash track, would be nice to see this song put in the set list now, that would be great to hear. Harvester of Sorrow a real stomper of a song, still a part of the setlist and still a favourite, all intact with evil vocals from Jaymz and strong chorus sing-a-long. Frayed Ends of Sanity another one of the more forgotten tracks of the album, but a classic nonetheless, really technical playing from all quarters growing into a really frantic mid section before rocking out till the end like a real treat. 

To Live is to Die is a lengthy piece that has many uses of light and shade, a progressive beginning to a beautiful mid section before picking itself back up for the heavy end, with a spoken word part using some of Cliff Burtonís poetry this truly is a great track, Larsí drumming as tight as a gnats arse, consolidated with great guitar work. Which of course takes us to the album closer, the mighty Dyers Eve, only just seen the light of day in 2004ís set lists. A true thrash metal frenzy, lyrics covering the topic of a child trying to survive in a world where strict parents reign, we may see some direct parallels between Jaymz childhood here, where Christian Science was the belief of his parents, something Hetfield had great difficulty coming to terms with. 

Overall Justice is an incredible album, further defining their stance in the world of metal. Its only fault it could be argued is the production. Rather thin, largely ignoring the bass frequencies. It is an issue that the band has had with the album since its release in Ď88. Jason always claimed that the album didnít feel too good for him because of this reason. Although he claimed that he was as much responsible for this as were the rest of the band. The next thing that people took issue with was the complicated arrangements and time changes that were thrown in all through the album, however, this seems to be what makes this album so unique and special. Justice is yet another Metallica album that stood the test of time and yet another Metallica album that showed the world what they were capable of. A classic album.

Olly Smith (what a gem!) 2004


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