...And Justice For All: 20 Years Later

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Wow, this album sorta sucks, doesn't it? I loved it as a kid, but listening now...woof. The only good tune is "To Live Is To Die."

Also, the lyrics on here make St Anger sound like Highway 61: "Doesn't matter what you see / or into it what you read," "myself is after me" (LOL) - Jesus Christ. Why was everyone so surprised when this band wrote "my lifestyle / determines my deathstyle?"

Aparently there is a widely circulated bootleg called ...And Justice For Jason which features a bass-heavy mix. Anyone heard it?

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 18:29 (eleven years ago) link

still sounds like shit.

Herman G. Neuname, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 18:45 (eleven years ago) link

It has One which used to slay me when I was a teenager. That was one of the last times they did the two-guitar lead stuff I liked so much. Also love Harvester Of Sorrow.

Marty Innerlogic, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 18:49 (eleven years ago) link

Never dug it. First bullshit Metallica record. Harvester of Sorrow still rules.

contenderizer, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 18:52 (eleven years ago) link

still underrated i guess.

M@tt He1ges0n, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 19:06 (eleven years ago) link

This is the only Metallica album for me*. I think it's one of their most consistent efforts. I think "myself is after me" is a great lyric (I will give you that "into it what you read" sounded forced to me even when I was 10).

AJFA also had the best t-shirts, thank you Pushead.

*Although I'd take Orion as a single song.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 19:24 (eleven years ago) link

Does have the best T-shirts, I'll give you that.

contenderizer, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 19:26 (eleven years ago) link

i like the album cover. but the brittle production really ruins it for me. i find it hard to listen to as i just really want a full, thick bass running through it, and instead it is inaudible.

res, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 22:37 (eleven years ago) link

Not sure, but I think this may have actually been metal's first-ever (non-live) double LP. Depending on what you call "metal", of course.

Myonga Vön Bontee, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 00:34 (eleven years ago) link

I certainly don't think it sucks, but it definitely has its flaws. "Blackened" really begins the album on an asskicking note, but why the hell is the title track almost 10 minutes when it's just a repeat of the same verse/chorus/verse (and, by their standards, was lacking)?

"Eye of the Beholder" and "One" rounded out a nice first half, but the second half has the ghastly "Frayed Ends of Sanity", which outside of its random riff section in the middle, has very little to cheer about.

But..."Dyer's Eve"? "To Live is to Die"? "Shortest Straw"?

Definitely pales in comparison to the two albums before it, but still a solid effort. Not a classic, but very good.

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 01:22 (eleven years ago) link

the thing this album has in common with st. anger is songs that could've easily been edited down to half their length without losing anything. i still like this album. especially in light of how shit the black album was, lyrically and musically.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 01:24 (eleven years ago) link

I really think the title track should have either been 4.5 minutes or excised, and Frayed Ends/Harvester should have been chucked completely.

Shoulda been one to two more short little angry thrash anthems in there to break up the monotony

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 01:26 (eleven years ago) link

thread has lost its mind

J0hn D., Wednesday, 30 July 2008 01:30 (eleven years ago) link

ey, I still said it was a very good album!...but RTL or MOP it ain't.

though I probably listened to it more than I did Kill 'Em All.

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 01:31 (eleven years ago) link

Listened to this record in sub zero cold this winter through Grado labs headphones and it sounded like heaven ... tried the same thing the other day in 90 degree heat and it sounded hellish - make of that what you will. This is a winter record. I have super-fond memories of it being released my freshman year in college - excellent hacky-sack circles with the thrash metal dukes.

BlackIronPrison, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 01:39 (eleven years ago) link

what you need to really enjoy this record is rails of super-caustic bathtub crank

J0hn D., Wednesday, 30 July 2008 02:29 (eleven years ago) link

I think the defenders of this album are listening through, err, rose tinted glasses. Listen now, as an adult, in 2008 and tell me what's good about it. I thought I loved it too until yesterday when I heard it for the first time in fifteen years.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 02:50 (eleven years ago) link

Come on, at least "One" is a classic

res, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 02:56 (eleven years ago) link

Great record, though no RTL.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 03:08 (eleven years ago) link

I've owned three copies of it, just listened to it today and still love it. The one Metallica album I always return to. Couldn't care less about clicky drums or a lack of bass. They can repeat the same riffs for as long as they want too.

I think the defenders of this album are listening through, err, rose tinted glasses.

Not that there isn't a little of this.

xox, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 03:58 (eleven years ago) link

I really hate "Blackened" in Rock Band. Ridiculously hard to play, and so much of it is musically worthless bullshit.

abanana, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 05:03 (eleven years ago) link

also the slow section in the title song is one of those "yep, we ran of ideas here" moments

abanana, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 05:09 (eleven years ago) link

This album still holds up. Never was a big fan of "Eye of the Beholder", but that's a minor gripe. Great record, "Harvester of Sorrow" ranking as one of my all-time Metallica faves.

A. Begrand, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 05:40 (eleven years ago) link

I love this album. The only weak tracks are "Eye Of The Beholder" (which I owned on cassingle before the album came out) and "To Live Is To Die." The 1-2-3 of "The Shortest Straw," "Harvester Of Sorrow," and "Frayed Ends Of Sanity" kicks so much ass. And I love the sound - a gleaming steel skeleton. They could have stuck with this exact sound for the whole 1990s and I would have been unbelievably happy.

unperson, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 12:47 (eleven years ago) link

the songs are a bit turgid and overlong in spots, but it's still pretty good.

latebloomer, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 12:51 (eleven years ago) link

the other thing about this album is that for me anyway it is forever tethered to the hesher pride everybody felt when Metallica showed up at the Grammys and completely shredded everything in sight.

J0hn D., Wednesday, 30 July 2008 13:33 (eleven years ago) link

for reference:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=owm2XdwuVo4

J0hn D., Wednesday, 30 July 2008 13:34 (eleven years ago) link

this is my favorite metallica album

Jordan, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:23 (eleven years ago) link

i listened to it 1000000x on my walkman with shitty headphones, so the bass thing wasn't really an issue. who listens to thrash metal for bass, anyway?

Jordan, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:24 (eleven years ago) link

what's an early metallica album where you can hear the fucking bass?

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:26 (eleven years ago) link

the only good songs are all of them.

Jordan, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:26 (eleven years ago) link

I'm still mad about that Jethro Tull thing. -xp

Pleasant Plains, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:29 (eleven years ago) link

metallica-related things i have been angry about:

1. st. anger
2. endless videos with creepy old men (that aren't metallica)
3. the black album
4. the jethro tull thing
5. haircuts

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:32 (eleven years ago) link

wait, 1 could be every album since the black album peaking with st. anger.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:32 (eleven years ago) link

I used to think this is great, but it's hard to slog through now, whereas I can listen to RTL 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Compared to what came after, though, it's an absolute masterpiece.

Bill Magill, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:35 (eleven years ago) link

I'm still mad about that Jethro Tull thing.

one of my most burned-in musical memories - when I was a kid, I dug Jethro Tull (I'm pretty sure a 25-cent copy of Benefit was the first record I ever bought with my own money), but I watched them take their Grammy and went "oh bullshit and you all know it"

J0hn D., Wednesday, 30 July 2008 15:02 (eleven years ago) link

The only good tune is "To Live Is To Die."

Wrong at the first hurdle. To Live is To Die exemplifies the flaws of this (generallygreat) album.

Also, the lyrics on here make St Anger sound like Highway 61

Their lyrics have always been shit. The vocal style in the earlier albums make their shitiness quite unobtrusive though.

chap, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 15:20 (eleven years ago) link

I watched the Classic Album show on the Black Album recently. Bob Rock was just amazed that Hetfield wrote the melody to the lyrics first and then the lyrics. All the Metallica demos just have Jamez going "WHAAAA-NEEEEE-NEEEEE-NAAAA".

"I'm not a poet like Phil Lynott," said Hetfield in the special.

Pleasant Plains, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 15:23 (eleven years ago) link

Shit, forget Lynott, he's not even Mustaine. But lyrics aren't what I'm looking for when I throw on Metallica.

Bill Magill, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 18:04 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah, closest I've gotten to caring about Metallica lyrics (for better or worse) is liking the part where he goes "...damageincorporated".

contenderizer, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 18:24 (eleven years ago) link

Creeping Death is kind of cool

Bill Magill, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 18:28 (eleven years ago) link

don't fuck with razorback

Pleasant Plains, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 18:31 (eleven years ago) link

fuck it all and fucking no regrets

latebloomer, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 18:31 (eleven years ago) link

the other thing about this album is that for me anyway it is forever tethered to the hesher pride everybody felt when Metallica showed up at the Grammys and completely shredded everything in sight.

So true.

A. Begrand, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 18:40 (eleven years ago) link

are they doing a vinyl reissue of this? i wonder if the remaster and being on vinyl would give it a little more bottom?

M@tt He1ges0n, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 19:44 (eleven years ago) link

i think some dude recorded the bass parts himself and released the bass-enhanced version of the album. i can't remember what he called it... i think it might have mentioned cliff. perhaps "and justice for cliff" or something.

res, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 22:36 (eleven years ago) link

yeah i think thats right

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 22:43 (eleven years ago) link

AND JASON FOR ALL! YOU PEOPLE, SHEESH!

Pleasant Plains, Thursday, 31 July 2008 03:47 (eleven years ago) link

everybody who says To Live is To Die isn't good probably drinks their own pee.

No comparison to Call of Ktulu, no, but it has that really nice quiet passage in the middle....

Bo Jackson Overdrive, Thursday, 31 July 2008 03:54 (eleven years ago) link

Also the way the heavy part comes in all off time and ominous after the wimpy acoutsic intro. It's badass. Plus I think Cliff wrote the 'lyrics'

The love for "Frayed Ends of Sanity" here is baffling - come on guys. That Wizard of Oz shit at the beginning?

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 31 July 2008 05:22 (eleven years ago) link

https://youtu.be/MqL04r775p4

Duke, Thursday, 6 September 2018 19:57 (one year ago) link

"Metallica celebrate the 30th anniversary of their fourth album ...And Justice for All with a new “definitive” reissue. The remastered album will be released in a number of formats, including an enormous deluxe box set featuring live recordings, rough mixes, demos, interviews, and much more. It will also be available in standard edition on CD, vinyl, cassette, and digitally. It’s due out November 2 via the band’s owned Blackened Recordings."

Duke, Thursday, 6 September 2018 20:00 (one year ago) link

This is still my favourite Metallica album. Dyer's Eve, some days, is my favourite Metallica song.

Don't think I'm that fussed about a reissue. I got enough thinly-baked-Walkman-hour dreams to last me a lifetime.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 6 September 2018 20:03 (one year ago) link

Album's great. Master of Puppets boxed set was awesome (once).

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 September 2018 20:38 (one year ago) link

at this point i think master will always be "the best" but justice is probably the one i'm most interested in listening to today

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 6 September 2018 20:59 (one year ago) link

Alternating beat syncopation on Blackened gets me every time

calstars, Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:02 (one year ago) link

This album is a monument, still the Metallica album I pull out, and I keep finding things (usually the cool riffs under solo sections that I didn't notice before)

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:18 (one year ago) link

Frayed Ends of Sanity has the best one (and everything else)

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:19 (one year ago) link

Maybe it'll inspire another debate about the bass tracks.....

Duke, Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:20 (one year ago) link

Oh god, I hope not - at this point the whole thing about Jason's bass on this record is the least possible interesting line of discussion - some of Metallica's most complex/intricate compositions are on this album, and the production has aged quite well - given what it could have sounded like with all the production trappings that were the norm in 1988.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:27 (one year ago) link

I personally am looking forward to the vinyl Guitar Hero mix included in the deluxe box

Duke, Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:32 (one year ago) link

i ordered this cd the other day, think it might be a good one....: https://www.discogs.com/Metallica-And-Justice-For-All/release/1695616

brimstead, Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:32 (one year ago) link

Love this record. Will either buy the single or triple disc version.

This - from the super deluxe box set - might be a back-door way of putting a bass-ier mix out there:

CD 5: Rough Mixes from the Vault

Blackened (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
…And Justice for All (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
Eye of the Beholder (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
One (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
The Shortest Straw (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
Harvester of Sorrow (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
The Frayed Ends of Sanity (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
To Live Is to Die (Acoustic Intro) (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
To Live Is to Die (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
Dyers Eve (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
Breadfan (Work in Progress Rough Mix)
The Prince (Work in Progress Rough Mix)

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:42 (one year ago) link

Just watched some of that video - the new version of the 2LP fits both discs into a single wide sleeve. The original (which I owned) was a gatefold. I'm not a vinyl person at all but that's kinda chintzy to me.

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 7 September 2018 00:54 (one year ago) link

i think this is my favorite metallica record. i feel like i'm still learning things about it (to echo jordan's sentiment upthread). also "blackened" just routinely blows my mind, i really think it's their best opener

princess of hell (BradNelson), Saturday, 8 September 2018 17:23 (one year ago) link

"to live is to die" is such a lovely instrumental too, so many gorgeous melodic choices. i hear echoes of that approach in "junior dad" too

princess of hell (BradNelson), Saturday, 8 September 2018 17:27 (one year ago) link

and the riff in "dyers eve" sounds like someone madly sawing at a cello it's incredible

princess of hell (BradNelson), Saturday, 8 September 2018 17:32 (one year ago) link

Frayed Ends of Sanity has the best one (and everything else)

― change display name (Jordan)

The build up/break leading up to the solo in FEoS is exhilarating.

chap, Monday, 10 September 2018 11:00 (one year ago) link

Around the time of Load, Hetfield called this album "the epitome of showing off" ... in a way it is, in the sense that it shows Metallica going all-out to deliver a series of complex, winding songs with multiple time signature changes, instrumental passages and sections that are ferociously performed. Of course, this is what makes the record fucking great.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 10 September 2018 21:35 (one year ago) link

Hetfield's an absolute master of "our last album sucked, but the new one rules" interview quotes.

grawlix (unperson), Monday, 10 September 2018 21:43 (one year ago) link

Has Hetfield talked much about abandoning politics in his music? How/why did it get into the music in the first place? This and Master have so much going on, thematically, and everything after has ... nothing?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 10 September 2018 22:14 (one year ago) link

I don't think he has. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say he probably stopped writing political lyrics as his and Lars's politics got farther and farther apart. Ulrich is basically a socialist, and Hetfield is somewhere between Ron Paul and some MAGA chud. So...best to avoid intra-band conflict by writing about stuff everyone can agree on.

grawlix (unperson), Monday, 10 September 2018 22:54 (one year ago) link

Hetfield did a 180 on many of his old opinions - reading the lyrics to Ride The Lightning it's pretty clear:

Guilty as charged, but damn it, it ain't right
There's someone else controlling me
Death in the air, strapped in the electric chair
This can't be happening to me

Who made you God to say
"I'll take your life from you?"


But by 2009 (?) he claimed that RTL "was not a criticism of capital punishment, which I'm actually a supporter of. Rather, it's simply about a man who faces death in the electric chair for a crime he didn't commit".

Siegbran, Monday, 10 September 2018 23:10 (one year ago) link

lol

j., Tuesday, 11 September 2018 01:15 (one year ago) link

I wrote about the 10th anniversary of Death Magnetic for Stereogum, and talked about ...Justice a little. In there, I call it their first comeback album, since they were re-asserting themselves after Burton's death.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 16:07 (one year ago) link

I vaguely remember reading something in the past few years where Hetfield said that his political views changed while on the Justice or Black Album tours, as a result of travelling around America so much and learning how people lived outside of California or something? I'll try to dig it up.

how's life, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 16:52 (one year ago) link

I interviewed him for 30 mins in 1997, and got in a question about his about face re: politics. the black album has "Don't tread on me" which I said to him was unmistakably a pro-Gulf war sentiment. He denied this somewhat unconvincingly, but went on to say that his travels around the world made him appreciate what he understood as American values, and that his lyrics afterwards were about "what you feel inside" (paraphrasing here) and no longer the result of watching CNN with Lars and saying lets be topical. So the band's orientation initially was to be anti-authoritarian in the manner of many of the non metal bands they liked, but clearly this was posturing on his part: when he became an older guy, late 20s-mid 30s, he reverted to the quasi-Nugent views that he probly would have had were he never to have heard Crass or Anti-Nowhere League.

veronica moser, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 20:28 (one year ago) link

Also, he got rich.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 22:22 (one year ago) link

Lars is the cool one, confirmed yet again

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 22:39 (one year ago) link

But Echobrain remains ... the future.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 22:58 (one year ago) link

So the band's orientation initially was to be anti-authoritarian in the manner of many of the non metal bands they liked, but clearly this was posturing on his part: when he became an older guy, late 20s-mid 30s, he reverted to the quasi-Nugent views that he probly would have had were he never to have heard Crass or Anti-Nowhere League.

I don't think it's fair to call it "posturing." Hetfield grew up in Downey, California, an aerospace industry town, and his parents were Christian Scientists, so he rebelled against all of that pretty hard when he was growing up, as one does. But as he got older, and richer, he got more conservative, which happens to about 75% of human beings. Some of it's not even "conservatism" in the red/blue Republican-Democrat sense, it's just old-guy thinking.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 23:22 (one year ago) link

Many xxps - The lack of bass never bothered me on this album, but there are these annoying little oomph sounds in the negative space between two guitar notes that I find very irritating. It's very clear right after the intro of the title track, as soon as the drums kick in, but once you hear it, it's all over the record. Anyway, excited for the rough mixes.

ArchCarrier, Thursday, 13 September 2018 08:54 (one year ago) link

I get the impression Hetfield's lyrics on the thrash albums were written to provide an atmospheric context to the music rather than because the issues massively converned him. In a way I think his songwriting's grown more personal as it's got worse.

chap, Thursday, 13 September 2018 13:06 (one year ago) link

I could watch Kirk Hammett open boxes all day.

the result of watching CNN with Lars

I mean, this would probably make me go MAGA too.

pplains, Thursday, 13 September 2018 13:24 (one year ago) link

That may have been what I was thinking of. Thank you, veronica.

how's life, Thursday, 13 September 2018 14:45 (one year ago) link

man I doubt very much that what you read was my shit. Was for Timeout NY in 1997, which is not archived online. But he has said as much very widely.

thread has sent me to listen to Hardwired for the first time…four songs in, I got bored with the album per se and went to the Dio/Rainbow, Maiden and Deep Purple covers. Gotta say that I liked mid 90s Metallica just fine ("the Unforgiven II" is one of my favorite things they ever done) and don't think much of 00s material.

veronica moser, Thursday, 13 September 2018 15:23 (one year ago) link

The ultimate in vanity
Exploiting their supremacy
Obama's birth certificate's fake
I can't believe, I can't believe the price
He paid

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Thursday, 13 September 2018 15:26 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Your best friend is dead
You know there’s not an answer in Budweiser
What do you do?

calstars, Monday, 10 December 2018 01:39 (ten months ago) link

five months pass...

the drums on this record kick ass

american bradass (BradNelson), Saturday, 25 May 2019 21:07 (four months ago) link

Yes they do!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 25 May 2019 23:32 (four months ago) link

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the songs or the performances but the record definitely could’ve sounded better.

Siegbran, Sunday, 26 May 2019 06:51 (four months ago) link

no it couldn't!

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 28 May 2019 16:17 (four months ago) link

there's no bass tho

also drums sound kind of funny

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 28 May 2019 16:20 (four months ago) link

To ease my misgivings over the bass/other misc. issues, I like to think of AJFA as sonically one big rhythm guitar

Master of Treacle, Tuesday, 28 May 2019 17:00 (four months ago) link

i mean i like it!

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 28 May 2019 17:00 (four months ago) link

I enjoy this album very much

brimstead, Tuesday, 28 May 2019 18:35 (four months ago) link

anybody have a parametric equalizer hooked up to their stereo?

brimstead, Tuesday, 28 May 2019 18:37 (four months ago) link

four months pass...

Lars on fire

calstars, Saturday, 5 October 2019 01:46 (one week ago) link

Helluva way to deal with Jaymz's recent news

When I am afraid, I put my toast in you (Neanderthal), Saturday, 5 October 2019 01:57 (one week ago) link

Shortest Straw ftw

calstars, Saturday, 5 October 2019 03:03 (one week ago) link


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