2 January 2013

Metallica - ...And Justice For All


Back with the requests again (please keep them coming, I like being busy) and we are back in 1998 before group therapy, camera crews, no solos and when Metallica were one of the hottest properties going.  After Master of Puppets they had to bounce back from the death of their bass player Cliff Burton who's shadow is cast very long over this album.

Musically this is a long album (or seems it) at time.  Sixty five+ minutes and 9 songs long.  The shortest one is just over 5 minutes.  This was at a time when trash metal was know for it's speed, not for prog length tracks.  The title track is straying into Rush territory.  Now I will address the elephant in the room and a talking point on this album. The bass sound (or lack of) on this album. it is so low in the mix that you have to have the album at ear splitting volume to begin to hear it and even then you only just hear it.  It is there, but it is like the ghostly voice in the wind.  Actually the whole production of this album is one of the biggest versions of a band fucking up I can think of - ironically the other is by Metallica as well but I will come to that one later.

Now you maybe forgiven for thinking that I hate this album and want nothing to do with it and it's ghastly existence.  Well you would be wrong - all the song I love the most by this band are on this album. It is again one of the album that I bought just for the cover without even knowing who the band were.  Musically (but not production) the songs are brilliant, and when played live they are given a whole new life. But yet again I have to come back and point out that it is only live that these songs fly.  "One", "Harvester of Sorrow", "Dyers Eve" - actually the whole thing is let down by the production who just buries the whole thing in the ground.

Metallica obviously went on to become superstars and this album did not hurt them - in fact it made them bigger stars.  But all I see here is a missed opportunity, a chance that they could have grown into a better machine sooner and maybe might not have gone up their own egos so much on some of the albums that followed.  The dye was cast early on their ability to make bizarre albums.  This is one of the better of that bunch, but it could have been a great album.

6 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there


You can purchase from here

You can listen to it here on Spotify

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