… And Justice For All
Metallica – “… And Justice For All”
Tales of rage and war await you in your nearest music store. Before Metallica rocked MTV with their over-played hit “Enter Sandman,” they introduced their new bass player Jason Newsted, originally from Flotsam And Jetsam, with the blistering classic album “… And Justice For All.”
The album explodes with the haunting, apocalyptic melodies of “Blackened,” which gives a different environmental view with powerful lyrics like “Blackened is the end/Winter it will send/Throwing all you see/Into obscurity … Termination, expiration, cancellation-human race … See our mother/Put to death/See our mother die.” Following are some more optimistic little ditties: ” … And Justice For All” about our deteriorating court system, “Eye of The Beholder” about how censors enjoy twisting words against you (“Freedom of choice is made for you my friend/ Freedom of speech is words that they will bend/Freedom no longer frees you”), and “One” which is a tribute to the classic anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun, about a war casualty being kept alive by a life-support machine.
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Some of the other songs’ meanings have evaded me slightly. “The Shortest Straw” is a little too repetitive for my liking. “Harvester Of Sorrow” and “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” contain classic Metallica topics: death and insanity respectively. Following “Frayed Ends” is an instrumental tribute to their late bass player Cliff Burton, who was killed in a bus crash in Europe in 1986. It is called “To Live is to Die,” which contains their last “Burton-esque” bass solo. The last song on the album is a hateful song called “Dyer’s Eve” about child abuse. “Dyer’s Eve” surpasses the power of “Blackened” with words such as “Dear Mother, Dear Father /You clipped my wings before I learned to fly/Unspoiled, unspoken/I’ve outgrown that f**king lullaby … Innocence torn from me without your shelter,” and blisteringly fast riffs.
Unlike their self-titled release, “… And Justice For All” is not for the meek or the mild- mannered. For those who like their metal hard and fast, but with enough talent and intelligence to balance the noise, this album is for you. There are no songs like “Enter Sandman” on this, so for those who were introduced to Metallica’s lighter material, consider yourself warned. This album is harsh, violent, and brutal, but then again, so is life. .
Review by K. L., Old Orchard Beach, ME