Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 26 years ago today, Metallica released their first album without Cliff Burton, and for good reason, called it …And Justice for All.
This is Metallica’s first album without Cliff Burton, and the entirety of it shows the anger the band felt from his death. It’s also the Metallica album I hear people talk the least about. All of the songs on this album were quite ambitiously long for Metallica. There is fire, understandably, coming from this album. The riffs are some of Metallica’s most pissed off sounding since the debut. The title track has a cool duel between clean and heavy parts in the beginning that sums up the album quite well. “To Live is To Die” also has some really beautiful acoustic guitar work, and is a fine instrumental track in general, only breaking that for the poem at the end.
I think the lack of bass on the album goes without saying. In fact, it might be what the album is most famous for, more than the songs on it. I don’t know why the band decided to make the bass completely inaudible but…that’s exactly what it is. In my humble opinion, I believe a part of it might have been fear that fans wouldn’t accept Jason Newsted as a replacement for Cliff. Besides the bass, I really don’t have too many problems with the album. It sounds like a classic Metallica album, albeit maybe with just a little less creativity than the albums that came before it.
Favorite Tracks: “Blackened,” “The Shortest Straw,” “Harvester of Sorrow.”
This is a really solid Metallica album, overall. Definitely one of their best, for me. As I said above, it could have used just a bit more creativity to it, but that’s a very minor complaint. If you’re a thrash or Metallica fan, this is one you should get your hands on. There wasn’t much on it that wasn’t enjoyable, and I think this one deserves to be up there with Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning.