Thursday, May 15, 2014

Metallica - ...And Justice For All (1988)

Apparently I stepped through a warp zone into an alternate dimension where this album has become one of those "misunderstood" lost classics. I noticed that a lot of people who make these sort of comments weren't even born when the album came out, so how the fuck would they know what kind of impact it had upon its arrival way back in 1988? The other kind of retarded douche that likes to act as if this album is merely passable are the 40-something and beyond aging metalhead wannabe OG's. The ones that have to pretend not to like this album because it managed to squeeze out a (GASP)... video (One, for those of you from another dimension). A staggeringly popular and tirelessly overplayed video, I might add. Did I mention "overplayed"? Oh yeah, I did! So I guess that crushes the notion that this was some sort of "lost" and mysterious record that sort of slipped through the cracks.

Back to the dorks who have to pretend not to like anything given a fair amount of radioplay lest it tarnish their precious "underground" facade... it's funny to me that now all of a sudden these rejects make it seem as if this is some sort of pussy Metallica record that they "guess" they can a throw a bone to in regards to it being the last "ok" Metallica album before the great tidal wave of gay came out from the depths to drown everything in its wake. Yes, the Black album. No, this is not a weak Metallica album by any fucking stretch of your transparent imagination. This actually may be Metallica's most furious album to date. It is certainly their darkest... for a variety of reasons.

Album opener 'Blackened' sees the band going in a slightly more technical direction before the bottom comes out, unleashing the most agonizing and punishing doom sequence the band has yet to render. James' "-tion" rap serves only to heighten the experience. I dare you not to sing along (whether or not you get every "shun" word correct) and headbang simultaneously whilst this riff is drilling a hole into your head. The next two tracks are nice, labyrinthine crushers that pave the way for 'One', '...And Justice for All's 'Fade to Black'. It's funny how many "old school" metal-head douche-balls cry foul when discussing this track for being some sort of attempt at selling out yet are all about 'Fade to Black' and 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)'. I'm not going to delve into the similarities of these three songs but please allow the concept to resonate.

Side two (yes, the track-list will always be in cassette form in my mind) is even more ferocious and anfractuous than the first, ranging from militant mud-stompers (Shortest Straw, The Frayed Ends of Sanity) to doom and gloom (Harvester of Sorrow, To Live is to Die) to this album's "straight for the jugular" closer and answer to Puppet's 'Damage Inc.', 'Dyer's Eve'. Trust me. Their is nothing even remotely limp-wristed about this album. If there is one complaint to be made it would be that I wouldn't have minded a couple of minutes shaved off of 'To Live is to Die'. The endless chugging can, admittedly, become a bit grating.Other than that, I have to say that Justice is by far my favorite McTallica album. 'Puppets' and 'Lightning' are equally as good but there is something about this album that has stayed with me throughout the years and will be there until the day I die. Sure, I understand that everyone has their own favorite album by the band and you're all entitled to your opinion, but I have to say that everytime some self-important dumb-fuck speaks of this album as being weak in any way, I just want to drop-kick the fuck into a trash compactor and watch his eyes bulge.

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