Tickets There Likes: Metallica – …And Justice for All

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Ya know Metallica get a very bad rap these days. It’s as plain as day that they haven’t done themselves many favors over the last few years but people seem to be forgetting they have a stronger back catalogue than most metal acts out there. Very few thrash/heavy or hard rock bands can boast so many highly regarded albums as Metallica and they’re highly impressive and widely diverse selections of song writing make them the bonafide legends they are. Forget the St. Anger disaster and forget the Napster issue and the Some Kind of a Monster fiasco. These are long over with and the Bay Area Thrashers have returned to what they do best.

I remember first hearing Metallica in the early nineties and not being hugely amazed. Then again I was a Def Lepp / GNR kid and the styles didn’t really crossover in my eyes. It was until the late nineties that one of the lads from school started pushing me to listen to them. I remember seeing a picture of Kirk Hammett. wearing Calvin Klein undero’s and thinking ‘wow, how metal is that…puke!’. It looked like Metallica had totally sold out and this didn’t give me any inspiration to check out their stuff. Now I know there’s nothing worse in this world that an uppity metal fan. Every time you talk to one of those Bruxelles chaps they’d nearly put you off the genre entirely. They’re so up their own holes it’s almost sad and they sit there and argue on and on about mundane, unimportant crap about bands who make a living dressing up in makeup and screaming about death. Not sure if you noticed folks, but it’s meant to be a bit of fun, not f**king politics ya tossers. Anyway, enough ranting about those Metalireland.com chaps, they have to pass their sad existence somehow.

So eventually I took a copy of Master of Puppets from yer man and after a few days adjusting I came to love that album and like most of the TT Likes articles, listened to it repeatedly for many, many weeks. Ride the Lightening, Metallica (The Black Album) and Kill Em All only spurred on my excitement for the bands material and overnight, became staunch classics in my books. However it wasn’t until the mighty …And Justice for All came into my possession that I found their best work. I’d been put of getting this one by many people who wouldn’t shut up about the Bass being low and the quality generally lacking compared to the other early albums. I strongly disagree folks, and I think I’m in the majority.

Opening up with the mighty Blackened, Justice is an hour’s worth of melodic / blistering riffage, doomsday lyrics and drums all backed by Hetfields more matured, powerful vocals.  I don’t care how elitist you are, there’s no denying Metallica did it better than anyone else at the top of their game. Tracks like Eye of the Beholder, The Shortest Straw, The Frayed Ends of Sanity and Dyers Eye give the album it’s unyielding power  while better know classics like the title track, One and Harvester of Sorrow give the whole record it’s unstoppable force that band have failed to recreate since, despite a pretty good effort on Death Magnetic. Justice for All’s sound is so dark and inaccessible compared to all of their other work before and after and the band can be seen to vent their frustrations, pain and anger over Cliff Burtons death. It’s true the bass isn’t exactly the stand out instrument here and this is very obviously an attempt to avoid having to admit Cliff had to be replaced. As a final tribute to their friend, Justice has a nine minute instrumental entitled To Live is to Die which the band composed using riffs written by Burton before his death.

Whatever people say about Metallica now is irrelevant. Bunch of stuck up, metal pussy’s who’ve forgotten the whole genre is about taking it easy, have a few beers and a laugh. Not procrastinating and philosophizing about who’s more metal than thou! And let’s all be honest, metal fans are mostly made up of…..should I say it?, maybe not…but you know damn well the kind of people that I mean and don’t deny it! Why the hell these folks feel the need to close turn Metal into a Pink Floyd convention is beyond me. Relax folks!

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