ON August 25, the fourth studio album of Metallica marked another anniversary of its first release in 1988.
Thirty years since, the 18-time Grammy Award nominees still continue to be a symbol forever sculpted on the “Mt. Rushmore of heavy metal.”
In the band’s three-decade-long career, a fan could celebrate an album every month with little complaint, but …and Justice for All is an album that churns out more than years of greatness. The one that pushed the metal icons to further innovate the genre also served as a big, red scar in the band’s history.
It was there and then that Metallica had made songs and coordinated minus their long-time bassist Cliff Burton. The unexpected death of their band mate had forced the remaining members to continue with their careers with little time for mourning, then vented out most of their frustrations with the bassists’ replacement Jason Newsted.
It was frontman James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich who took over the creative process of this album as the new bassist couldn’t adjust fast enough to the band’s artistic style. Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, who contributed five songs on the album, had also began to doubt the new band mate as the newbie composed the opening riff of the song Blackened. But soon after, his ideas proved to be of little worth to the band’s thrash metal innovation.
The result: the bassist often had to practice isolated from the rest of the band using recordings, as he was not used to having more than 18 parts in a song.
Despite their losses and disputes, the American metal band earned their first career Grammy nomination with …and Justice for All, and won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the song One.