"All Within My Hands" is about bassist Jason Newsted
's 2001 departure from Metallica. Newsted told the band he wanted them all to take a year off so they could all work on solo projects. He wanted time to develop a metal band named Echobrain. The other members voted against his proposal, so Newsted quit.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield was the primary source of resistance to Newsted's proposal. He thought he was only looking out for the best interests of Metallica, but as time passed he came to see himself as overly controlling and authoritarian
"All Within My Hands" deals with Hetfield's feelings towards himself in forcing Newsted out.
Newsted always maintained that he was happy with his decision and had no regrets. Hetfield has stated that Metallica did lose something essential when they lost Newsted and that he thinks some of their music would have been better with their old bassist onboard.