Lyrically, this is one of their tightest albums. It is thematically very tight, and St. Anger is a very appropriate title. Much of the anger is turned inward (even when Hetfield talks of expressing it towards others, we really feel most of the loathing is reserved for himself). One assumes much of this is inspired by his recent substance abuse difficulties, along with much of the problems with the band. It's not "easy" music to warm up to, but several songs have a soaring, beautiful quality (while still rocking you in the gut) that we haven't heard much from Metallica before. "St. Anger," "Frantic," "Invisible Kid," "Dirty Window" and many others are just terrific.
I don't give the album five stars because sometimes the band sounds a bit lazy. The songs are all pretty long, and sometimes they're just long because the band plays the same few bars over and over and over. That's the exception to the rule, but that's where I give up a star. That and the awful album art!
By the way, the parental warning is really for a few "f" words, thrown out casually here and there. Naturally, the "f" word is not for kids, but the lyrics are tamer than a LOT of the stuff that's out there.
The included DVD is far from essential viewing, but it's a nice bonus, and gives you a chance to see the new lineup in action. It's just them in the studio playing the album, one song after another, and I can't imagine anyone actually sitting down and watching the whole thing from beginning to end...but what the heck, it's more or less a freebie anyway!
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