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St. Anger

Hard Rock & Metal album by Metallica

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Good to have them back!!

  • Jun 16, 2003
I'm amazed at the many unhappy reviews here. To me, this is some of Metallica's BEST work. It isn't as commercial as the stuff on Load and Reload, which is both good and bad. However, it isn't as grindingly monotonous as some of their older material. It has a sound that nicely melds their gut churning, hard sound with some of the melodic flavorings that groups like System of a Down feature. I wouldn't suggest they are "stealing" those influences, but they have certainly been influenced. However, they make these influences their own because of the power of their own musicianship. Has their ever been a voice better suited to this brand of hard-rock than James Hetfield's? Has there ever been a drummer like Lars Ulrich? These guys are too talented (or at least too experienced) to simply copy-cat.

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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review by . July 01, 2003
This album is seemingly technically deficient on nearly all levels. The musicianship is almost simplistically nasty: no epic riffs or catchy guitar harmonies. The train-wreck drum engineering is aggressively annoying to nearly everybody, and Lars drumming itself is simple-as-usual. The overall sound quality sounds far below the standard of a band with great resources to lavish their recordings.And yet that is exactly how _St. Anger_ has to be. This album is pure and heavy and the band is completely …
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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Never underestimate the regenerative powers of Metallica. Following the stripped-downLoadandRe-Load, they've returned to the raw, vitriolic savagery of their earlier canon, using 1984'sRide the Lightningas a template forSt. Anger. The title track provides the psychic lynchpin of the album by combining the bombast and defiance of the band's earliest high-water marks with more deliberate lyrics and emotional nakedness. Equally cathartic is "Some Kind of Monster," a lumbering beast of a song that declares, "This is the voice of silence no more." Despite that claim, there's an economy to these lyrics; James Hetfield's raw-toothed growl only occasionally punctuates the menacing soundscapes. In fact, "Dirty Windows," the standout track here, is a shimmering five-minute instrumental that's free of the baroque trappings that sometimes clutter the Metallica landscape.--Jaan Uhelszki
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Label: Elektra, Wea
Artist: Metallica
Release Date: June 5, 2003

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