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S&M (Live)

Metallica

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Album Review

After 1988's ...And Justice for All, Metallica pared down its progressive, heavy metal sound. During the '90s, the band's studio releases grew slicker and more produced, resulting in mostly radio-friendly, good ol' boy metal. By the end of the decade, Metallica was established as the pioneer of modern metal, but the band hadn't done anything innovative, arguably, in ten years. In April 1999, the group performed two concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, and the result was S&M, a two-disc collection of the concerts. Overall, the album successfully pairs violin strings with guitar strings, but it's no surprise that the best tracks here are the older songs; their multi-layered, compositional style works well with symphonic arrangements. "Master of Puppets," "Call of the Ktulu," "One," and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" sound richer and fuller with violin, trumpet, clarinet, harp, trombone, and flute accompaniments, but "Sad but True," "Devil's Dance," and especially "Of Wolf and Man" range from haphazard and melodramatic to uninspired. S&M definitely has its moments, and not just with the pre-Black Album material: "Fuel" surpasses the furious pumping energy of the studio version, "Hero of the Day" stays poignant throughout, and "Until It Sleeps" has a wonderfully sinister feel. James Hetfield maintains his madman persona from beginning to end, laughing maniacally and grunting and growling at all the right moments. Overall, the symphony adds a macabre, ghoulish atmosphere — it all sounds like a Broadway freak show or a revved-up Danny Elfman nightmare. Which is exactly what a Metallica album should sound like, even if every song isn't the best (or most appropriate) in the band's catalog.

Customer Reviews

A resounding "meh"

As I said above this is a very "meh" album. Don't get me wrong-I think classical and metal would go great together, but the arrangements clash on this album a lot-especially on One and the new tracks. There are some incredible moments on the album-The Thing That Should Not Be and The Call of K'tulu-but it needs less filler and more track-centered string arrangements.

you must b jokin 3 stars ha

im sorry mate but gonna have to stop you there this album (best enjoyed on the dvd doe will say tat much) is class not many metal bands in the world could pull this off and especially as good as the lads did so i say fare play to em u try play or find another band tat can play "One" with a world class orcestra meshen the two kinds of music and preforming live...... didnt think so 5 Stars all the way never mind this plonk.

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Metallica were easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s and '90s. Responsible for bringing the genre back to Earth, the bandmates looked and talked like they were from the street, shunning the usual rock star games of metal musicians during the mid-'80s pop-metal renaissance. Metallica also expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions. The release of 1983's Kill 'Em All marked the beginning...
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