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St. Anger

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iTunes Review

St. Anger is an album of naked frustration. Longtime bassist and crucial contributor Jason Newsted left the band prior to recording it, James Hetfield entered rehab for substance abuse at the beginning of the sessions, and the personal and creative tensions among the remaining band members were only exacerbated when a camera crew was invited to document the recording process for the film Some Kind of Monster. The album took almost a year to record, and the results are overlabored, but also incredibly revealing. Even though Bob Rock’s production has a cold, detached feel, and Newsted’s absence on bass clearly leaves a void in the band dynamic, St. Anger resulted in some of Metallica’s most brutally ferocious playing, particularly on “Frantic,” “Dirty Window,” and “All Within My Hands.” As far as band cohesion goes, St. Anger is undoubtedly Metallica’s most disjointed, claustrophobic album, and fans may never forgive the infamously tinny drum sound. But while St. Anger is certainly not Metallica’s best album musically, it is their most compelling album psychologically. The title is not a misnomer: this is the sound of the most successful metal band in the world exorcising its demons.

Customer Reviews


This album is not for people who started listening to Metallica in '91. You WILL hate it when you first listen it. Guaranteed. Even I, a die hard Metallica fan, who thought Metallica could do no wrong, hated it the first time I heard it. You have to listen to the songs more than the 1:30 preview. The lyrics are so dark and personal and can relate to any struggles that you have experienced. This is the first time in a long time that Metallica has played with passion. So enjoy it. It grows on you.

I don't get it.

Why does everyone hate this album?
Sure it's not the black album, ride the lightning, or my personal favorite, master of puppets. But it's still a great album in it's own right. Also, why has iTunes taken down all the old reviews?

Some Kind of Monster

Yes, this album is not for people who want their favorite bands to put out the same formulaic stuff every album.

Instead, this album is an experiment. The idea is supposed to be as follows: Assume a garage band got together to jam. Raw, unfiltered, without all the bells and whistles of high end production. Now suppose that band is Metallica. That is the stated idea of this album.

What actually happened is Metallica basically experimented with a sort of Nu Metal sound, which resulted in some of the rawest sounding music they've ever performed. I mean, c'mon, you really think Metallica is NOT going to use high end production?

Anyhow, I would describe the album this way: anger and aggression unleashed in a full-on assault of the senses. The music is wonderful, and if you have patience, actually rather catchy. The lyrics are some of the more personal lyrics this band has provided, and it is an emotional onslaught.

The one negative, which can be distracting at first, second, even third listen, is that horrible snare drum. However, once you've given this album several listens, it becomes less distracting, and lends itself to the overall "rawness" of the album.

Here's a tip: watch the film Some Kind of Monster, then pop this album in. Knowing the back story will help it "click" that much more.

I don't regret buying this album. With a little bit of patience, neither will you.


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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