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Old 06-07-2003, 04:51 PM   #1
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Metallica - St. Anger

So Metallica decided to release St. Anger early, apparently to beat the bootleggers and let everyone get a real copy early. My brother picked it up yesterday, and we listened to some of it, and I later listened to at least a good portion of each song, and our opinions can be summed up like this:

Can we say "no guitar solos and drums that sound like they were recorded in a tin can?" I thought we could. I'm very disappointed in this album. This is not Metallica. This is Metallidesperatelytryingtofindanewsoundtowinbackoldfans. None of the songs are really all that memorable, there are no killer riffs to remember, no epic song structures, and frankly, none of these songs moved me enough to actually want to listen to one the whole way through. The songs are frenzied and fast alright, but they're all a bit too much the same. Sure, some might call it a return to their thrashing roots, but to me it sounds like a bunch of old guys trying to recapture something they don't have anymore - youth.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:06 PM   #2
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I have to agree with you, what a shitty album. They should just call it a day. Newsted leaving was the first sign. But now this band wagonesque/psuedo punk is crap. AND it sounds nothing like their older stuff as proclaimed by some people.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:19 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's the thing that bugged me, too. Even their early stuff had great structure and lots of melodic moments (guitar solos, instrumentals, etc). This is just pseudo nu-metal/punk stuff, with James sing/screaming the same way in every damn song.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:21 PM   #4
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I go back and forth with it as to how I feel about it. Some of the music is ok but some of the vocals on a few of the songs are weird. I also think that the song writing itself was cut short. Some of the songs I feel like James is just screaming the same word over and over for a filler.

I honestly don't think it's horrible. I think it's better than Load and Reload. Unfortunately my sister took some CD's of mine when she moved, thinking they were hers, and now she can't find those two otherwise I'd listen to them to back up that statement. I just don't think this is the worst they've ever done. It's just not the best.

I've listened to the whole CD several times and one listen I like it and the next I don't.

The way I'm looking at this is now that they have a new album out that means they will tour (are they on tour now? My friend thought they were) anyways I've only seen Metallica live once and I'd love to see them live again, regardless of what I think of their music over the past ten years, so I just see this new ablum as a way for me to see Metallica live again.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:28 PM   #5
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I just looked at my posts from the other day in the other Metallica thread.....wow. First impression was I really liked it and then today I'm not so sure. Well I guess I wrote that after I only listened to it once. I've listened to it several times and I'm just not sure how I really feel about it. Oh well.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:29 PM   #6
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obviously, its metallica.
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Old 06-08-2003, 04:08 AM   #7
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Go figure, I think it's fantastic.

Far better than anything else they've put out in the last decade.
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Old 06-08-2003, 04:30 AM   #8
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Hmmm...to each his own, I guess. I found this review of it, and I think it's totally spot on.

(http://www.pitch.com/issues/2003-06-...l/1/index.html)

Grumpy Old Men
Metallica punishes patient fans with a brutal, bile-spewing comeback disc.

Metallica needs an image overhaul the way frontman James Hetfield needed to dry out. It's been almost six years since the band released an album of original studio material, and in the interim, Metallica has dropped dud after dud. Since 1997's lukewarm Reload, there's been a lame, Moody Bluesesque symphonic live album; a two-CD set of covers, with every one recorded after 1989 a disappointment; and the public, self-imposed demolition of a hard-won reputation for integrity and fan-friendliness. Metallica has been a corporation for a long time, but lately that's all you can see when you look at it.

St. Anger aims to be Metallica's rebirth, the reclaiming of its throne. The group's members enthusiastically report that this record is the hardest, heaviest thing they've ever done. That it's going to kick everyone's ass and regain all the cred the band has spent a decade or so throwing away. That it's the new Ride the Lightning. They really said that. No, really.

St. Anger is definitely the noisiest, ugliest record Metallica has ever made. It scrapes and slams and crunches and screeches. Lars Ulrich's drums crash like empty barrels whacked with steel rods. James Hetfield's guitar chops the air with the fury of a prizefighter. (Kirk Hammett's guitar, by contrast, is apparently sitting in Jason Newsted's garage -- there's not one solo anywhere on this album.) The vocals are sometimes distorted, Ministry-style; other times, though, Hetfield's voice cracks as he strains for long-lost notes.

The mix is punishing. Too often, the guitars and drums blend into a wall of raw noise. Sitting and listening to this record (under the gimlet eye of a surly, paranoid publicist -- Ulrich's hatred of the Internet forbade mailing advance copies to critics) isn't cathartic the way the old albums were. It's painful. Eventually, you start wanting to escape, to run from the noise and let a different room's empty, silent air caress your eardrums.

And make no mistake, St. Anger is big: 11 songs, 75 minutes. Many tracks approach the nine-minute mark, bloated with extra choruses, false endings and tacked-on final sprints. There are false beginnings, too -- the fourth track, "Dirty Window," opens with a huge, doomy riff, but it's abandoned almost immediately in favor of the one that actually anchors the song. Four minutes in, another riff is announced. And don't forget the pre-chorus, all soft percussion and crooned vocals. The whole hideous mess is patched together with the Pro Tools equivalent of staples and Scotch tape.

But let's start at the beginning. "Frantic," the album opener the band previewed on its MTV Icon special, encapsulates everything wrong with its new music. Announcing itself with a hard, slashing guitar tantrum, it suddenly stops, leaving behind a six-note bass figure that repeats twice. Every time the song roars to life, the bass figure crashes it again. The trouble is, the riff is a good one. It's loud and mean, and it makes your heart jump in your chest -- but the bass part is flaccid. It's not a crescendo or even a fanfare; it's just six notes that sit there while the band rests up for the next fast part. It drains away all the momentum.

The best song is "Sweet Amber." A swampy slide guitar introduces the hardest thrash riff on the disc. Four minutes in, it gets "Battery" fast, but the vocal is sung at half-speed. It's a great juxtaposition. And unlike the rest of the disc, the lyrics aren't embarrassing.

For the most part, St. Anger is a solipsistic wallow in James Hetfield's pain. The songs are full of self-pitying therapy clichés -- My lifestyle determines my deathstyle and, from the title track, I don't want my anger to be me. What's he talking about? Hetfield's anger was half of what made Metallica great. These new songs make Henry Rollins seem profound by comparison.

The old Metallica was as fast and as riff-happy as Exodus, Anthrax and Slayer, but its sound was clean, gleaming like razor wire. St. Anger is coated in all the digitally simulated grime millions of dollars can buy -- the trash-can drums and tinfoil cymbals are the worst of it. Nothing here sounds like it came through an amp. All the fine-tuning that once kept the Metallica machine street-legal is gone, replaced with stolen Helmet riffs and lyrics that sound cowritten with Hetfield's AA sponsor.

St. Anger introduces the fourth version of Metallica. There was the Metallica that took thrash metal aboveground, from Kill 'Em All through ... And Justice For All; the Metallica that got arena- and radio-friendly for the Black Album; the Metallica that embraced boogie-rock and Marianne Faithful on Load and Reload; and now, here's this Lazarus Metallica, which wants to be hard and heavy again, like in the old days. But that was a long time ago -- and its members were pretty drunk. Metal's gotten faster, harder and grittier in its absence, and the new, middle-aged Metallica can't compete.

Deep down, they probably know it. On MTV, the only group member worth watching was new bassist Robert Trujillo. Of course he's excited. To him, it's all new music. To his three bandmates, though, being Metallica might be starting to feel like more trouble than it's worth. That's how St. Anger sounds: resigned and more than a little self-doubting. They're dressing up in old, ill-fitting clothes and hoping metal fans won't be able to tell the difference. We can.
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Old 06-08-2003, 04:35 AM   #9
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Metallica trying to be punk thrash metal? I never liked them at the best of times but this sounds like a musical atrocity...
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Old 06-08-2003, 04:40 AM   #10
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Rolling Stone gave the album 4 stars.
Spin gave the album an A-
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:08 AM   #11
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That's the interesting thing about this album. All the big corporate reviews I've read are positive. The vast majority of independent and personal reviews I've read are negative.
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Old 06-08-2003, 12:39 PM   #12
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Rolling Stone and Spin gave lots of shitty album good reviews...it doesn't mean anything

edit: RS gace S Club 7 a 4 star review too. But that isn't conclusive proof it rawks
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diemen


These new songs make Henry Rollins seem profound by comparison.
That is a kick in the ass.
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Old 06-08-2003, 02:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
Rolling Stone and Spin gave lots of shitty album good reviews...it doesn't mean anything

edit: RS gace S Club 7 a 4 star review too. But that isn't conclusive proof it rawks
Users in this forum give lots of crappy reviews too. So personal preference isnt exactly proof that something 'sucks' either. In my opinion, this forum is filled daily with people going on and on about absolutely HORRIBLE alternative and indie soft rock and easy listening groups. But I know that that doesnt mean that those users have 'bad' tastes, just different tastes than I personally do.

I can understand that some of you dont like it, I'm just trying to make the point that some people do like it. Personal preference is a funny thing that way, it can go both ways.
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:50 PM   #15
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I totally agree!!

I was just getting a little irritated with your constant reference to spin and RS....like they're the holy grail of proof

you like this album because it is up your ally....you shouldn't feel any need to back it up with high rolling magazine reviews.

I appreciate some metallica songs, as I said before. The sort of unforgiven II type songs where it's not always that same generic heavy metal stuff.
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