Review Summary: KLONK KLONK Here's St. Anger!3 of 7 thought this review was well written
In 2003 Metallica came back from extinction, with a new album called Saint Anger. This little baby managed to get in the number one positions of music tops and sold out very quickly, not because it was St. Anger, but it was the first Metallica album in 6 years after ReLoad.
Now, this album is constantly panned by fans: "wow worst Metallica album"; "No solos BOOOO"; "The drums are trash cans!"and they have really a point, this is, if they are truly Metallica fans that follow the band since their beginning, and better of if they lived the 80's with them or near that time. Now, back them, i wasn't alive, so i got into Metallica later, thats probably why i don't exactly hate the album, but i don't think its a masterpiece.
Back in 2003 New Metal was king, the kids didn't talk about other thing, it was the simple "in your face" powerful songs that they loved. Metallica, with 'acclaimed' producer Bob Rock decided it was a good idea to absorb all this new metal energy wave and go with it. (its what it seems)
St. Anger for many is a terrible album, for me and others its an OK album, and for idiots its a masterpiece and the best work by Metallica.
This album is really heavy, aggressive, but not that good. Most of the complains about this CD is that there are no solos. Were solos needed in this album? Well, yes, a Metallica album with no solos isn't a true 'Tallica album despite Kirk playing the same scales over and over again in the other ones. In the documentary they said that solos didn't fit in this one. Well, thats some bullcrap. Some solos would make this album more decent and interesting.
Another complain were the drums. Lars Ulrich decided to use trash cans on this one, and god, did he made a mistake, i mean, how its even possible to mistake a trash can for a drum kit? Well since Lars is a midget he couldn't tell. Also, to him this was the most awesome sound he had ever heard, and when he says it, the other elements cant do nothing about it, same thing goes for the 20 types of different haircuts he shows on the documentary.
The thing is, the drums arent that bad in some songs like "St. Anger", "Dirty Window" and "Frantic", but he rest is awful, specially in "Some Kind of Monster", where its almost impossible to tell if he is using a trash can or a frying pan.
Many also blame Bob Rock for this album. Well, Bob did advice Metallica to do this awesome album, being there all the time to give them his precious advices, and they did it. He produced St. Anger with them, but doesn't look like it, because the production value is low. It seems the guitars were recorded via a mono speaker or inside a bathroom. They intended to be just like this, but it just doesn't work. Bob also played and recorded bass for this album. He did? I couldn't notice it, either because is not audible or its just because it is Bob Rock playing it.
While St. Anger is indeed heavy, the songs are way too long and repeat themselves all over the record. When you think it is going to end... it just repeats again. "St. Anger" is an exemple of this: James keeps saying the same lyrics "Saint Anger 'round my neck, he never gets respect"; "I'm madly in anger with you" and "flush it wot flush it wot"(still don't know in this part if its James, Kirk, or a Pirate) over 7 minutes, while the guitars keep repeating the same riff. "Shoot me Again" is also annoying, but at the end, imagine! Totally different lyrics and song structure in this song! Wow finally!
"Invisible Kid" is the same, more repetitions, and probably the worst song in the album, along with "Purify".
In "Some Kind of Monster", the song is just too long to listen till the end. The EDIT version is way better, reduces the pain to only 4 minutes and adds decent drums! Now this is how ALL of the album should had sounded like.
James singing isn't that great also. He goes off-key sometimes, being "Invisible Kid", "Purify" and "My World" just ear rape. He does a decent job however in other songs. Lyrics are also pretty average in this album, well, they made Kirk write too so... "My lifestyle determines my death style"; "shoot me again i ain't dead yet UH UH" or "invisible kid suspicious of your touch"..ouch, thats not good.. not forgetting "i'm madly in anger with you". "Some Kind of Monster" and "The Unnamed Feeling" lyrics are decent though, because they show what the band is coming through.
The album ends with "All within my hands" that is an ok track. James goes off-key several times here and there, and the "kill kill kill" part is just hilarious. To take that part more seriously, Hetfield should had keep the pace of the first two times he says it, because the rest seems like he is having some sort of attack and cant keep up with the rest of the music. But again, to Bob Rock, this was a beauty and a masterpiece, so he let it on the album!
In the end, St. Anger was not a good change for Metallica. Some solos, real drums and short songs could had helped here, but they went in the opposite direction. Still, i think its better them Load and Reload, but worst them the other albums.