Review Summary: It's no classic, but at least it ain't Reload.
Note: This was my first attempt at a review, so I'm sorry if this isn't any good.
It has been almost 10 years since the release of St.Anger, and ever since it's release it has been hated by many Metallica fans, and of course by the jackass' who continue to preach the whole "Metallica Sold Out!".
It's understandable why people dislike this album so much though. The production has a very raw sound to it, which doesn't go well in some of the songs, but would ruin other songs if it was taken away. Also Lars' snare sounds like he's constantly hitting a keg, or something similar to that. Which like the production, goes well in some songs, but in others it just doesn't. Thirdly, most of the songs, if not all the songs, are pretty damn long. Not only are they long, but they are repetitive which makes the album seem to drag on a little bit.
That being said though, there are some qualities to the album that make it seem like a decent attempt. The album remains very heavy throughout. No "Fade To Blacks" or "Nothing Else Matters" are found on the album, and for me, this works very well. It keeps the album going strong, fast, and in your face. This album has probably produced some of the heaviest Metallica riffs ever. For example, in the song "My World" the riff that comes after the pre-chorus makes me wanna go nuts. Another perfect example of this is the intro to St.Anger. Starts off with just the guitar playing the riff, then a gradual build up with the drums, then the full band play with a simple beat in the background, and then all hell breaks lose when the double bass section comes in. This is just in the first 55 seconds of the song.
Unfortunately, I have to return to some of the cons now. Like I stated earlier, the songs are very long. I think the shortest on the album is around 5 minutes. Now this wouldn't be a problem if there were a lot of different parts that made up the song, like Progressive Metal bands do, but this isn't the case. Instead the 6 or 7 minute tracks on this album just repeat the same 3 riffs over and over and over. This makes some of the songs kind of a bore to listen to at times. The song "Shoot Me Again" could have been cut down to around the 4 minute mark, as the last 2 and half minutes is just the Chorus being repeated with a short riff in-between it.
Also the lyrics on this album are pretty poor. This is shown in the song "Invisible Kid"
Never See What He Did
Got Stuck Where He Hid
Fallen Through The Grid"
When I first heard those lyrics, I have to admit, I felt almost embarrassed for Metallica. It just lacks anything of meaning and has no energy behind it. Now don't get me wrong, the lyrics to "Invisible Kid" are an improvement from the "Kill 'Em All" lyrics, but still don't cut it for me. "Shoot Me Again" is probably the only song with a decent set of lyrics to go with it.
"All the shots I take
What difference did I make?
All the shots I take
I spit back at you"
They have some form of substance/meaning to them, and the way James delivers them makes them a lot better aswell.
St. Anger has got it's fair share of flaws, but it's not all that bad. For me the heavy-ness and aggression makes up for the bad lyrics, sometimes crappy snare, and repetitive, lengthy songs. No way is this one of Metallica's greatest albums, but it sure beats the living hell out of "Load" & "Reload"
Shoot Me Again
The Unnamed Feeling
Songs To Miss