Metallica
St. Anger


2.5
average

Review

by Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (92 Reviews)
January 28th, 2018 | 314 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Perspective.

St. Anger is a bad album. St. Anger has no solos. St. Anger has irritating and off-key vocals from James Hetfield. St. Anger has an horrible-sounding snare drum. But none of these points are a revelation, clearly. We’ve all heard these criticisms uttered countless times, and Metallica fans often point to it first (well, either this or Lulu) when they talk about the band losing their touch. It’s gotten to the point that other bands’ failures - such as Morbid Angel’s Illud Divinum Insanus and now Machine Head’s new album Catharsis are being considered their respective artists’ versions of St. Anger. Indeed, it has that reputation. So why am I even bringing any of this stuff up"

Because I want to focus on intent. One quote from James Hetfield really struck me: “St. Anger is just the best we can do right now.” If you’ve never checked out the background behind the album (see: Some Kind of Monster), the history behind its conception is one giant shit-show. Jason Newsted left the band, James Hetfield was going into rehab as his alcoholism reached its breaking point, the band received backlash due to a lawsuit with Napster, and the group even hired a therapist to help them with their emotional struggles. But what’s even more important is that St. Anger was intended as a return to Metallica’s garage band roots, which explains the lack of solos. In Kirk Hammett’s words: "We wanted to preserve the sound of all four of us in a room just jamming.” As butchered and broken as the final product sounds, I can’t stress how much of a passionate piece of music the whole thing is. It’s such a deliberate attempt to avoid the mainstream hard rock trappings of Load and ReLoad to capture something from their distant past, and that’s where my admiration for it truly comes from. Many of us were in a shitty garage band back in our youths, sounding like ass but thinking we were true badasses as we played covers of our favorite bands. Hell, I was in one of those shitty bands myself! I briefly sang in a short-lived rock band in my junior year of high school, belting out such classics as “Seven Nation Army” and “Beast and the Harlot.” I don’t really talk to my old bandmates anymore, but those memories are always going to be part of me no matter where I go. For better or for worse (well, certainly for worse, but still…), St. Anger gives me the same feelings.

The album has a distinct fury and aggression that seem genuine, stemming from the band’s actual struggles and frustrations in their personal lives. Metallica was a very broken band at the time, and sometimes the best way to reboot your career is to start from ground zero and rebuild your sound from there. St. Anger is ground zero, much like the band’s pre-Kill ‘Em All days were their original ground zero. This is Metallica in their purest, most unhinged form. It may be ugly, badly written, and just fucking horrible in its overall presentation, but it also holds a place in my heart because of the exact same reasons. This is an awful, messed up, glorious, phenomenal disaster.



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user ratings (5489)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2018


4300 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There haven't been enough St. Anger reviews, right?



Also, re-listening to Elephant by The White Stripes was what caused me to review this, because I was reminiscing on my youthful days singing "Seven Nation Army" in my first band ;]

DarkSideOfLucca
January 27th 2018


10967 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Best fucking album ever holy shit 10/10 what a masterpiece

Thrust!
January 27th 2018


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this album is too extreme for me

Digging: Uli Jon Roth - Transcendental Sky Guitar

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2018


4300 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, it's the best album of all time, 20/10

BeerKhan
January 27th 2018


78 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Nice review. Pos.

RippingCorpse1986
January 27th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Endorama >>>

Digging: Alterbeast - Immortal

RippingCorpse1986
January 27th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Nice review, tho. Pos'd

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2018


4300 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks guys

MayhemWithMercy
January 27th 2018


8549 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Perfect review. Pos'd. This album is underrated

Digging: Autechre - Untilted

WhoopDatTrick
January 27th 2018


89 Comments


wheres desdi when you need him

Digging: Lil' Kim - Notorious K.I.M.

RippingCorpse1986
January 27th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

This review actually made me re-jam Outcast and Endorama wtf

TheMrAlexK
January 28th 2018


9379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos'd so hard... great review

Digging: JPEGMAFIA - Veteran

neekafat
January 28th 2018


8605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is fine, good rating, will read tomorrow morn!

RippingCorpse1986
January 28th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

wheres desdi when you need him [2]

DarkSideOfLucca
January 28th 2018


10967 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

"Album is fine"



wh....what?

RippingCorpse1986
January 28th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I'd rather listen to Endorama

sugarcubes
January 28th 2018


253 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I really like this album

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


4300 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

In my opinion, ReLoad is actually worse than this and is Metallica's worst album aside from Lulu

kalkwiese
January 28th 2018


394 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I really enjoyed this review. pos!

Digging: Arcane - Chronicles of the Waking Dream

teamster
January 28th 2018


2420 Comments


Great review....for 2018. Perspective, now that the dust has settled. Wouldn't be writing this if it were 2003, know what I mean?

Digging: Gift of Blindness - Wasteland



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