METALLICA

(UNITED STATES)

ST ANGER

(2003)
LABEL:

ELEKTRA ENTERTAINMENT

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
Happy, Opera-Rock, Rasping vocals
"Metallica is furious in this aptly named 'St Anger'. Despite its flaws, this is an endearing album to be savoured as an outlet for anger."
NOISE (09.08.2010)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (4)
Here was an album that sowed discord among Metallica's fans and the metal community in general. The genesis of "St Anger" is an adventure that began in April 2001, just a few months after the end of the "Reload" tour, and ended in April 2003 after a number of ups and downs. James Hetfield's alcohol and drug problems were largely responsible for Jason Newsted's departure after 14 years of loyal service, fed up with his antics and keen to start his own band, and for the long delay in making the record. "St Anger' was started in mid-2001 before Hetfield went into rehab, and was entirely re-recorded between May 2002 and April 2003, with many of the almost-finished tracks ped.

Made in a hurry, this album presents a snarling, angry and ferocious Metallica. He offers no solo, Bob Rock, who produces the record and plays bass, is not very present and Lars Ulrich's drum sound is surprising, especially his snare drum, which resonates like an empty oil drum.

But once you've got past the surprise, you discover a record that is effectively uncompromising. Hetfield gives the impression of exorcising his demons when he sings and plays a riff. The rock, pop or consensual metal aspects are swept aside in favour of a raw metal, tinged with punk and neo, aspects stemming in particular from the sound of the low-tuned guitars.

There's a bit of everything on 'St Anger'. First of all, there are the good tracks, sometimes a little too long or more difficult to assimilate, no doubt quickly composed and sometimes even seeming unfinished. The first category contains the two opening tracks, 'Frantic' and 'St Anger'. These are two of the most effective songs on the album, heavy, with deceptively calm passages, sharp riffs and very aggressive vocals. There are also two short, straight to the point tracks, 'Dirty Window', punk-inspired, simple and effective, and 'Sweet Amber', more nuanced with a very calm guitar start before an excellent riff kicks the song off.

Then there are the compositions that would have benefited from being more concise, notably 'All Within My Hands' with its final part on which James literally rips out his vocal cords, and 'Some Kind Of Monster', with its rock intro, a good, groovy track that's just handicapped by a few redundancies. Finally, there's 'Shoot Me Again', which surprises with its haunting tone and still has some good riffs, even if the last part is rather dispensable.

And then there are the tracks that are just too much, like 'Invisible Kid' and 'Purify', which have no direction and are held together only by an effective chorus, and 'My World', which is even less inspired and, despite its enormous rage, never really takes off.

Forget the clean, smooth Metallica of previous albums, this 'St Anger' is an uncompromising work that's not for everyone. Rarely has an album lived up to its name so well, but despite its flaws, it remains endearing. "St Anger" should be savoured as an outlet for rage and anger.
- Official website

Did you know?

You can follow the story of the recording of "St Anger" on the "Some Kind Of Monster" DVD.

TRACK LISTING:
01. Frantic (05:50)
02. St Anger (07:21)
03. Some Kind Of Monster (08:25)
04. Dirty Window (05:24)
05. Invisible Kid (08:30)
06. My World (05:45)
07. Shoot Me Again (07:10)
08. Sweet Amber (05:27)
09. The Unnamed Feeling (07:09)
10. Purify (05:13)
11. All Within My Hands (08:49)

LINEUP:
Bob Rock: Basse
James Hetfield: Chant / Guitares
Kirk Hammett: Guitares
Lars Ulrich: Batterie
   
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