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Metallica - St. Anger

Label: Elektra Records
Format: CD
Released: 2003
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Will the real Metallica please raise your hand because at this point I don’t know anymore! It is important to evolve as an artist, but with changes as drastic as heard on this release it hinders instead of benefits. Within incorporating different sounds and textures into your music, it is important to retain your sound which Metallica has lost.
First I will start off with my positive comments, which unfortunately are less than the negative. The band have returned to their more aggressive roots which were sufficiently lost on their last studio releases “Load” and “Reload”. Like “Justice“, but not nearly as good, songs are rather aggressive, filled with tempo and time changes. In spirit, they have a better delivery to the songs, though sonically and structurally they fail. Some tunes contain riffs and deliveries that hark back to their better days. Problem is, they do not maintain what once was. Also is the return of the Pushead artwork, a trademark to much of their graphics.

It is unfortunate that I have many negative comments to say about this once mighty and legendary band. First off, I can’t get past the awful drum sound which is hallow and clangy with it rarely having fullness. James does a lot of yelling instead of singing, a quality he never had to do to project the songs. Lead off single “St.Anger”, as well as other tracks are noisy and angry, but the innards are not well put together. Each track appears to be an expression of some personal form of frustration without putting it into a solid foundation. Where are the guitar solos? Why Kirk? No maniacal shredding to add to the frenzy? The guitar solos and leads have always been a memorable part of the bands sound, style., and charm.

Metallica of old wrote fast, angry music with a chorus, a quality which made them a very influential and important force. Now, everything is written just for the purpose to try and prove they are heavy again. They are trying too hard and tracks drag without a destination.

Much of this cd shows how they are influenced by “NU” Metal stylings, for shame. Metallica now sound like the rest of the noisy rock that radio and MTV “claim” to be heavy metal.
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