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Metallica - S & M CD (album) cover

S & M



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3.46 | 172 ratings

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5 stars Actually, this was the first CD I purchased from Metallica because a prog friend of mine told me that this album is definitely prog. He mentioned that anyone who listens to this album would change his / her perception about Metallica. As I was not familiar with the music of Metallica, I bought this double CD album based on his recommendation. He's right, this album is totally progressive symphonic in its best. I was astonished by the first two tracks and in fact I did play them many times without even continuing to the next track because I was already satisfied with these two tracks. It blew me away at first spin of the CD. In fact, I then purchased the DVD of this live concert and made me totally satisfied with how great the heavy metal music blended beautifully with symphonic orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen.

By the time I am writing this review, I got only familiar with two albums of Metallica, i.e. ".And Justice for All" and "Black" album, plus a bit of "Master of Puppets" from Dream Theater version, instead of Metallica original recording. So, you can imagine that I am really newbie in Metallica. In fact, until now I have not heard the original version of the first two tracks "The Ecstasy of Gold" and "The Call of Ktulu" which blew me away at first listen.

Symphonic Orchestra at par excellent with Yes Symphonic

Combining orchestra and rock music has not been something new for me as I first knew it through Jon Lord's Window and Deep Purple Concerto for Group and Orchestra and later there was also Yes Symphonic. If you refer to my review in Yes Symphonic, I remember that I put full five star rating. So is the case with this "S & M" by Metallica. Both albums share similar style, i.e. combining rock music with symphonic orchestra, performed live. The major difference is the fact that Yes music is by nature already symphonic while Metallica is pure metal band with no symphonic touch. So that what makes me amused to this album by Metallica because Michael Kamen has demonstrated his brilliant talent putting together what best of orchestra music with what it can synergize with the heavy side of rock music. I really admire his genius in making such great blend like this live set.

All tracks performed here are excellent, even though I am not that familiar with the original version. Metallica still can perform their music loudly while Michael Kamen works his way to find where in the musical segments that he can intervene his brilliant orchestral work and everything sounds truly great to me. I cannot find any track that is lackluster here. It's probably the original version is not good but when the orchestra arrangement is added, it sounds truly great. I really enjoy this album. If you are not familiar with the loud and heavy nature of Metallica, follow my recommebdation: you should start with "The Ecstasy of Gold" (2:31) which serves as an overture of the concert. You can find here the grandiose composition dominated by orchestral maneuver by Kamen with great live vibes. The opening part of "The Call of Ktulu" (9:34) is really catchy and it might make tears flowing down from your eyes. The combination of string arrangement and Hammet's guitar fills is truly catchy and you can not deny that this is great piece of music with soft touch. When it enters minute 1:01 the bass guitar and drums start to roll with the music and it flows beautifully augmented with really nice string arrangements. The crowd shout creates great live vibes. The music moves in crescendo and it sounds louder and heavier. It's about time you put your amplifier's volume in louder position to get full subtleties of the music. Oh my God . I am totally nggeblak! man ..!!! This is really a greaaaaaaat instrumental piece of all time! The guitar solo by Hammett and Hetfield are great. I love the guitar solo at approximately minute 4:20. It's really stunning! Kirk Hammet rules! The next track "Master of Puppets" (8:55) is also great!

Overall, this is the same standard of Yes Symphonic and I cannot afford not to give five stars rating - a masterpiece of symphonic and metal work! Keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Gatot | 5/5 |


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