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Metallica - St. Anger CD (album) cover




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1.72 | 382 ratings

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1 stars Ah St. Anger, the album everyone loves to hate, and who can blame them? The band themselves even conceded it was a pile of junk, I saw them in concert in 2004 and they conceded that they would only play 3 songs off St Anger before getting into their new stuff. Why do I think it's rubbish? Well some people think to evolve as a musician or a band you always need to be doing something different, and in some cases due to some perverted course of events this leads people to do the exact opposite of what they were doing before. St Anger was the culmination of this phenomenon for Metallica. The descent started with the mediocre black album being a significant departure from their thrash roots and continued through the with poor load and even worse re-load being hard-rock releases. St Anger is almost the antithesis of their master piece Master of Puppets.

The actual music itself, it is woefully simple (and here on prog archives one takes an especially dim view of that) there is no melodic depth, it's mediocre garage rock riffery and the instrumentation is plain uninspired. Hetfield's lyrics are atrocious (Fran-tick-tick-tock, St. Anger round my neck) and his vocals are more angst ridden than angry, instead of primal anger directed at killing and violence, it's teenage angst directed at suicide and depression. And then there is the icing on the cake - the production. The production on this album is an absolute crime - crusty as hell in the worst most digital way possible. If ever there were such a thing as an album that had been both over-produced and under-produced St Anger is it. The guitars have a terrible tone and are unintelligible at the best of times but they pale in comparison with the tragedy that is the drum kit. I have made recordings in a small room with one microphone fed into an 8-track tape machine that sound positively hi-fi compared to the drums on this album, I'm absolutely adamant that the producer must have gone out of his way to make the drumkit sound terrible. That snare is the most infamous example, the first thing most good producers will do with a snare is get rid of any of that ringing sound but in this case it seems like the opposite has been done. A mic has been placed underneath the snare and the producer has set about capturing as much of the ring as possible as well as getting rid of any snap or punchiness, it's almost an inside joke.

I suggest people listen to this album so that lessons can be learned, musicians should think about everything makes St Anger bad and everything Metallica did with it - and then do the opposite.

FruMp | 1/5 |


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