04/07/2003
01. Frantic
02. St. Anger
03. Some Kind of Monster
04. Dirty Window
05. Invisible Kid
06. My World
07. Shoot Me Again
08. Sweet Amber
09. The Unnamed Feeling
10. Purify
11. All Within My Hands
 

James Hetfield - vocals, guitar 

Kirk Hammett - guitar

Lars Ulrich - drums

 

(Bob Rock - bass)






METALLICA: "St. Anger"               www.metallica.com       Elektra        www.st-anger.de 
"
Death Magnetic

 

  

Review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo______


The killer instinct. 


Ehi here we have to do with Metallica! eh yes how perspicacious, you will say in chorus! Please yes,  Metallica:  the giants of the 80's , those who took out of their oven masterpieces called Kill'em all, Ride the Lightning, Masters of Puppets, ..and Justice for all and then Metallica the Black album.  Ahh how excellent those records! do you remember them? Metallica have been the flag of Metal till 1991 at least, through them the Metal was known and appreciated among the masses, Hetfield and Co. have carried out a real revolution which  brought the heavy song to the top of the interest of even  the most inane  media of this world. Battalions of fans proclaimed in that golden era their faithfulness to the cause, Thrash was triumphing everywhere. And me? I was one of those who have always liked those Metallica classics at the point that my sons have become real fans of them. Much before the existence of gryphonmetal i had the pleasure to attend a catholic mass where "Nothing else matters" was played.  Let's state it clearly: the pleasure was not the mass,  but that song proposed in a church , a small and ancient one, in the mountains, in Italy. It sounded simply amazing! yes so great and known were Metallica!  Then... we all know: the stupid  fight against Guns' n Roses, Megadeth   and Iron Maiden for the  absolute monopoly; the damned decline of ideas and aggressivity of the following albums beginning from Load; the good planned, but bad executed experimentation of S&M; and, worse than  everything, even worse than  the haircut, the compromises with the success: success, success, success, money, disease, rehab, a bass player (a certain Jason Newsted? mah)  lost on the way, anathemas and curses against napster and other similar cakes made the myth collapse and with it the Metal colours.... but Rock and Metal survived the sinister accident: slowly but with fresh heart, Metal went up the steep slope of the mountain, left as orphan  of such flagship, and you can tell what you want.

And now AD 2003 what does it happen? Metallica are finally back and in the full meaning of the word! and with what are they back?  with a "best of" ? no, they are back  with a brand new album. Not easy this step, it could have meant the success again or the definitive death. Practically  we speak about two different events that can only coincide and they coincide so much in the emotional mind of media and fans that usually who celebrates the one celebrates the other too and vice-versa. The so much discussed Metallica come- back has nothing to do with the intrinsic quality of the album indeed but St. Anger is what supports this rebirth  and it defends the event rather good.  In my opinion it's a really positive thing that Metallica have joined the fight  with a hard, heavy,  straight- to- the- point ,  raugh, raw,  super energetic, unconventional,  not commercial  album: Metal is in again! Hetfield and Ulrich woke up! Kirk Hammett (the best spirit of the band imo) is in fantastic form ! in the live performances the  brilliant Trujillo makes  Newsted sound like a pale and weak soul, though Cliff Burton cannot be invented again. My sons are happy that an icon that seemed passed for ever, good only to be regretted,  is live again  and with new sounds. From one day to another, like touched by the magic wand,  the new generations seem to have  proclaimed the hip hop bible like gone for good and embraced the old-new faith! I can see all this as highly positive ..and you can tell what you want.

Yes ok but St Anger is really that good, that Ark of the Covenant, that musical miracle? It's a matter of taste for sure, but there are also some characteristics  that can be  seen as universal. In my opinion: no,  St Anger is not that masterpiece, but in the same way it's not that shit . Attention , the first impression you receive  or , very probably, you have already had is to remain astonished wondering" what's that?"  So beware ! Listen and listen and listen to this CD before shooting a judgement, cause what  at a first contact you find shit it can turn into  one of the songs you will always take with you! St. Anger  is a damned hard  metal , extremely raw, exteremely "broken" extremely immediate, extremely thrashy, crunchy with nu-metal and punky influences too. It's true: unfortunately a couple of songs are the personified crap,  boring and/or mediocre (indeed, as many times mentioned in my reviews, some bands must be afflicted by the virus of the "bollox tracklist" ) but  in St. Anger there are some songs that are the killers, the hammer, with a certain hardcore depth,  really cool, vibrating, pushing, with the winning structure, though there are no solos. We are far from Nothing else matters, we are far from One, from Creeping Death, from Sanitarium, from Fade to Black, but certain tracks in St Anger show that fantastic spirit la Seek and Destroy, la  The shortest Straw,  that must  be recognized , appreciated and supported. With the introduction of that playing broken, of that making  the strings vibrate, roar and jump with a particular percussion that can run the risk  of becoming a leading future trend.

 

And here we go with the scan of the tracks,  telling at once that i find  St. Anger, Shoot me again, Sweet Amber, The unnamed Feeling and All within my Hands brilliant , and you can tell what you want

 

Frantic - definately utter crap, one of the most useless songs i have ever heard, assigned to the  oily skip
St Anger - rather good, it sounds more persuading everytime you listen to it, cool the refrain, new but interesting the mix of nu-metal and punk in the faster part. It should have been the opener tout court.
Some Kind of Monster - not bad, very rhythmed , it has power and something of the old good spirit with  lively dry drums. Heavy guitars and Hetfield's voice that tries to give its best.
Dirty Window - ultracrap and stop: eternal skip
Invisible Kid - it seemed so crap to me but at the end of story it is better than it can appear; it has something  catchy and enthralling in its roughness, but it breaks many  promises,  maybe cause it is so  repetitive.  Some very good  guitar chords, even not predictable, are a bit frustrated in the general frame: moreover the slow "bridge" is unfortunately mega bollox.
My World - it works in the opposite way than  other songs do: the more i listen to it, the more i dislike it. Rather boring, easy and empty.
Shoot me again - really good, this is another valuable song that gathers points in your preference the more you listen to it. The intro showcases guitars that are crunchy and broken  , then we go on with oppressive heaviness in full old Metallica style but with new distortions and stop -starts . Melody is mixed with heavy structures and relentless escapades. Indeed the melodic and dry refrain is launched  by a progressively faster escalation.  Double bass hits and terminator killer instinct typical Metallica. Mythical and full of effect the bridge and the last part of the song. Impressive the angry vocals too. 
Sweet Amber - very good! Ohh yes!!  a brilliant scheme full of feelings in its genre, speed and slow. Pushing and vibrating guitars at the borderline among melody, doom , death, thrash, a bit of punk and nu metal. One of the best and varied track of the album. Merciless with this  unique broken sound that will be imitated for years as already said.  
Unnamed Feeling - a slow , heavy intro and a catchy and vibrating body where the loops don't appear boring like in other tracks . Much passion inside, and the right chords for a touch of melodic tenderness sorrounded by iron fists.
Purify -  maximum crappus
All within my Hands -  super ! imo this is the best together with Sweet Amber. Intro with fast thrash and heavy attack that fades into deep atmospheric sounds supported by angry riffs. A very emotional song that triggers interest and a good dose of involvement



In conclusion i give 8 points out of 10 to  St Anger, cause its good sides are so brilliant , if compared with the "defects" (by the way , the cover art sucks). And the work of Hammet and of the bass however is so praiseworthy. The broken raw and dry sound is a phenomenal thing. and now a message to  all who say "boh ohh it seems that Metallica don't know any longer how to play" : well you have understood really nothing of this new concept, tell what you want.  Holy St. Anger  lets  them enter my personal paradise though we are still far from a 10 out of 10 and from the ever- green masterpieces of  the old times gone. I think indeed that the real question is more  another one: it must not be how much cool or shit St Anger can appear:  the real subtle question is: what's with  Metallica now? among the good Jesus ' parables  the one i hate the most is that of the prodigal son... Metallica magnetize the attention focusing it around Metal: it  is a super thing out of discussion, but should they really captain and rule again the scene? Should they be allowed to hold tight that flag they let fall? And all those groups that slogged away and gritted their  teeth during the darkest moments, what should they do now? Should they bow their head in front of the so "human" Hetfield? No, though full of surprises and determination,  Metallica should put themselves in the queue and repent, they and all those  bands  that have followed them in  a way  or another .  let them  go to  Canossa with ash on their heads. I mean it seriously. Let's see if this new old feeling and renewed enthusiasm is sincere. Then Metallica should be allowed to get  crown and sceptre again ....and you can tell what you want.



rating 8/10

dalia fc di giacomo 

 
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