Attend! Metallica are back and, regardless of what you may have heard, this IS their heaviest release of all time. Of the eleven pounding choons upon this long-player, there isn't a single ballad. Not even a mid-tempo number. It's fast, fast, fast and loud, loud, loud. What a din! Lars Ulrich seems to have taken Jason Newsted's derogatory comments about his drumming ability to heart, as here he puts in a performance of virtuousic dexterity and taste. Well, maybe not taste. James Hetfield sings as well as ever, with less of the yarling which has peppered recent LPs (well, if you can call "Reload" 'recent', it being seven years old), and his riffs are chunky as monkeys. Many of you may have heard that Kirk Hammett doesn't play any solos on this album. 'Tis true, 'tis true, but fear ye not... the songs don't need 'em. The bulldozing power of the riffage is more than enough. Bob Rock, producer, handles the bass (and co-wrote all of the songs with Hetfield, Ulrich and Hammett) and handles it well. The songs are all powerful, with cretinous lyrics which the 'Tallicatz are positive are profundity incarnate, and riffs which positively exhort one to bang one's head like a savage. As a bonus, the 'Talliladz have included a DVD of the entire album (yes, all of it!) with new boy Robert Trujillo playing the bass and waddling around like some kind of monster. It's all excellent stuff and while yes, one can hear some of the influences of dreaded 'nu-metal' here and there, it's like Metallica are showing these groups how it ought to be played. Hetfield doesn't rap, he barks. There are no idiotic 'wicca-wicca' scratchy noises. There are no stupid masks (as far as the DVD suggests, anyway). Whether Lars might want to wear some kind of mask in future anyway is open to debate, but what isn't is this: "St. Anger" is a loud, proud, smoking, stoking, hopping, bopping album which shows the 'Tallichapz are back with a bang. Hear, hear.