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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 May 2012
I'll admit - I wasn't a fan of this album for... well, for about the first 5 years after I discovered Metallica. The songs seemed dull and I'd get a headache after listening for more than 15 minutes. It's not something you'd listen on a happy sunny day, on the beach or at a party (a normal party, at least).

But everything you need to know about the album lies in its title, St Anger. Anger. I went through a time in my life when everything kept pis*ing me off more and more each day, for about half a year. One time, feeling frustrated about everything I have to do, I put St Anger on high volume and... I loved it. Somehow I connected with the music, the aggressive tone of the instruments and the vocals. It seemed right. During that period, St Anger was my favourite album, and though I barely ever listen to it nowadays, I still appreciate it highly.
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on 24 February 2004
It has been a long wait for a new studio album. The rather toned down experimental efforts of the load/re-load sessions pleased many people but frustrated a great deal more. With Lars Ulrich's determinations that ‘tallica were back to the energy levels of the 80's (certainly proved by their resurgence in their tours) one might be have been forgiven for believing the hype. There is absolutely no doubting that St Anger is a beast of an album. It exudes a greasy-dark atmosphere, leaving a suitably bitter taste in the mouth, vitriolic in both its intensity and aural strip-down. So its heavy. Check. but does it cut the standard?
Opener "Frantic" effectively smashes you clean in the face in much the same way as classic track 1's "blackened" or "battery". A stuttering drum start rips straight into perhaps the simplest and most effective riff of the album followed closely by a growling Hetfield and a passable but melodic chorus. The song clocks in around the five minute mark making it almost the shortest song on the record. Unfortunately after such a promising opening the subsequent title track quickly encapsulates all that is not so good with the latest album. .A punky opening is quickly dispelled by Lars’ new metallic snare sound and obscure production, effectively killing out the rhythm guitar and leaving an off-form Hetfield rather stranded. References back to the old days through the lyrics (‘fuck it all and no regrets, I hit the lights on these dark sets’) unfortunately do not manage to bring back the oh-so-promised “kill’em all/ride” swing. In fact if anything, Metallica seem to miss Jason Newstead’s creativity as much as they did Burton's. The switch between loud and quiet is ungainly, as are the time changes which fall far short of the progressive nature of "...and justice for all" or “Master of Puppets”. and consequently the track quickly becomes repetitive. Add to this the fact that Bob Rock and the boys have decided to totally dispense with guitar solos ( a point of huge significance) and suddenly the listening becomes very challenging indeed.
It is these base criticisms that blight almost all the tracks. The mid-section of a mediocre ‘My world’ for example finds the band floundering almost to the point of halting, while Lars’ exuberance during ‘Purify’ completely destroys any original groove on one of the more promising tracks. Its not that the guys have lost all sense of their talents, but its almost as if they are trying too hard to fit into a new generation of thrash metal. The songs are far too long for the rather cumbersome guitars ( a criticism heard before in the rather more daring “...and justice for all” record) and melodies not honed enough to justify the slower sections. It seems that in their haste to banish the load/re-load demons, Metallica have forgotten that the subtle dynamics of classics such as “one” and “welcome home sanitarium” made for far heavier listening than the simple volume of St Anger.
Fortunately the news is not all bad. Out of the blue “Some kind of monster” manages to out strip the last two studio efforts for an alternative ‘greasy’ feel, chugging along with swagger until repetition finally rears its ugly head. It has to be said that the majority of songs start strongly, as is the case especially with Invisible kid (ruined mainly by perhaps Hetfield’s worst lyrical performance to date) and My world, only then to be tarred by the short comings endemic throughout the album.
Ironically the bands that Metallica have most influenced (System of a down, Machine head, Chimera...etc ad nauseum) have now outgrown the old guard to the extent that Metallica now have to play second fiddle. In a word St anger is difficult to distinguish from its contemporaries, and this is why the album may well sit better with those into the new wave of heavy metal. Iron maiden seemed to have decided to return to old well worn tactics and hopefully so will Metallica in order to regain the creative power that produced some of the most important albums in the history of both metal and music as a whole.
Thus St Anger will present a major disappointment to most Metallica fans. I would however still recommend you purchase this CD, if only for the strength of “Frantic”, “Some kind of Monster” and the DVD extra (which interestingly paints the songs in a better light).
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on 3 April 2007
A midlife crisis, or did they just forget how to play their instruments? This is a poor record, in terms of production, lyrics and the music. It's not just that it's Metallica, and we judge them by a harsher criteria than most bands, this is a poor album for any band to release.

Having said that, it is unbelievable that this is the same band responsible for ''Master of Puppets'', ''Creeping Death'' and ''Enter Sandman'', etc. How can they be the same band that produced this?

Where to start? Boring riffs, inane lyrics, (and this from James Hetfield, one of the finest lyricists in metal), and the drumming! It sounds as if Lars recorded his drums on some pots and pans in a toilet cubicle.

Not just bad Metallica songs, but bad songs full stop. An insult to one of metal's finest names.
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on 9 June 2003
Reading these other reviews has made me furious. This album is utter rubbish and i am disgusted that a band i have loved for 11 years could try so hard to appeal to the masses of nu-metal kids and try to be something they are not. Heavyiest ever? I think not the song s are slow and dull, i was bored after three tracks, i still havent listened to it all the way through, i can't. Master of Puppets to name one of many is miles heavier, but obviously in a way that modern kids don't understand. Its not all about repepitive riffs like so many rubbish new bands would have you believe. Wheres the solos, the inspiring lyrics, the fantastic music we're accustomed to from metallica? Not here thats for sure. And the drums, honestly, it sounds like a toy drum set going tom tom tom, wheres the pounding bass drum and the slamming snare? tom tom tom duh duh duh rar rar rar is all you get in this album. By all means listen to it and make your own opinions, but dont be blinded by the name on the box.
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on 5 June 2003
Wow... where to start... I'm a massive metallica fan, i've been following this album for ages and this nothing like what i expected in the beginning. When Metallica announced they were recording a new studio album, i thought, right, another Load, another collection of a few good songs and lots of average ones in Metallica's newly found hardrock/blues/country rock *thing*.
But no! St. Anger is something else... Every song on the album has its amazing bits! This really is the thrashiest Metallica have ever been since '...And Justice for All'. Now a lot of people are moaning about the production of the album, but really its great, ok its different, its not the Black Album, but its still great, everything sounds really fat and heavy... HEAVY!!! This one word sums up St. Anger... A lot of it scares me...
Heres a song by song look:
1. Frantic
WOW! amazing album opener, one of the faster tracks on the album, opening with CRUNCH!! And u think its gonna end, and another riff comes out of nowhere... soo good
2. St. Anger
One of the best intros ever... the song perfectly builds up into a HEAVY, FAST, MASTER OF PUPPETS ERA style section, before suddenly cutting out and going into a gorgeous clean melodic part where you get to breathe for a while before everything thuds back in... Lars drumming is soooo fast in this track.
3. Some kind of Monster
Starts with a cool clean riff (listen for the snare drum vibrating in the background) which is followed by a killer heavy, slow riff. Chorus rocks...
4. Dirty Window
Again, more amazing riffs, but some weird, freaky parts...
5. Invisible Kid
Ok... i'm not to sure about this one... The verses are really cheesy and the drums sound scary throughout the whole song... Their is a riff somewhere in the middle which is almost exactly the same as the main riff in Slipknot's 'My Plague', which is kind of ok, but it just reminds me of that song and that isn't nice... Then at the end of the song there is some really weird section where James seems to be singing out of tune...
6. My World
Good song... Another good riff, a good chorus
7. Shoot me Again
Now this is an interesting song... very long with loads of different parts (much like every song on the album) Some parts are amazing, some parts are weird... "Shoot me again i'm not dead yet" is kind of spoken by James in a jumpy kind of way..
8. Sweet Amber
AMAZING SONG.. one of the best on the album... gorgeous slow bits, HEAVY RIFFAGE (again)... At the end of this song is a killer riff, one of the best on the album, sounds really epic and ride/puppetz like.
9. Unnamed Feeling
Another brilliant song... Has a really nice slow melodic chorusy bit, which goes heavy the second time round... SOOO GOOD! The song goes a bit scary at the end when james starts singing like the guy from korn and emphasising 'fuck' as much as he can...
10. Purify
HEAVY HEAVY verse which lacks melody and is a bit to manic really... this is balanced by quite a melodic (but still HEAVY) chorus..
11. All Within my Hands
Wow, another possible best track! Very long, with some of the best riffs on the album and an amazing slow part with harmony drenched vocals... again, loads of changes and different parts... James sings 'KILL KILL KILL' at the end of the song way to many times... buy hey.
Overall a great album from an amazing band, its not ride the lightning, master of puppets or Justice, but, it will definitely do.
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on 11 June 2015
I avoided buying this album for some time due to the negative reviews, but I was misled. The first two tracks are as good as anything they have ever done in my opinion. After that, it goes down a little but it is still hugely enjoyable.
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on 7 June 2003
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.
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on 20 July 2005
Having been a fan of the group since Puppets I have always looked forward to their new releases with eager anticipation. The reason I have always loved Metallica is the superb production of their studio work (and also their Live work - check out Live s..t binge & purge), the crunching technical riffs and of course Kirks superb solos. The problem with St Anger is that the album has none of these. If you watch Some Kinda Monster DVD you will see the problems the band had with this album. Jason "left" and thatmeant Bob Rock wasted too much time playing base rather than producing upto his usual high standard (the production on the Black album, Load & Re-Load was faultless). Here we have no solos (against Kirks will), weak songs, hardly any riffs and poor lyrics. But by far the worst mistake was the choice of drum-sound. They experimented a little with "I Dissapear" with this snare sound with an echo after each beat. On St A they have made the echo much more promounced and it does sound like a biscuit barrell being slapped with an old twig. As much as I love the band this is one to avoid. If you are new to Metallica start with the glory days (Puppets, Lightning) and then progress the Black and Load (even S&M which was a refreshing change and excellently produced). Other faves are Garage Days Revisited which boats perfect production (compare the blissful "Turn The Page" with the dreadful "St Amber"). I look forward to their next studio album (in production now) as after all the critisism of the production on St A the next album should see a vast improvement. I would rather another album with the San Francisco Symphony than a repeat of this abomination. Now I am off to play Ride The Lightning.....oh them were the days!!!
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on 29 October 2003
St. Anger, Metallica's Newest album. The hype that surrounded this was phenomenal, so did Metallica live up to it?
Well, no, not really.
Firstly, i'll address the absence of guitar solos in the songs. These songs weren't written to have solos, having them would spoil the tracks. Granted, if there would have been a few tracks with solos, the overall quality of the album would have been increased.
Secondly, if you'll listen to the album, the glaring noise of Lars hammering on his kit overpowers every other instrument. Let me get this straight, the drum production on this album is horrible. Listening to the title track, during the chorus you can barely hear the guitars. It's that bad.
But, i didn't give this three stars because of the absence of guitars, or the horrible drum production. Overall, the songs are not really that bad. Sure, they don't have the classical lyrics of the older Metallica material, 'Invisible Kid' being a good example, but the songs are well-written.
St. Anger is not a terrible album. It's very listenable, it's just that the songs are so long. Not 'Master of Puppets' long either, they just drag on and on and on. Take 'Frantic', for example. Listening to the song, you'd think that Metallica wrote the whole song, played it, then played it again, and called that the track. You'd swear that 'Frantic' is the same song played twice, there's no difference or variety throughout. The same goes for many of the tracks on the album. It just gets very boring.
If half of the songs on this album were cut down in length, it would have deserved a four star rating, regardless of the absent solos or terrible drum production.
In my opinion, you shouldn't waste your time on this record, unless you are a very, very hardcore fan of Metallica, or usually listen to your songs twice through.
Buy 'Ride The Lightning' instead, and get a proper classic.
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on 16 June 2003
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a truly dedicated fan of Metallica (rather I became accustomed to them through my brother's constant playing of all their albums), but this album does make me consider signing up!
FRANTIC, ST.ANGER, and SWEET AMBER are probably my fav's at the moment because they combine the raw energy of the new material with the sort of structure needed to sustain tracks which go on for 4+ mins!
A few of the others do drag on a bit, some editing would've been wise on a few.

Plus a final word on sound quality. If you've got a good Record deck (ie something not made by the japanese!), then buy St.Anger on vinyl.
I got the LP this morning from a local store and on my REGA P3 deck it sounds much more attacking than the "flat wall of sound" of the CD!
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