Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 11 June 2003
First off, I'll buy anything from Metallica. I love Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and most of ...And Justice for All. Kill 'em All blew me away the first time I heard it. I could list all the classic tracks, which simply fuelled my adolescence, with lyrics, melody and riffs that I still just have to play along to, and made me want to be in Metallica.
St Anger is different. You won't be trying that hard to play along with this; you won't be learning the lyrics any time soon and it's not the stuff cover bands are made of. I've read review saying it's Nu-metal. No, it's not. It's really thrash, and almost a throwback to 'Hit the Lights' type material. Lars (for the most part) has fallen in love with his toms, and will hit a cymbol at any opportunity, and often the drums overtake the rest of the track.
The album is very (deliberately) 'under' produced; almost lo-fi in its rawness, and because of this most of the tracks sound a bit flat or one-dimensional, and you have to really crank it up to get any atmosphere.
Overall, there's nothing bad on here, but a speed album like this needs shorter, more punchy tracks, and these tend to wander, repeat and grate until you're reaching for the remote to skip tracks for more of the same. Definitely not their finest hour, and possibly overhyped. The stand out track is the title track, and unsurprisingly is the first single. But I'm going to hook out "...Lightning" as soon as I get home... it's just... better.
[Since I wrote this review, I've seen the Metallica DVD 'Some Kind of Monster'. It puts a completely different complexion on the album, and now, I really do like this album, and would up my score to 4 stars. Still not a classic, but at least now I understand it!]