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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 August 2006
I cant believe some people thought classical with metal wont work and are surprised to hear it does. Of course it does that's where metal gets its roots from in fact a lot of music types do. Classical and metal is perfect together especially Metallica they are GREAT musicians with great songs. This is one of the best live albums i have ever heard and the DVD is brill also. There is no point picking out what songs are better then others because they are all great. So called strictly hardcore metal fans out there do your self a favor if you never heard this or anything like it give this a listen and you Metallica fans who have not got this GET IT.
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on 15 February 2007
Never been much of a fan of metal bands, lots of decybels & little substance I thought, but the very first time I listened to this album it left me speechless. Though many a Metallica purist don't like this album it's worth listening to if you haven't got musical prejudices. The combination of the SF Philarmonic Orchestra and Metallica is just impressive or "Awesome!" as Beavis & Butthead would put it.

Alas, this was the summit of their work. Hard to beat when you do a finale like this one.
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on 16 December 2005
Metallica. Some people say they're past it. That they can't come up with anything new.
But even though is full of mostly old songs, it shows that they can reinvent their music. Even if it is by simply adding an orchestra.
All their old songs sound amazing, Master of puppets and Nothing else matters being the ones that benefit the most from the orchestra.
Other than Metallic-the Black album, this is their best ever CD!
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on 13 August 2005
Having got this album years ago, It is still my absolute favourite.

Anyone who wants to buy this but isn't sure should seriously get it. Not only does it have two new tracks, but all the favourites from every album (Up until Reload) is done (Except Fade To Black which is a shame...or anything from kill em all). The DVD of S&M is a must have too. I have both and I watch/listen tirelessly.

One of the best things is that I can find only two mistakes in the whole set and they are extremely difficult to find. Every note, beat, lyric and pitch is perfect. Not bad for 4 members of the band plus 100+ Orchestra members all playing live simultaneously.
As for the band's performance, James has never sung better in his life seriously. Nothing else matters is his Best ever singing perfomance. His guitar playing is still the fastest and most accurate I have heard from a heavy metal rythm guitarist (which being a guitarist myself is very hard to do while singing I might add). Lars never misses a beat, and probably ran 1000 miles on his bass pedals. Kirk hits EVERY NOTE PERFECTLY in all his solos. And Jason has his bass guitar boosted by the low stringed section (Double bass, cellos etc.) which gives the whole album huge depth.
This album defines musical greatness. The merge between metal and symphony, Rock and Classic, is perfectly done. Kamen is a genious. Even though there is no classic metallica on stage beer drinking and random kickass solos, this album is their best live act ever.
By the Way Lars Ulrich says 'same time next year' at the end but it doesnt happen, at least the album can last a lifetime of listening...
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on 6 August 2004
When I first heard that Metallica was going to perform with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, I never thought it would work. Boy, was I ever wrong. I heard the S&M version of 'Nothing Else Matters' on Kerrang!, and I thought it was really good. However, it was 'Master of Puppets' that made my jaw drop. Already my favourite Metallica track, this new, orchestral version really did it, and I rushed out and ordered this album. I soon found that you should NEVER make judgements on things so fast, without giving it a chance. The contrast of the violins, trumpets and cellos (along with all other instruments in the orchestra), and Kirk's awesome guitar solos and Lars' jaw-dropping drum skills is astounding, and it also fits perfectly. Every track on here is awesome, but in my opinion, its worth buying just to hear the S&M 'Master of Puppets' if you haven't already. The orchestra just gives it that something extra, and intensifies the sound. This CD is now one of my favourites, and is always good to listen to. If you like Metallica, or metal, BUY THIS ALBUM. You will not be disappointed.
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on 20 April 2000
S&M is the sound of an already great band getting greater. Few bands could pull off something like this with the flair and general excellence that Metallica have managed. Starting off with the familiar live intro of Ennio Morricone's 'The Ecstasy of Gold', it's an atmospheric beginning, moving swiftly into the fearsome dynamics of 'Call of Ktulu', which sounds positively epic with the orchestra. As this closes we hear the sound of a band on form, with a mighty roar from the crowd, 'Master of Puppets' enters the action, with plenty of call and response from the crowd this sounds great. The orchestra really comes into its own though on 'Of Wolf and Man' and 'The Thing That Should Not Be'. Fuel sounds a bit of a mess but it is more than made up for with the next two tracks, a fantastic rendition of 'The Memory Remains' and amazing new song 'No Leaf Clover'. If this is anything to go by, Metallica's next album will be an absolute stunner. After this, the first CD is closed by three songs from the Load sessions, which are good songs, but don't compete with the earlier songs in the set. The second CD starts off really well, 'Nothing Else Matters' is beyond belief with the orchestra, it should never have been heard without it, it's probably the best track for the orchestra that Metallica have ever written. 'Until it Sleeps' comes next but 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' cannot be beaten, already one of Metallica's finest moments it is made a classic for all time on this album. Newie, 'Minus Human' is a good piece of Sabbath inspired rock and 'Outlaw Torn' is absolutely epic. Then comes the big ones, 'One' and 'Enter Sandman', both sound great, and the intro to 'One' will have you in tears before long. The album finishes on a bum note with a misguided version of battery, not too bad though. All in all though this is an excellent album that fully deserves any accolades it gets.
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on 7 December 2001
The thought of this album totaly put me off but being a total tallica nutter I had to own it,i was pleasently supprised!James as alway singing his heart out whilst nailing some of the best riff's in the past decade and kirk can still impress with his blinding speed with very intersting parts from the orchestra they dont just copy the main parts of the metallica songs a totally new section was added to the originals. I recomend you listen to master of puppets,one,a happy little number called sad but true and nothing else matters for those mellow moments!!!
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on 25 October 2005
Metallica play along with a symphony orchestra in this truly unique double cd. Metal and classical music do not sound as if they would go together but tihs album proves that it can work brilliantly. Metallicas music is brutal yet beautiful and the symphony adds a new dimension to their sound. The call of ktulu sounds awe inspiring, like something out of an incredible film epic. The orchestra creates an intensely dramatic and delightful sound. This album is a must have. It would be hard to see any other metal bands collaborating with an orchestra.
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on 10 November 2004
This has to be one of the best live albums EVER produced and performed. The backing of the San Francisco Symphony give the hardcore and headbanging riffs a huge boost and really gives lift to most of the songs. The only rather annoying thing is the call and response used on Master of Puppets and The Memory Remains, sometimes u can not here the crowd but it does not matter because the Metallica + Symphony are, well, AMAZING!!
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on 4 November 2004
As this review's title says, this is one of the band's 'must own' cds.
Whle not being particularly representative of Metallica, all the tracks on this album are beautifully produced, and although there isnt as much patented Metallica thrash as there could be, don't worry you're still in safe hands the classics are here and all the tracks are heavy.
All the band members are on top of their game here much better performances than when i've seen them(!). James Hetfield's vocal on this album is possibly the most tuneful and dynamic its EVER been, and Mr. Hammett rips much harder than usual on lead guitar. definitety the best live album in my collection.
Thats not to mention the orchestra. Surprisingly, this fits the songs like a glove and adds colours that a 4 peice band cant give you- a fat old horn section is always going to be more menacing than a distorted guitar.
Anyway you know my vote- go check this bad boy out! This is a unique album well worth adding to any rock or metal collection.
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