Metallica St. Anger Review

Album. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

St. Anger spanks the ass of Nu-Metal and sends it back to school.

Amy McAuliffe 2003

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tock...

Summer 2002.The Metallica camp is in chaos. Bassist Jason Newstead has departed under a heavy cloud. Singer/guitarist James Hetfield is in rehab. The future of the band that blueprinted modern Metal as we know it is in doubt...

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tock...

Summer 2003: Thanks to the gritted teeth of Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett, and the vision of producer Bob Rock, Metalllica return with one of the most awesome rock records of the decade.

From the punishing percussive assault of the title track to the all-out thrash of "My World" ('I don't even know what the question is...'), St. Anger demonstrates a return to form that could bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardened Metaller.

Bob Rock was clearly busy while Hetfield was 'recuperating'. Gone is the bombastic production that typified Metallica. In its place is an overall sound that's more akin to the raw and loose vibe prevalent on later Soundgarden and Alice In Chains cuts, with enough of a nod to johnnies-come-lately such as Amen to satisfy even the newest of Nu-Metal fans.

Some of the close vocal/guitar interplay might even have Steve Albini reaching for his copyright book such is the pared-down, right-up-in-your-FACE nature of the production on St. Anger.

Don't forget kids while Bros were storming the UK charts in 1985, the Lica were re-writing the Book of Modern Metal. Any nod on this record to any band that's come since is the aural equivalent of Metal Fencing Linkin Park might thrust, but Metallica parry and kill.

Don't waste their time. These are Veterans of the Rock Wars, and boy does it show. The animal rage Hetfield confronted during rehab is here for all to hear, backed up by the sonic storm of bandmates who, truth be told, actually wanted to kill him for flaking out on the best Metal band since Black Sabbath.

Metallica haven't sounded so good or mean since ...And Justice For All. St. Anger spanks the ass of Nu-Metal and sends it back to school. Metallica are the Daddies, and don't you ever doubt it baby.

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