4.7 53
by Metallica

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For the last half decade, heavy-metal titans Metallica have strived to expand their musical palette while making heavy metal more palatable to the mainstream. They explored southern rock, blues, and psychedelia with LOAD (1996) and RELOAD (1997); they covered their favorite punk and popular artists (Misfits, Mercyful Fate,See more details below


For the last half decade, heavy-metal titans Metallica have strived to expand their musical palette while making heavy metal more palatable to the mainstream. They explored southern rock, blues, and psychedelia with LOAD (1996) and RELOAD (1997); they covered their favorite punk and popular artists (Misfits, Mercyful Fate, Nick Cave, Bob Seeger) on their double CD of covers, GARAGE INC. (1998); and they tinkered with electronica on remixes with Moby and DJ Spooky. But Metallica's most grandiose accomplishment took place last year when the band joined forces with Michael Kamen and the San Francisco Symphony to recontextualize much of Metallica's back catalog. The bold, unlikely pairing is captured in all its sonic glory on S&M, a two-disc live CD. Slow-burning tracks like "Until It Sleeps," "For Whom the Bell Tolls, "Nothing Else Matters," and the instrumental "The Call of Ktulu" are most effective, as their mid-paced tempos allow the orchestra the most breathing room. But the thundering fare of "Master of Puppets," "Battery," and "Of Wolf and Man" are also dynamic and undeniably ear-pleasing. Considering how ambitious Metallica have become in just a few years, a four-part, triple-disc heavy-metal opera can't be too far off.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Gina Boldman
After 1988's ...And Justice for All, Metallica pared down its progressive, heavy metal sound. During the '90s, the band's studio releases grew slicker and more produced, resulting in mostly radio-friendly, good ol' boy metal. By the end of the decade, Metallica was established as the pioneer of modern metal, but the band hadn't done anything innovative, arguably, in ten years. In April 1999, the group performed two concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, and the result was S&M, a two-disc collection of the concerts. Overall, the album successfully pairs violin strings with guitar strings, but it's no surprise that the best tracks here are the older songs; their multi-layered, compositional style works well with symphonic arrangements. "Master of Puppets," "Call of the Ktulu," "One," and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" sound richer and fuller with violin, trumpet, clarinet, harp, trombone, and flute accompaniments, but "Sad but True," "Devil's Dance," and especially "Of Wolf and Man" range from haphazard and melodramatic to uninspired. S&M definitely has its moments, and not just with the pre-Black Album material: "Fuel" surpasses the furious pumping energy of the studio version, "Hero of the Day" stays poignant throughout, and "Until It Sleeps" has a wonderfully sinister feel. James Hetfield maintains his madman persona from beginning to end, laughing maniacally and grunting and growling at all the right moments. Overall, the symphony adds a macabre, ghoulish atmosphere -- it all sounds like a Broadway freak show or a revved-up Danny Elfman nightmare. Which is exactly what a Metallica album should sound like, even if every song isn't the best (or most appropriate) in the band's catalog.

Product Details

Release Date:
Elektra / Wea

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Metallica   Primary Artist
Michael Kamen   Conductor
Bruce Roberts   Horn
Daniel Kobialka   Violin
Don Ehrlich   Viola
Glenn Fischthal   Trumpet
Julie Ann Giacobassi   Oboe
David Goldblatt   Violin
Kirk Hammett   Guitar
James Hetfield   Guitar,Vocals
Yukiko Kamei   Violin
Craig Morris   Trumpet
Jason Newsted   Bass
Paul Renzi   Flute
Jonathan Ring   Horn
Nanci Severance   Viola
Marc Shapiro   Keyboards
Pamela Smith   Oboe
Lars Ulrich   Drums
Geraldine Walther   Viola
Michael Gerling   Violin
Judiyaba   Violin
Anne Pinsker   Violin
Douglas Rioth   Harp
James Smelser   Horn
Christina King   Viola
Melissa Kleinbart   Violin
Rob Weir   Bassoon
Chris Bogios   Trumpet
Paul Brancato   Violin
Jeff Budin   Trombone
John Engelkes   Trombone
Laurence Epstein   Bass
Ray Froelich   Percussion
Thomas Hemphill   Percussion
Frances Jeffrey   Violin
Stephen Tramontozzi   Bass
Peter Wahrhaftig   Tuba
Jeremy Constant   Violin,Concert Master
Artie Storch   Percussion
David Herbert   Timpani
Eric Achen   Horn
Richard Andaya   Violin
Daniel Banner   Violin
Luis Beez   Clarinet
Enrique Bocedi   Violin
Barara Bogatin   Violin
Steven Braunstein   Bassoon
Jill Rachuy Brindel   Violin
Charles Chandler   Bass
Anthony J. Cirone   Percussion
Catherine Down   Violin
Gina Feinauer   Viola
Bruce Freifeld   Violin
Connie Gantsweg   Violin
Joshua Garrett   Horn
David Gaudry   Viola
Chris Gilbert   Bass
Yasuko Hattori   Violin
Tom Hornig   Trombone
Douglas Hull   Horn
Eugene Izotov   Oboe
Naomi Kazama   Violin
Kum Mo Kim   Violin
Chumming Mo Kobialka   Violin
Rudolph Kremer   Violin
Kelly Leon-Pearce   Violin
Yun Jie Liu   Viola
Linda Lukas   Flute
Seth Mausner   Viola
Andrew McCandless   Trumpet
Diane Nicholeris   Violin
Florin Parvulescu   Violin
Stephen Paulson   Bassoon
Catherine Payne   Flute
Sheryl Renk   Clarinet
William Ritchen   Bass
Victor Romasevich   Violin
Philip Santos   Violin
Peter Shelton   Violin
Anthony Striplen   Clarinet
David Teie   Violin
Paul Welcomer   Trombone
S. Mark Wright   Bass
Robert Ward   Horn

Technical Credits

Chris Boardman   Orchestration
Michael Kamen   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes,Orchestration
Paul DeCarli   Digital Editing
Kirk Hammett   Composer
James Hetfield   Composer,Producer
George Marino   Mastering
Stephen McLaughlin   Engineering
Bob Rock   Producer,Engineer
Randy Staub   Engineer
Lars Ulrich   Composer,Producer
Brad Warnaar   Orchestration
Billy Bowers   Digital Editing
Cliff Burton   Composer
Geoffrey Alexander   Orchestration
Darren Grahn   Digital Editing
Bruce Babcock   Orchestration
Mike Gillies   Digital Editing
Pete Anthony   Orchestration
Jonathan Sacks   Orchestration
Ted Allen   Orchestration
Bob Elhai   Orchestration
Blake Neely   Orchestration

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