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St. Anger

St. Anger

3.4 151
by Metallica

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It's been said that you can't go home again, that it's impossible to truly get back to your roots once you've evolved to another state -- but this two-decade-old thrash juggernaut does its best to prove that adage false on this purposefully abrasive, sometimes downright ugly collection. St. Anger isn't exactly a return to the sound of, say See more details below


It's been said that you can't go home again, that it's impossible to truly get back to your roots once you've evolved to another state -- but this two-decade-old thrash juggernaut does its best to prove that adage false on this purposefully abrasive, sometimes downright ugly collection. St. Anger isn't exactly a return to the sound of, say Ride the Lightning or Kill 'Em All, but it is a pretty close approximation of the emotional tone of Metallica's early albums. On St. Anger's title track -- which, like many of the cuts here, edges close to the eight-minute mark -- James Hetfield revels in apoplectic rage, while he and Kirk Hammett tussle with riffs that stop, start, and stutter rather than bulldoze straight ahead. The doomy "Dirty Window" lurches ahead in a similar manner, cleaving Sabbath-esque minor chords with some straight-outta-the-sepulchre vocals from Hetfield. The disc is swathed in something of an odd mix, with snare drum cutting to the bone of many songs and an unaccustomed layer of grit atop the guitars -- "Frantic" and the slide-laden "Sweet Amber" scrape with a gravelly tone that's seldom cropped up before in the notoriously clean confines of Metallica-land. There's a neo-industrial vibe to "Purify," which ratchets up the tension with a passel of false endings and an alternately funereal and thrashing machine-age rhythm bed. Some of the experimenting doesn't pan out -- notably "Some Kind of Monster," which creeps a little too far into Korn's field -- but overall, St. Anger packs a lot of meat, and plenty of motion, into its 70-odd minutes of primal screaming.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Metallica's first new material in over five years arrived after a flurry of non-musical activity that included a much-publicized spat over Internet file sharing, the departure of bassist Jason Newsted, and a lengthy stay in rehab for James Hetfield that suspended the recording of a new album indefinitely. Hetfield returned to the fold in late 2001. Still without a bass player, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and their newly sober frontman recruited longtime producer Bob Rock to man Newsted's spot, and creation of the album commenced in May 2002. St. Anger arrived a year later as a punishing, unflinching document of internal struggle -- taking listeners inside the bruised yet vital body of Metallica, but ultimately revealing the alternately torturous and defiant demons that wrestle inside Hetfield's brain. St. Anger is an immediate record. Written largely in the first person, it never warns of impending doom, doesn't struggle with claustrophobia, and has care neither for religion's safety nor its hypocrisy. (The religious symbolism of its title and artwork seems only to function as a metaphorical device.) Lacking the heavy metal baggage of these past themes, Metallica is left to ponder only itself and its singer's psychosis, and delivers its diagnosis on slabs of speed metal informed with years of innovation and texture. The record exists as it ends. As the lockstep thrash of the eight-plus minute "All Within My Hands" tumbles toward its final gasp, Hetfield is explicit in his aims. "I will only let you breathe my air that you receive," he seethes. "Then we'll see if I let you love me." Ulrich's drums sputter in fits and starts, but the guitars are already dying, shutting down as Hetfield stabs at the microphone. "Kill kill kill kill kill," he screams, and you have to check the wall for a splatter radius. It's a brutal, ugly end to an album that switches on like a bare light bulb in an underground cave. It blasts each corner with harsh, unfiltered light for 75 minutes, until the bulb is shattered with a combat boot, leaving disquieting after-images exploding on the backs of your eyelids. "Frantic" is driven forth by a snare drum that just may be made of iron, Hammett and Hetfield's guitars eschewing separate parts in favor of a roaring tag-team approach. A hint of the band's mid-'90s nod to alternative drifts in during a bridge, but it's quickly swallowed alive by the song's muscular groove, never to be heard from again. "St. Anger," the single, marks the first appearance of a vocal technique that lurks in the shadows throughout the album. As Hetfield groans, "I feel my world shake/It's hard to see clear," he seems manipulated by an unseen force, flickering like bad reception. It's unsettling, and startlingly effective. Hetfield's psyche is on trial throughout, and though he often expresses confusion and anger over his struggle ("Some Kind of Monster" and especially "Dirty Window," in which he becomes both judge and jury), the mechanistic rhythms of the band seem to give him strength. "Shoot Me Again" -- another seven-minute epic -- becomes Hetfield's sneering answer to himself. It lurches into gear, juxtaposing a deceptively soothing verse with a dirty guitar line that explodes in the song's titular money shot. The resonating cymbal cracks during its stops and starts are particularly satisfying, as you can imagine the members of Metallica facing each other in a circle, jamming the song's jagged melody down the throat of a solitary microphone. (The image comes to life in St. Anger's bonus DVD edition, which captures Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich, and new bassist Robert Trujillo in their headquarters compound, shredding through each song on the album in its entirety.) St. Anger isn't a comeback, and it's not a throwback. The album is exactly what Metallica needed to make at this point in its career, after clawing its way to the top of the metal scrap heap, reeducating a generation of bands, and popularizing its genre beyond anyone's expectations. St. Anger looks inward with a hard eye, and while it finds some grinning demons in that pit, it also unearths some of the sickest grooves of Metallica's 20-plus-year lifespan.
Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
There's an authenticity to St. Anger's fury that none of the band's rap-metal followers can touch.... This is loud, expansive, unrepentant Metallica.
Spin Magazine - Sean Richardson
This is the album Metallica lifers have been waiting for: an inspired return to the complex savagery of old. (A-)
Blender - Greg Kot
This is the grimiest and grimmest of the band's Bob Rock productions, a throwback to Garage Days Revisited-style animosity for animosity's sake.

Product Details

Release Date:
Elektra / Wea


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Metallica   Primary Artist
Kirk Hammett   Group Member
Lars Ulrich   Group Member
Robert Trujillo   Bass,Group Member

Technical Credits

Metallica   Producer
Kirk Hammett   Composer
James Hetfield   Composer,Contributor
Colin Mitchell   Camera Operator
Jean Pellerin   Camera Operator
Bob Rock   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Lars Ulrich   Composer
Pushead   Cover Illustration
Dana Marshall   Producer
Wayne Isham   Director
Paul Owen   Monitors
Ryan Smith   Camera Operator
Brad Klausen   Production Design
Dave Hatchet   Camera Operator
Mike Hatchet   Camera Operator
Connie Isham   Script Supervisor
Logan Lebo   Gaffer
Nick Pectol   Camera Operator

Customer Reviews

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St. Anger 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 151 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, we all know this album is WAY different, but frankly i think it still rocks. It has some holes to fill in with the guitar work and lyrics, but once you hear it a couple times, it grows on you a lot. Basically Metallica was and is the greatest band period. No other 80s metal band has managed to leave the same kind of mark that Metallica has. Great stuff!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this album just as much as master of puppets i gotta say my favorite songs on this album are dirty window and of course st anger some kind of monster and the unamed feeling i can not wait till some of these songs on my bass guitar metallica you guys rock keep makin music and do not give up i will always beileve in you metallica
a-b-a-n-k-s-c-a-l-e-b More than 1 year ago
i love metallica they are one of my favorite bands, but this album sounded terrible. i could have wrote better lyrics, it was very poorly recorded, bottom line is it sucked
thegodofthebassguitar More than 1 year ago
this band stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! metallica stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DarkLotusICP4life More than 1 year ago
metallica has been one angry emo band since the release 1991s black produced by famous emo producer bob rock the follow up to st anger was produced by another famous emo producer named rick rubin this band broke up years ago the band members have lifes but no longer make any good music metallica is now officially the backstreet boys of heavy metal rest in peace metallica 1981-1991
DarkLotusICP4life More than 1 year ago
this album marks the return of emo metal by the emo band known as metallica who started alienating their fan base with 1991 black album produced by emo producer bob rock this is bob rocks final studio album by emo band known as metallica aka stinkallica this band is still is releasing albums and they are a sinking ship that keeps going way down and when the ship hits the ocean floor it ends up breaking into pieces very fast seriously fast stinkallica latest effort death magnetic was produced by emo producer rick rubin may metallica rest in peace 1981 1991
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album was such a disaster, it left me speechless. I burned it from a freind. I just couldn't believe what had happened to the once great Metallica. For me, it was downhill since Burton died, because Lars then took over and made them a commercial band. This album has to be the worse piece of trash ever. I'm sad to say it, but I'd rather listen to Bon Jovi or Quiet Riot over this "metal"
Guest More than 1 year ago
Metallica is here to stay. THis is proof of Metallica's genius. The entire album is heavy from start to finish. It can compare to Their greats like, ...And Justice for all, or Master of Puppets. Buy it, you wont be disappointed...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just seen the video of Metallica's new album St Anger. Well, they regained some of their original anger and energy but combined with melodic passages. They kind of go System of a Down. I have to hear the rest of the album to have a definite opinion. Hope they are not doing what they are doing just because it is fashionable, profitable or because bands like System of a Down or Slipnokt are very successful mixing their fast/crushing sound with melody. Anyway, St Anger track seems to be better than anything else they have done after 1991 at least. And hope they have not included any silly and useless ballads. Lets thrash the world! nelio
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a vivid Metallica fan, I can say that history repeats itself. This new album sounds raw and uncut, like the old "Garage Days" albums. Does this mean they'll bring to us another hard hitter like the Metallica of the 80's? One can only hope so.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What in the heck is this? this whole album sounds to me like it was recorded in a day. "Load", and "Reload" are so much better. I am surprised this album actually came out. Stay away, stay far away!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this album was pretty good. The first five tracks are strong and then it seems to get weaker. Lyrically the album is what you would expect. Musically...I liked them better when they were called Slayer. Those of you who know Slayer will understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well this is just sad. Truly Metallica have degenerated into just another nu-metal band. I mean what happened here? A Metallica album without a solo? What gives? I could only listen to this album once. I was so bored. Just droning, boring, heavy rythmns over and over and over. Songs so long that you wonder if the cd is skipping. The songs lack dynamics. There's nothing to break up the monotony. Every time I expected a lead break I just heard the same droning rythmn figure. Did Kirk forget how to solo? Did he break his hand? I can't believe the record company, friends of the band, the producer would allow this to be released. Jason Newsted knew what he was doing. Now he's playing with a wicked Zakk Wylde and poor Rob T. is playing with Dinosaurs. As a long time fan, back to the good old days of Kill Em, Ride, Master, And Justice I was hoping for a real throw back full of blistering metal and screaming solos. But this is just sad. It's too bad Dave Mustaine is no longer with the band. I'm sure he would not have let this happen. Maybe this was a way to prevent piracy and illegal burning...put out an album no one would want for free. I would rather listen to Britney Spears singing Pavaroti's greatest hits than listen to this again. So sad. So sad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From what I've heard from this CD, its not good compared to their pre-1991 stuff. Metallica is a sell-out now more than ever. They have gone from an awesome thrash metal band to a band that is desperately trying to be popular in 2003. You can see the rap-metal influence throughout the album. The fact that there are no solos is enough evidence. However, if you like the rock that is played on the radio and MTV, you might like this. But for fans of the origial Metallica, don't bother, its over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All i need to say is that once I bought the CD a few hours ago, it rocked. I wanna thank the guys for returning to their roots! All other bands, watch out: Metal Militia (being Metallica) is back and better than ever!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Metallica is faster and heavier again. What more is needed? Songs like frantic, some kind of monster, all within my hands and my world. Metallica shows they can make something new and be heavy as well. Guitar solos don't matter. The only weaker song is dirty window. If Metallica made another Master of Puppets, it would be great, but dated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a disclaimer I want to say that I love(d) Metallica!!! I remember how excited I was when Master of Puppets was first released. I remember moshing it up at the Justice for All concert in Lakeland, Florida back in the late 80's. The Black album and Load CD's were different but they still rocked. But something has happened. Something has changed. I just don't know you guys anymore. For a younger generation that doesn't have a memory of the old school days this CD might sound okay. Of course I would think they would have to have an IQ of 75 and smoke a lot of crack to hold that opinion. Anyone that says they love this CD must also love the sound of crying babies. Yet to the ears that helped put Metallica on the charts, what can I say??? Please tell me you're joking. Yeah that's it, this St. Anger CD, It's just a cruel, sadistic, twisted joke and the real CD is coming out next month. Tell me it isn't true, that you made me wait a half of a decade for this horrible rant. Maybe Fred Durst was right when he said that he was better that Metallica (he is now). Maybe Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park should headline this upcoming summer tour too. At least they still know how to make music. Duh!!!! If for some reason this isn't a cruel, sadistic, twisted joke. Then save your money and burn a copy from your misfortunate friends that did buy this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok I have heard all of metallica's stuff and i would definetly say this is the BEST album ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the worst Metallica I have heard yet. I was wanting a sound like Load, but it's just not there. This is useless nonsense. I cant stand it. I bought this CD without hearing it, and now it's for sale to the first person who even offers me half of what I paid...This is not music...
Guest More than 1 year ago
St. Anger is definitely one of Metallica's best albums to date. I love all of their music, but lyrically, St. Anger is heads above the rest. It's hard, yet more emotional than their earlier efforts. I think that St. Anger has a lot to offer to both fans of Master of Puppets and Load. METALLICA STILL ROCKS!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though I haven't listened to the entire CD yet, I can tell just from the first few songs and the beginnings of the others that this CD is very different from most of Metallica's stuff, but my personal opinion is that if artists do not change and grow, they will stagnate. Obviously Metallica knows this and has dropped the other shoe in an effort to keep things fresh. I personally love this effort and this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is not quite a return to the old metallica, but its still good. the first time i heard it, i was very skeptical but after listening to it all the way through i liked it and so far it hasn't left my cd player.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sorry, this is the worst cd. It is sad to know that Metallica is gone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love metallica but i was disaponted bye this one it got a lot of hype you shoudent buy this one. what hapend to metallica.
Guest More than 1 year ago
metallica has never failed to impress me. i love st anger, it is one awesome cd. for all you metallica "fans" who say this cd is bad, ye have little faith. everyone should buy this cd