Metal Monday: Metallica’s St. Anger

Cover of "St. Anger"

One of the few eighties metal acts to enjoy success without resorting to a reunion tour, Metallica became the top cover band in the world, whether covering others (as on Garage Inc.) or themselves, with orchestral backup (as on S&M).

Battles with Napster notwithstanding, it almost sounded as if James Hetfield et. al. were starting to have fun with their music. Whence, then, St. Anger?

Gone are the rock-oriented stylings of “Until It Sleeps,” the plodding sound of ReLoad, and all the ballads. St. Anger is sharp, precise, biting, and —surprise — really angry. It raises the question what they have to be so enraged about after all these years, since most of the lyrics are about emotions themselves, not what might actually spark one.

That said, St. Anger is, sonically at least, the sequel to 1988’s …And Justice For All. The cumulative effect is one of general aggression, but there’s definite virtuoisity in “Some Kind of Monster” and “St. Anger.” Old-school fans who still have something to be angry about, rejoice.


St. Anger


Originally published in Uptown Magazine, June 3, 2003.

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5 comments on “Metal Monday: Metallica’s St. Anger

  1. I love, love Metallica, but some of the symphony stuff was a bit disconcerting.

    • David Jón Fuller

      August 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm Reply

      “DISCONCERTING.” Bwa-ha-ha! Oh, man, Amberr, you win comment of the MONTH for that. I need to make up a badge.

      BTW, because in high school I listened to way too much heavy metal AND film scores, I secretly always wanted to hear a full orchestra play “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” I was pleased to hear Apocalyptica’s version; but I really liked the one on S & M.

    • David Jón Fuller

      August 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm Reply

      Okay, Amberr gets awarded the first comment badge ever at As You Were.
      That comment RULES.

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